Week

25th Week

Fetal size

Beetroot

What happens in the 25th week of pregnancy?

You have already completed the 5th month of pregnancy and you are in the middle of the 6th. Your belly is quite big now and there may be times that you feel discomfort or have difficulty moving. You might also be stressed about the things you need to prepare prior to your baby’s arrival. Whatever you feel is normal. You can’t be happy all the time and having a bad mood or negative thoughts is just as ok. Talk to your partner or someone close to you about how you feel and ask for support if this is what you need. 

This week, your doctor will ask you to have a test called glucose tolerance test. For this test, you will have to fast for at least 8 hours, usually overnight, and drink a very sweet drink containing glucose. You will also have to stay in the lab for 2 hours, where the technician will take three blood samples. This test will examine whether you have gestational diabetes or not. If the test results return abnormal, your gynecologist will refer you to an endocrinologist for further instructions. They may also deem it necessary to make your visits to their office more regular. 

Fetal size

Your baby this week is about 22cm long from head to bottom, about the size of a beetroot, and weighs about 720 grams. It can now raise its eyebrows. Lung development and brain and kidney maturation continue to occur. It has regular sleep-wake cycles and when it is awake it usually moves more vigorously inside your womb. Feeling its movements is important, as it is a sign that your baby is doing well. If it’s been a long time since you last felt it, sit down and eat something sweet. Glucose stimulates your baby and wakes it up. 

Symptoms

  • Frequent urination. Your uterus puts pressure on your bladder making your visits to the toilet more frequent. Unfortunately, this is expected to get worse as pregnancy progresses. Do not defer going to the toilet, as this can increase the risk for urinary tract infections. Staying hydrated is important, but you should limit your water intake to a minimum during the last 2 hours before going to bed, to avoid waking up at night to pee.
  • Constipation and hemorrhoids. Unfortunately, these two problems go hand in hand. If you had constipation before pregnancy, things might get worse now. Make sure you eat foods rich in fiber and drink plenty of water, especially during the hot months. Prefer washing than wiping after visiting the toilet. If you have painful, thrombosed hemorrhoids, talk to your doctor.
  • Backache. As your uterus grows, taking up more space in your abdomen, it may begin to press on the sciatic nerve, causing pain in your leg and/or lower back. You can ask your gynecologist which painkillers are allowed during pregnancy. There are special stretching exercises that can help ease the pain. Fortunately, this problem usually subsides after childbirth.

Tips

Keep following a healthy diet and avoid unhealthy eating habits. So far, your weight gain should be around 7kg. Maintaining a healthy body weight during pregnancy will help your body recover faster after delivery. 

 Continue to take your daily supplements. Avoid certain foods. Eating raw fish or undercooked meat is not safe during pregnancy. In addition, tuna or salmon should be eaten in moderation, as these fish contain heavy metals, which accumulate in your body and can be toxic. 

 Follow a daily training routine. If your abdomen hinders your exercise, then you should adjust your training plan. 

 While you are still full of energy, you can focus on the things that need to be done before your baby arrives, such as rearranging the nursery, equipping your house with the essential baby gear, and baby-proofing your apartment. 

 Start making a financial plan. Calculate how much your delivery will cost and decide how you will cover these expenses. This way you will avoid any unpleasant surprises. You can also open a deposit account for your baby. 

 Now is a good time to start childbirth classes either alone or with your partner. In these courses, you will learn techniques for managing pain during childbirth and get ready for the big moment. 

26th Week

Fetal size

Zucchini

What happens in the 26th week of pregnancy?

You are in the 26th week of pregnancy and you will soon be six months pregnant. Towards the end of pregnancy, your emotions may become even more intense. You may now feel joy and excitement for the arrival of your baby or you may be anxious about childbirth. If you feel stressed, talk to your partner or someone close to you. You can also share your thoughts with your doctor. 

This week, your gynecologist will ask you to have a test called glucose tolerance test to see if you have gestational diabetes. If the result is positive, your doctor will give you a special diet with limited calorie intake and will refer you to an endocrinologist for further instructions. It might also be necessary to make your visits to your doctor more frequent. 

Fetal size

This week, your baby’s crown-rump length is 25cm, the size of a zucchini, and weighs around 820 grams. Its body is still thin and does not resemble at all the plump babies you are used to. However, it is constantly storing fat, which will help it to better respond to life outside the uterusIt still has its eyes closed, but it will start opening them in the following weeks. It can now hear you and respond to external noises. Talksing or read a story to your baby. This will help you build your special bond with your child. 

Symptoms

  • Braxton-Hicks contractions. As the third trimester approaches, the so-called Braxton-Hick contractions are likely to begin. These are mild, occasional and short-lasting contractions of the uterus. They can be quite annoying and might upset you. However, they are common in pregnancy and should not worry you. 
  • UTIs. It is quite common for pregnant women to develop a urinary tract infection. Frequent urination, pain or burning sensation when peeing, and pressure or cramping in the lower abdomen are among the most prevalent symptoms. If you notice any of them, consult your gynecologist immediately. They will probably ask for a urine culture and prescribe antibiotics. Urinary tract infections are potentially dangerous for pregnancy, so treatment should not be delayed. 
  • Sleeping problems. Your belly is growing fast and may now begin to prevent you from finding a comfortable sleeping position. In addition, your increasing stress can reduce the quality and duration of your sleep. Sleep deprivation in turn can cause headaches or make you forget things easily. Avoid caffeine consumption or drinking too much water towards bedtime. This will reduce the number of night visits to the toilet and make your sleep more peaceful. 

Tips

Keep taking your daily supplements without skipping doses. Follow a healthy diet, avoid binge eating and maintain a healthy body weight. By this week, you should have gained around 7-8 kg. Make sure your drink plenty of water, especially during the hot months. 

 Think about the last details before your baby’s arrival, such as rearranging the nursery and equipping with the essential baby gear. Calculate the first expenses of childbirth and make a financial plan. 

 Your skin is suffering, so take good care of it. Apply cream or essential oil to your belly and breasts to avoid stretch marks. When exposed to the sun, put your sunscreen on, paying extra attention to the face, to avoid the mask of pregnancy. 

 Keep exercising as long as you feel up to it. You can also start taking childbirth classes. 

27th Week

Fetal size

Cauliflower

What happens in the 27th week of pregnancy?

You are in the 27th week of pregnancy and by the end of this week, you will be six months pregnant. Congratulations! It may seem like you still have a long way to go, but time passes faster than you think. Your uterus is quite big now and the distance from its top, called the fundus, to your pubic bone is now about 27 cm, which is halfway between the navel and the chest. 

At this point, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you are trying to take in. Your thoughts might be racing thinking of every detail about your baby’s arrival. While it’s good to be prepared, keep in mind that your due date is still several weeks away, so make sure you take some time to relax. You are in the middle of a wonderful journey and you should enjoy every moment of it. 

Fetal size

This week, your baby is about 24cm long from head to bottomi.e. the size of a cauliflower, and weighs around 900 grams. It has already started to strengthen its chest muscles, practicing the breathing technique. However, it is not air that inhales, but amniotic fluid insteadYour baby can hear and respond to external noises and can recognize familiar voices, especially yoursIts skeletal system is getting stronger, along with its kicks, and your baby can now grasp objects. Its brain becomes more and more complex, while the maturation of its lungs and kidneys continues. 

Symptoms

  • Pubic bone pain. Pregnancy makes your joints and ligaments looser to help your body cope with pregnancy and childbirth. This can cause pain in your pubic symphysis, which is a joint located in the lower part of your abdomen and connects the two bones of your pelvis. Avoid standing for long hours and try not to lift heavy weights.
  • Increased vaginal discharge. In pregnancy, increased vaginal perfusion results in excessive production of vaginal fluids. These secretions can be watery and colorless or thick and white. This is a normal reaction of your body, however, if you notice your vaginal discharge having a foul odor or a strange color, such as yellow or green, then you should contact your gynecologist.
  • Constipation and hemorrhoids. The increased production of progesterone during pregnancy makes your bowel move a bit more slowly. At the same time, the increasing pressure your uterus exerts on your intestines makes it hectic inside your belly. This can cause constipation, which in turn can result in the appearance or aggravation of hemorrhoids. Do not postpone your toilet visits as this might make things worse. Eat foods rich in fibers and increase your daily water intake. Prefer to wash rather than wipe after going to the toilet. If you notice swollen and/or painful hemorrhoids, talk to your doctor.
  • Strange dreams. Many women start having vivid dreams during pregnancy. They may seem fun and help you wake up in a good mood every morning, however, for some women, they can be quite annoying as they can easily disrupt their sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, then make sure not to fall asleep on an empty stomach. Have a light meal before going to bed, preferably something high in protein, such as yogurt with some fruit.

Tips

Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding your daily supplements and diet. Drink plenty of water and avoid binge eating, especially if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Poorly controlled GD can lead to macrosomia, i.e. very big baby, and is associated with complications during pregnancy and adverse perinatal outcomes. 

 Keep exercising, as long as your symptoms allow you to do so. If you feel that your belly has started weighing you down or if you feel pain in your joints, then you should try something different, such as swimming. Swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise, suitable for pregnancy, which puts less pressure on your joints. 

 Start thinking about stem cell banking. Your gynecologist can inform you about the benefits of storing stem cells and guide you in making the right decision for your baby. 

28th Week

Fetal size

Lettuce

What happens in the 28th week of pregnancy?

You are now in the 7th month of pregnancy and you have officially entered the 3rd trimester. This means that you have already completed more than twothirds of pregnancy and you are approaching the finish line. From now on your symptoms will not change much, however, they may become more intense and you may start to feel tired again. This week, you may visit your gynecologist, so it is possible that you’ll see your baby on the ultrasound once more. If your blood type is Rhesus negative, then your doctor will ask you to have an injection. This injection will prevent your body from reacting to your baby’s blood cells, which can pass into your circulation from this week onwards. He will also advise you to get vaccinated against pertussis, which will protect your baby from a potentially serious illness. For the vaccine to be effective, anyone who will take care of your baby during the first months of its life must be vaccinated as well. 

Fetal size

This is an important milestone of pregnancy. After the 28th week, your baby’s chances of survival if born prematurely increase significantly. Your baby’s crown-rump length is now 25cm, the size of a lettuce, and weighs about 1kg. From now on its growth will be even more impressive. Your baby is constantly storing fat and its skin is starting to look smoother. It can now open its eyes and is able to distinguish light from darkness. Its eyelashes have also grownIts brain keeps maturing and your baby continues to have regular sleep-wake cycles. Sleep usually lasts for 40 minutes and it is during these periods that you feel its kicks the least. Eating something sweet can make it more active, as sugar can stimulate your baby. 

Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath. As your uterus grows, it keeps taking up vital space in your abdomen, increasing the pressure inside it. This, in turn, forces your lungs to function in a more restricted space, making it harder for you to breathe. Maintain a good posture and rest if you feel short of breath.
  • Nipple discharge. Your breasts have gotten bigger and the glands that produce milk, called the mammary glands, are now ready for breastfeeding. You may have noticed a yellow substance coming out of your breasts, called colostrum, your baby’s first food. This is normal but it can stain your bras. Breast pads can solve this problem.
  • Sleeping problems. Your night’s sleep can be disrupted by many things, such as leg cramps, frequent urination, and strange dreams. There may also be times when you wake up in the middle of the night feeling the urge to clean or cook. This is called nesting and is common during pregnancy. Stretch your legs before going to bed and avoid drinking caffeine or lots of fluids towards bedtime. If you wake up at night and find it difficult to fall back asleep, read a book or drink some chamomile and try again later. Rest as much as you can.

Tips

Follow a healthy diet. By now you should have gained about 8 kgs. In this trimester, you may experience the greatest weight gain, so eat responsibly. Take your daily supplements and try not to miss a single dose. Drink plenty of water and make sure you eat foods rich in fiber. 

 By this time, you should already have the results of your glucose tolerance test. This test will help your doctor determine if you have gestational diabetes or not. 

 Time to schedule your Doppler ultrasound. Like the other two major ultrasounds of pregnancy, this scan is performed by a gynecologist who specializes in fetal medicine. It usually takes place between the 30th and 32nd week of pregnancy. It examines your baby’s growth and how well the blood flows to important for pregnancy blood vessels, giving information about how your baby is doing inside your womb. 

 Time to choose which pediatrician will examine your baby for the first time, as well as whether you want to have a personal midwife, who will help you in childbirth and the puerperium. 

 Start tracking your baby’s movements. It is important to feel your baby move throughout the day. If there is a sudden change in its behavior or if it is not as active as usual, then you should contact your gynecologist. 

29th Week

Fetal size

butternut squash

What happens in the 29th week of pregnancy?

You are now seven months pregnant and this week you are entering into the third trimester of pregnancy. Your belly is getting bigger every week and you may now feel more stressed than ever, not only on a physical level but emotionally as well. As your due date approaches, many questions may be running through your head, making you feel anxious. Try to find some personal time to relax and unwind. Share your thoughts with the people close to you and don’t be afraid to seek help if that’s what you need. You don’t have to be alone in all this. You are going to need as much support as you can get. 

 

Fetal size

Your baby’s crown-rump length is now 26cm, i.e. the size of a butternut squash, and weighs around 1100 grams. As it gets bigger, taking up more space in your womb, it’s normal for you to feel its kicks and movements more intensely than earlier in pregnancy. There may also be times when you feel a slight twitch in your belly. That’s usually when your baby has hiccups. As his brain continues to mature, sleep-wake cycles begin to show a more regular pattern. You can now have an idea of ​​what to expect after your baby is born. Many parents report that their children followed the same sleeping habits after birth as they did inside the womb. Your baby this week may be cephalic or breech. This is called fetal presentation and might change in the following weeks. However, if this is your first pregnancy, then your baby is expected to turn head down by the 32nd week. Around 3% of the babies remain breech, so in this case, the safest way to give birth is by cesarean section. 

 

 

Symptoms

  • Heartburn. As your uterus grows, it exerts more pressure on your bowel and stomach, making it easier for partially digested foods to push up into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn. Try to eat small and frequent meals and avoid lying down immediately after eating. You can also take an antacid for quick relief. 
  • Fatigue. The second trimester may have been a tireless period for you, but in the third trimester, the fatigue of the first months returns. The annoying symptoms of the first trimester may be absent, however, fatigue certainly makes it more difficult for you to move around. Sleep deprivation can make things even worse, so make sure you get enough sleep and rest as much as you can. Exercise to keep your energy levels high and improve the quality of your sleep. 
  • Varicose veins. Your uterus puts significant pressure on the vessels in your pelvis, leading to blood pooling in your lower extremities. As a result, your veins dilate and become varicose and your legs get swollen. This is common in pregnancy and if it is not combined with other problems, such as pain or redness in the area, then there is no need to worry. Avoid standing for long hours and elevate your feet by placing them on a stool or a pillow when sitting or lying down, respectively. 
  • Headaches and dizziness. The lack of sleep and the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy can cause headaches. Measure your blood pressure. If it is within normal limits, then there is no reason to worry. Dizziness is another common problem of this trimester. Eat something sweet, in case your blood glucose is low, or turn your body to the side if you are lying down. If your symptoms persist, talk to your doctor. 

Tips

Take your supplements daily and follow a healthy diet. Iron and calcium are especially important during this trimester, so make sure you do not miss doses. 

 

Keep exercising. If your belly makes it hard for you to walk or move around, then there are alternatives, such as swimming or yoga. You can also start doing some exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These exercises are called Kegel and can help you with childbirth. They also reduce the risk for urinary incontinence during pregnancy and after pregnancy. 

 

Think about who will help you during the first months after delivery. If you are planning to return to work soon after childbirth, then it might be a good idea to start looking for a babysitter. You should also discuss your maternity leave with your employer. 

 

Schedule your professional pregnancy photoshoot. You can talk to the photographer and choose the style of photography you want. Pose as a proud mother-to-be and keep your memories from pregnancy alive.

30th Week

Fetal size

Cabbage

What happens in the 30th week of pregnancy?

You are in the 30th week of pregnancy. This is the last week of the 7th month, while next week, you will officially enter the 8th month of pregnancy. You can start the countdownThis week, some of the annoying symptoms of the first trimester return. In addition, your belly keeps getting biggermaking it more difficult for you to move around. If you still have enough energy and you are not drained by the lack of sleep, then you can arrange some of the last details for the time of delivery. For example, you can prepare a delivery bag, with all the necessary equipment for when your baby arrives, and place it in an easily accessible place in your house. You can also drive and find the fastest route to the maternity hospital. 

Fetal size

This week your baby is 27cm long from head to bottomi.e. the size of a cabbage, and weighs around 1300 grams, almost 1.5 kg. It continues to store fat and its skin becomes smoother each dayIts brain continues to mature. Its fingernails grow bigger, while the downy layer of hairs that used to cover its body, called lanugo, starts to disappear. Your baby has now lots of hairs on its head and can keep its eyes open. It can hear sounds and recognize familiar voices, such as your own, and distinguish light from darkness. It has regular sleep-wake cycles and is able to grasp objects, such as the umbilical cord. This week, another important pregnancy scan takes placethe Doppler ultrasoundThis ultrasound can confirm the well-being of your fetus and examines how well the blood flows to important for pregnancy blood vessels. 

Symptoms

  • Heartburn. You may feel that your stomach is on fire. Stay strong, as your symptoms may worsen in the weeks to come. Your uterus puts significant pressure on your stomach, while progesterone makes your esophageal sphincter more relaxed. This allows partially digested foods to flow back into the esophagus causing heartburn. Avoid fatty, spicy, or indigestible foods, especially towards bedtime. Prefer eating small and frequent meals and stay seated or upright for at least 30 minutes after every meal. 
  • Swollen feet. Your feet may become swollen and heavy, making it difficult for you to move, especially after several hours of walking. Avoid standing for many hours and try to elevate your legs using a stool when sitting or a pillow when lying down. 
  • Shortness of breath. Your uterus puts significant pressure on your diaphragm, making breathing increasingly difficult. Keep a good posture and if you feel that you’re out of breath, try to sit down and rest. If your symptoms persist, talk to your doctor. 
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions. Mild but annoying contractions of the uterus, which prepare your body for childbirth. 

Tips

Take care of yourself. No matter how busy your schedule is, don’t forget to tend to your needs. Take your supplements regularly and rest whenever you feel tired. 

 Make sure you eat healthy and avoid overeating. Your weight gain by now should be around 9 kgs. In this trimester, your extra energy needs are about 450 kcal per day. 

 Drink plenty of water and keep your skin hydrated using cream or essential oil to avoid stretch marks, paying extra attention to your belly and breasts. Put sunscreen on whenever you go out in the sun. 

 Time to get off your high heels and wear that comfortable pair of flats. Your feet will thank you for that. Try to avoid long hours of standing. 

 You can continue exercising as long as you feel like it. You can also strengthen your pelvic floor muscles by doing some Kegel exercises. If you are thinking of taking childbirth classes, then now is the time to do so. 

 Track your baby’s movements. If you notice a sudden change in your baby’s behavior or if you do not feel it as much as you used to, try to sit down and eat something sweet. Sugar can stimulate and awaken your baby. If these simple steps won’t work, then you should talk to your doctor immediately. 

31st Week

Fetal size

Cucumber

What happens in the 31st week of pregnancy?

This week, you will complete the 7th month of pregnancy. Congratulations! Only two more months left. You may have noticed that your energy levels are gradually waning and your brain is working a bit more slowly since you entered the third trimester. This is not your fault. Pregnancy makes you forget. Keep a diary or make a to-do list. This way you will make sure you remain up to your tasks and as productive as always. This week, your doctor will ask you to have another scan, called the Doppler ultrasound. This scan is performed by a gynecologist specialized in fetal medicine and examines if your baby is doing well in your womb along with other important parameters. 

Fetal size

Your baby is now a little less than 28cm long from head to bottom, the size of a cucumberand weighs around 1.5 kg, the weight of a large bottle of water. Its brain is becoming more complex every week, while now all of its 5 senses are working. The iris has begun to react to light and change color, due to the deposition of melanin. The downy layer of hair called lanugo that used to cover its body has now mostly disappeared. Its head, on the other hand, is now filled with lots of hairUsually, by this week, most babies have taken a head-down position, called cephalic presentation. Some do that later in pregnancy, while some, for reasons we can’t always understand, remain breechi.e. with their legs down. These babies are usually delivered by cesarean section. 

Symptoms

  • Braxton-Hicks contractions. These are mild contractions of the uterus with short duration, lasting 30-60 seconds, occurring at a frequency of less than 1 per hour. They can get more frequent when you are tired or dehydrated, during nighttime, or after certain activities, such as sex. Drink plenty of water and try to rest. If they become intense or regular, talk to your doctor. 
  • Shortness of breath. You may often feel like you are out of breath. Your uterus pushes against your diaphragm, forcing your lungs to work in a more limited space. Relax, sit down, and take a few deep breaths. If your symptoms persist, talk to your doctor. 
  • Frequent urination. Your uterus puts pressure not only on your diaphragm but on your bladder as well. You may have also had an accident or two. This is not rare in pregnancy. If you have urine leakage, make sure you visit the toilet often, possibly even before you feel the urge to do so. You should also reduce your coffee or tea intake as much as you can. 
  • Fatigue. Pregnancy drains your energy. Rest whenever and wherever you can. Exercise can help keep your energy levels high. 
  • Backache. As your belly gets bigger, the excess weight makes your waist bend forward, changing your posture. This causes pain in your back and hip. A little yoga can strengthen your back muscles and help ease the pain. 

Tips

Keep taking your daily supplements. Your body needs as much as you can offer it, so try not to skip doses. 

 Follow a healthy diet. By now you should have gained around 9-10 kgs. Keep in mind that your extra energy needs are 450 kcal per day, at this stage. 

 Take care of the last details for the time of delivery, so that you are ready when the time comes. Prepare a bag with all the necessary equipment for childbirth and put it somewhere easy to access. Explore the fastest route to the hospital, choose your personal midwife, if you wish, and find a pediatrician who will examine your baby after delivery. 

 Ask the doctor to give you a picture of your baby’s face when you have the Doppler scan. It can be a plain ultrasound image or a 3D one. Put it in a frame and place it in a special spot in your home. 

 You can start childbirth classes to prepare yourself for the time of delivery. Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with some Kegel exercises. These exercises will protect you from developing incontinence during pregnancy and after childbirth

32nd Week

Fetal size

Napa cabbage

What happens in the 32nd week of pregnancy?

You are now in the 32nd week or, put differently, in the 8th month of pregnancy. The countdown has begun and as your due date approaches, your anxiety levels may get off the charts. The 32nd week is another milestone of pregnancy, as from this week oneven if your baby is born prematurely, the chances of surviving without any serious health issues increase significantly. This thought alone can comfort you and reduce your stress. This week, you can have the Doppler ultrasound, which is a scan performed by a gynecologist specialized in fetal medicine and examines the blood flow to your uterus to ensure your baby’s well-being. 

Fetal size

Your baby’s crown-rump length is 28cm, the size of napa cabbage, and weighs around 1700 grams. Keep in mind that every baby is different, so do not stress if at this point your baby’s weight is less than that. Most of its organs are now fully developed, but the brain and kidneys continue to mature. It has now lost most of the fine hair that used to cover its body, called lanugo, but it has now eyelashes and eyebrows, while lots of hair cover its head. If your baby is a boy, then this week his testicles will begin to descend to the scrotum, where they are usually found at birth and remain for the rest of his life. Your baby is gaining more weight each day by storing fat, which will help it adapt to life outside the uterus. The thermoregulatory center has also started to work and your baby relies now less on you to maintain a stable temperature. 

 

Symptoms

  • Hand pain. Some women develop during pregnancy the so-called carpal tunnel syndrome. The nerve, which is responsible for the innervation of the palm, before it reaches your hand, passes through a narrow space, called the carpal tunnel. This space, due to fluid retention and swelling, becomes even narrower during pregnancy, causing nerve compression and hand pain. This usually subsides after childbirth.  Rest and using a splint are usually effective in easing the pain. 
  • Gingivitis. During pregnancy, your gums, due to the increased perfusion, become more sensitive, easy to bleed, and more prone to infections. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and use dental floss or interdental brushes, preferably before going to bed at night. If you have pain, then you should visit your dentist, who will identify any underlying issues and give you advice on proper oral hygiene.  
  • Increased vaginal discharge. During pregnancy, there is increased blood flow to your uterus and vagina. This leads to increased production of vaginal fluids, which offers extra protection against infections. However, if you notice a constant flow of watery discharge coming out of your vagina, then you should talk to your doctor, as this may be a sign that your water has broken. 
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions. As your due date approaches, these contractions may become more frequent or increase in intensity. 

Tips

A healthy diet plays an important role in pregnancy, so make sure you eat properly and take your daily supplements. Your body needs extra iron and calcium at this point, so do not skip doses. 

 Drink plenty of water and do not defer visiting the toilet when you feel the need to pee. If urine remains in the bladder, bacteria find the opportunity to grow, causing infections. 

 Take care of your skin. Apply cream or essential oil to your belly and breasts. If you have leaky boobs, use breast pads to avoid stains on your bra. Put sunscreen on when exposed to the sun. 

 Check if you miss anything from your gear and buy all the essentials for childbirth. Prepare a bag with everything you are going to need for the hospital and put it somewhere easy to access. Baby-proof your house and make sure that everything is ready for your baby’s arrival. 

 Exercise can boost your energy levels and make you feel better. Walking or yoga are ideal for you at this point. 

 This week, most women start their maternity leave, so talk to your employer about the last details. 

33rd Week

Fetal size

Pineapple

What happens in the 33rd week of pregnancy?

You are fast approaching the middle of the third trimester and you certainly can’t wait to hold your baby in your arms. A little more patience and this moment will soon arrive! Most women give birth before the 40th week of pregnancy, while some after that. At any time from the 37th week onwards, your baby is considered mature, meaning it is ready to adapt to life outside the uterus. 

At this point, you may feel stressed trying to arrange everything before your baby’s arrival. You may even wake up in the middle of the night feeling an urge to sweep, cook, and generally tidy up your house. This is called nesting and many women experience the same thing as their due date approaches. 

 

Fetal size

You must be wondering how big your baby is. This week, it is about 29cm long from head to bottomi.e. the size of a pineapple. Your baby keeps getting bigger and now weighs around 1900 grams. It can keep its eyes open when awake and its movements are now more coordinated than ever. Its pupils react to light and its heart beats slower when it hears your voice. Your bond has already begun to form. The bones become stronger each weekexcept for the bones of its head, which will remain relatively soft until birth, to assist the passage through the birth canal. The head is the largest part of the body in newborns and is being subjected to significant molding during childbirth, thanks to the fontanelles, which will remain open during the first months of life. By this week, most fetuses have taken a head-down position, called cephalic presentation. However, some babies will do that later in pregnancy. 

Symptoms

  • Sweating. Your metabolic rate has increased causing your body temperature to rise. This may cause discomfort or even hot flashes, which can become particularly annoying, especially during sleep. Dress lighter or use two layers of thin blankets while sleeping, so you can easily get rid of one if you get hot overnight. 
  • Headaches. Hormonal fluctuations, sleep deprivation, and stress can make headaches a daily problem. Try common analgesics, like paracetamol, to ease pain and avoid anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen. You can also try placing cold compresses on your neck. In any case, have your blood pressure measured. If it is high or if you have other symptoms, such as visual disturbances or stomach pain, contact your doctor immediately, as these may be signs of preeclampsia, a serious complication of pregnancy. 
  • Shortness of breath. Your growing uterus keeps taking up more space in your belly, increasing the pressure on your diaphragm and making breathing more difficult. Listen to your body and respect its limits. When you feel tired, just sit down and take a few deep breaths. 
  • Frequent urination. Your bladder receives significant pressure from your womb. As a result, the number of your daily visits to the toilet multiply. Don’t hold your pee, as this might increase the risk of UTIs. Drink plenty of water, but not close to your bedtime. If you have urine leakage, then you can try wearing incontinence pads during sleep. Kegel exercises can help reduce these incidents. 
  • Increased vaginal discharge. Although vaginal secretions are increased during pregnancy, if you notice a constant flow of watery discharge, then you should contact your doctor, as this might be a sign of labor. In other words, it may indicate that your water has broken. Another sign of premature birth is the loss of the mucus plug, which covers the cervix and protects your uterus from infections. This is usually the first sign of labor. 

Tips

Follow a healthy diet and take your supplements daily. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. 

 If you haven’t already performed the Doppler ultrasound, this is your last chance to do so. 

 Do not neglect your skin. Put sunscreen on when exposed to the sun and apply cream or essential oil to your belly and breasts to avoid stretchmarks.  If your skin gets irritated or itchy, consult your doctor. 

 Put the necessary equipment for the maternity hospital in a bag and make sure it’s easily accessible. Find the shortest route to the hospital to avoid any delays. 

 This week most women start their maternity leave. If you’ve not already done so, talk to your employer and arrange the last details. 

 Take some childbirth classes, where you can learn techniques to better manage pain during delivery. You can also sign up for CPR classes for newborns to prepare for emergencies. 

34th Week

Fetal size

Cantaloupe

What happens in the 34th week of pregnancy?

You are in the 34th week of pregnancy and you will soon be eight months pregnant. In less than a month, you may become a happy new mom. You certainly feel excited and possibly quite anxious. The pregnancy symptoms may keep bothering you. Be patient as this won’t last for long. Your baby continues to grow and so does your uterus. This week, however, the amount of amniotic fluid is at its zenith and it is expected to decrease as your baby gets bigger. Thus, the size of your womb is not expected to increase dramatically from now on. Your baby may also descend into your pelvis this week, taking a lower position than before. This might worsen some of your symptoms, such as frequent urination, but it will release your lungs and make breathing easier. 

 

 

Fetal size

Your baby, this week, is about 30cm long from head to bottom, the size of a cantaloupe, and weighs around 2100 grams. By now, it has probably taken a head-down position, called cephalic presentation. However, some babies do this later in pregnancy or not at allIf your baby remains breech, your doctor will inform you about your options and might suggest cesarean section. Your baby has now fully developed its fingernails, which now reach the tip of the fingers, while its skin has become smoother and softer due to fat deposition. If your baby is a boy, then this week, it is very likely that his testicles will descend to the scrotum, however, for some boys, this might happen later in pregnancy or even after birth. 

Symptoms

  • Braxton-Hicks contractions. As the big time approaches, they may become even more intense. You may also have noticed that they are more common after exercising or having sex. If the contractions become intense or prolonged, try drinking some water, lying down, or changing position. If the pain persists, call your doctor. You may have gone into labor. 
  • Leaky boobs. Your breasts have grown considerably and are now ready for breastfeeding. Many women experience nipple discharge from one or both breasts at this point. This discharge is called colostrum. Use breast pads to avoid stains on your bra and clothes. 
  • Swollen feet. Your uterus puts significant pressure on the veins in your pelvis, causing blood pooling in your legs and your feet to swell after several hours of standing or sitting. Rest and elevate your feet when lying down or sitting. 
  • Constipation and hemorrhoids. Pregnancy causes constipation, which in turn can aggravate hemorrhoids. This vicious cycle can lead to thrombosed hemorrhoids and pain during defecation. Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat foods rich in fiber. Prefer washing than wiping after going to the toilet. If your symptoms persist, talk to your doctor. 

Tips

Follow a healthy diet and do not forget to take your daily supplements. Drink plenty of water and avoid salty meals. 

 If you enjoy exercising and pregnancy has not drained all of your energy, then you can continue to do so. The way is your choice. Walking, swimming or yoga are ideal for you at this point. 

 Take care of yourself and keep your skin hydrated using cream or essential oil. Put sunscreen on to avoid the mask of pregnancy. 

 If you have not already had the pertussis vaccine, ask your doctor for a prescription. Pertussis is a potentially lethal disease for your baby. Everyone who will come in close contact with and care for your baby during the first two months of its life must get this shot. 

 If you already have children, then it is time to prepare them for the arrival of your family’s new member. There are special books that can help you with this difficult task. You can involve your children in the preparations for your baby’s arrival by asking for their opinion or taking them with you when going shopping. You should also arrange who will take care of your children when you will be in the maternity hospital. 

 Make sure you get enough sleep and rest. Soon sleep will be more precious than ever

35th Week

Fetal size

Butternut squash

What happens in the 35th week of pregnancy?

The 35th week marks the end of the 8th month of pregnancy and the beginning of the 9th. However, your baby is not yet mature. This will happen after you’ve completed the 37th week of pregnancy. Nevertheless, even if your baby is born prematurely, it has almost the same chances as a full-term newborn, to adapt to life outside the womb. In any case, a premature baby will need to stay in the Intensive Care Unit for a few days, until it gains enough weight and becomes strong and healthy for you to take it home. 

Anticipation may have made you jumpy or completely disorganized. Although every mother reacts differently to pregnancy, stress is usually the common denominator. Do not forget to tend to your own needs and dedicate some time to yourself. Get close to your partner and do things that help you relax and make you feel better. 

Fetal size

This week, your baby’s crown-rump length is 31cm, the size of a honeydew melon, and weighs around 2300 grams. Your baby is gaining weight fast, about 100-200 grams each week. By now, most babies have turned to cephalic presentation, that is head-down position. If your baby is still breech, then its chances of changing position later in pregnancy start to decrease and the chances for cesarean section increase. Your baby is now fully developed, but his brain and lungs will continue to mature. The lungs already produce the surfactant factor, which is an important substance for survival outside the womb. It keeps the lungs open and is essential for breathing. 

Symptoms

  • Frequent urination. As your baby gets bigger and takes its final position in your pelvis, the pressure on your bladder increases. This makes the urge to pee more intense and your visits to the toilet more frequent. Staying hydrated is important, however, you should avoid water consumption during the last two hours before going to bed. If you have urine leakage when you cough or sneeze, then you are suffering from urinary incontinence. Kegel exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and are particularly helpful in preventing such incidents. 
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions. As your due date approaches, these contractions may become more intense. If they become regular, try drinking some water and rest. If your symptoms persist, talk to your doctor, as you may have gone into labor. 
  • Swollen feet. Standing or sitting for long hours can make your feet swollen. Elevate your legs by placing them on a stool when sitting or on a pillow when lying down. If you notice redness or pain talk to your doctor immediately, as this may be a sign of venous thrombosis. 
  • Hand pain. Along with your feet, other parts of your body may swell as well, even those that are not visible. A less common pregnancy problem is the so-called carpal tunnel syndrome. The nerve that innervates your hand passes through a narrow passage to reach your palm, called the carpal tunnel. This space may become constricted during pregnancy due to the swelling of the surrounding tissues. In this case, the nerve gets compressed, resulting in pain and numbness in your hand. Rest, elevating the hand, and using a splint can help relieve these symptoms. 

Tips

Keep taking your daily supplements, eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Make sure your diet is rich in fiber, which can regulate your bowel function and help with constipation and hemorrhoids. 

 

If you want to keep exercising and there are no medical contraindications to it, then you can continue to do so. Walking or yoga is completely safe for you at this point. 

 

Schedule your next appointment with your doctor. From the end of the next week, your visits to the gynecologist will become weekly, until you give birth. During these visits, you can discuss with your provider the signs of labor in detail so that you can recognize them when the time comes. They usually include: 

  • Watery discharge from your vagina, or more commonly called water breaking 
  • Regular contractions of the uterus with a frequency of 2-3 every ten minutes. They are typically more painful and last longer than the Braxton-Hicks contractions. 
  • Lower back pain 
  • Pinky or blood-tinged discharge in your underwear 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea 

36th Week

Fetal size

Papaya

What happens in the 36th week of pregnancy?

This is the 9th month of pregnancy, which means that the much-awaited moment of childbirth is close. Nevertheless, you still have to wait a bit longer. If this is your first pregnancy, then it’s only normal to feel anxious or have questions about what to expect during labor. Talk to your gynecologist about your concerns. He can answer your queries and offer reassurance. You can also discuss with him your options for the time of delivery, such as the possibility of epidural anesthesia. 

From the end of this week, you will start visiting your gynecologist weekly. During these visits, you will have a Non-Stress Test (NST), which is a non-invasive way of checking if your baby is doing well inside your womb. For this test, you will have to remain at your doctor’s office for 10-30 minutes. Additionally, this week, your doctor will probably take a sample from your vagina for culture to make sure you are not a carrier of group B streptococcus or GBS. Although this bacterium can’t harm you, it can be harmful to your baby. If the culture returns positive, then antibiotics will be administered to you during childbirth to avoid vertical transmission to your baby. 

Fetal size

This week, your baby is 32 cm long from head to bottom, the size of a papaya, and weighs around 2.5 kg. Its skin becomes smoother and softer each week, as fat deposits keep increasing. It is still covered by vernixa waxy substance that protects it from the amniotic fluid, and it has now lost most of the lanugo, the hair that used to cover its body. All of your baby’s systems, even though a bit immature, are ready for life outside the uterus. The respiratory and immune systems, the liver, and pancreas are now functioning properly. If you are carrying a boy, then it is very likely that at this stage, his testicles have descended into the scrotum. For some boys, though, this may happen later in pregnancy. 

Symptoms

  • Heartburn. Pregnancy makes the esophageal sphincter more relaxed, allowing partially digested foods to flow back into the esophagus, causing heartburn. Additionally, the pressure that your intestines and stomach receive from your uterus makes things even worse. There are several tips you can follow to tackle this problem. Stay in an upright or sitting position for at least 30 minutes after your meals. Avoid anything that could upset your stomach, such as spicy, sour, or very fatty meals. Prefer eating something light in the evening, such as yogurt with some fruit. Try antacids for quick relief. 
  • Constipation. Pregnancy makes your bowel a bit slower. Moreover, the descent of your baby into your pelvis this week may have released your breath, but it has significantly increased the pressure on your rectum, making defecation even more difficult. Drink plenty of water and boost your fiber intake. Prefer washing than wiping after visiting the toilet. If your symptoms are severe, talk to your doctor. 
  • Trouble sleeping. Heartburns, stress, and nightly visits to the toilet may prevent you from enjoying a relaxing, deep sleep. Your belly may have also made it difficult for you to find a comfortable sleeping position at this point. Rest whenever you have the opportunity to do so, to replenish your energy. Avoid anything that can disrupt your sleep as well as using your mobile phone or tablet just before bedtime. Bright screens can delay the onset of sleep and reduce its quality. 

Tips

Impatience may have made cravings even more intense, however, try not to overdo it. At this point, you should have gained around 11-14 kg. 

 Keep taking your daily supplements and exercise if you still can. It is important to stay hydrated at all times. Water consumption is beneficial for you and your baby. 

 Take advantage of the urge you feel to prepare everything for your baby’s arrival. This is an instinct most women have and is called nesting. Put the finishing touches to the nursery, check your gear for the hospital, install the baby seat in your car, baby-proof your house and make sure that it is safe for your baby. Whatever arises after this point you can easily address with a quick visit to the pharmacy or the supermarket. 

 If you haven’t gotten your pertussis vaccine yet, now is the time to do so. This vaccine will protect your baby from a potentially deadly disease. It should also be offered to those who will come in close contact with your baby during the first months of its life. 

37th Week

Fetal size

Swiss chard

What happens in the 37th week of pregnancy?

This is another milestone of pregnancy, as after this week your baby will be considered mature. This means that if at any point your labor starts, your baby will be ready to adapt to life outside the womb without the need for medical support. 

From now on, your visits to your provider will become weekly. Depending on the personalized needs of your pregnancy, your doctor may decide to perform an ultrasound or a special examination called biophysical profile. The biophysical profile includes a scan, which examines and observes your baby inside your uterus, and a Non-Stress Test (NST). Most women, however, will only need to have an NST. This test lasts 10-30 minutes and records the fetal heart rate to confirm the well-being of your baby. If any of these tests have abnormal findings, then your doctor may need to adjust the monitoring of your pregnancy. 

Fetal size

This week, your baby’s crown-rump length is about 33cm, the size of swiss chard, and weighs around 2700 grams. This is an estimation, however, and may differ from baby to babyGenetic predisposition in combination with the special features of each pregnancy can affect the final fetal weight. Your baby has completed most of its development. However, the lungs and brain continue to mature. In fact, the brain and liver will continue to mature even after childbirth. Your baby has lost the downy layer of hair, called lanugo, that used to cover its body, and its skin is now softer and smoother. Its muscles and bones keep getting stronger each week. 

Symptoms

  • Pelvic pain or pressure. Your baby makes a small descent into your pelvis a few weeks before birth. This is called lightening or engagement.  For many women, this happens only shortly before delivery. This dropping may increase the pressure you feel in your pelvis or even cause pain. At the same time, your baby pushes your bladder increasing your urge to pee. 
  • Headache. The hormonal fluctuations along with the lack of sleep and stress can make headaches a daily problem. A little paracetamol will usually help you deal with this issue. However, if you notice other symptoms, such as high blood pressure, stomach pain, blurred vision, or severe swelling of your feet, then contact your doctor immediately. These may be signs of preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication that has to be treated right away. 
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions. As your due date approaches, these contractions may become more intense. This does not necessarily mean that it is time to give birth. Try drinking some water or changing position. If the contractions persist then you may have gone into labor. 

Tips

Eat healthy and don’t forget to take your daily supplements. Drink plenty of water and eat foods rich in fiber to avoid constipation. 

 If you feel like exercising, then a little walking at this point is ideal for you. Other forms of physical activity may seem quite challenging for you now because of your pregnant belly. 

 Take care of your skin. Put sunscreen on when exposed to the sun, and use cream or essential oil on your belly and breasts to avoid stretch marks. 

 Get everything you need for breastfeeding. Many women prefer pumping to breastfeeding. Especially if you plan on returning to work shortly after giving birth, then the breast pump will help you a lot with your baby’s meals. You can also purchase breast pads and two or three nursing bras for the first few days after delivery. You can buy more later, as your breasts are expected to get even bigger. 

 Make a list of any pending issues and assign tasks. You don’t have to do everything yourself. 

 Cook some food and put it in the freezer. You can easily defrost it later and enjoy a quick meal. This will help you save valuable time from cooking after childbirth. 

 If you already have children, make a plan of who will take care of them during your absence. 

38th Week

Fetal size

Leek

What happens in the 38th week of pregnancy?

Congratulations! This is the 38th week of pregnancy and you are now nine months pregnant. This week is very important for you. From now on, your baby is considered mature. If at any point your labor starts, your baby is fully prepared for life outside the womb. Although the expected date of delivery is still a few weeks away, it is good to know that only 4% of women give birth on this exact date. Most will deliver earlier or in some cases later than that. 

The weekly visits to your gynecologist have already begun. In these visits, your doctor will ask for a urinalysis and you will have a Non-Stress Test (NST). For this test, you should not feel hungry, while you will have to stay at your doctor’s office for about 20 minutes. Two probes will be placed on your belly, one for recording uterine contractions and the other for monitoring the fetal heart rate. The NST examines if your baby is still comfortable inside your womb or if labor needs to be expedited. Ultrasound is usually not performed this week unless your doctor deems it necessary. With the ultrasound, your provider will see how much your baby has grown.  

Fetal size

Your baby is 34cm long from head to bottom, the size of a leek, and weighs around 2900 grams. Almost 3 kilos. Quite impressive! It has its eyes open and has begun to shed the vernixthe waxy substance that used to cover its body. Its development is almost complete. The complete maturation of the brain and liver will occur after childbirth. The hair on its head is up to 2.5 cm long, while the toenails now reach the tips of the toes. 

Symptoms

  • Frequent urination. By this week, your baby has taken its final position for childbirth. That means that it has descended a few points into your pelvis. This dropping is usually observed in late pregnancy, especially in primipara women. It increases the pressure your womb exerts on your bladder, intestines, and pelvic blood vessels. Therefore, it can make your daily visits to the toilet more frequent. Do not hold your pee just try to avoid water consumption two hours before bedtime.
  • Swollen feet. Your baby’s descent has increased the pressure on the blood vessels in your pelvis, making it harder for the blood to return from your legs to your heart. Avoid long hours of standing or sitting and make sure to elevate your feet using a pillow when lying down or a stool when sitting. If you notice redness, pain, or increased temperature in your legs, talk to your doctor immediately, as these may be signs of venous thrombosis.
  • Trouble sleeping. Your pregnant belly, the frequent, nightly toilet visits, and stress can reduce the duration and quality of your sleep. Use extra pillows to find a comfortable sleeping position. You can also try some relaxing exercises before going to bed or use some lavender essential oil to scent the room to help you relax and fall asleep faster.
  • Increased vaginal discharge. If you notice the presence of a viscous colorless or whitish substance in your discharge, then this probably means that your cervix has lost its mucus plug. This usually means that you will soon go into labor. If you notice a constant flow of watery discharge coming out of your vagina, then talk to your doctor, as this may be a sign that your water has broken.

Tips

Although you are close to the finish line, it is still important to continue taking your supplements, which provide your body with the necessary nutrients to support pregnancy. It is also important to follow a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Do not forget to eat foods rich in fiber, which can regulate your bowel function. 

 Although exercising at this stage can be challenging, you can still benefit from a short walk to the park or some relaxing exercises, such as a little yoga adjusted for pregnant women. 

 If you still haven’t had your third trimester vaginal culture to test for group B streptococcus (GBS), ask your doctor to do it right away. Although this bacterium is not dangerous for you, it can harm your baby. In case the culture returns positive, antibiotics will be administered to you during childbirth to protect your baby. 

 At this point, you can discuss with your doctor the possibility of having a personal midwife during childbirth. The midwife will prepare you for the time of delivery, will offer you guidance during the whole process, and will support you even after it. 

 Make a list of the things you should put in your maternity bag at the last minute before you leave for the hospital, such as your chargers, your laptop, or the power bank. Install the baby seat in your car for your way back home. 

39th Week

Fetal size

Watermelon

What happens in the 39th week of pregnancy?

Βρίσκεστε πλέον στην 39η εβδομάδα της εγκυμοσύνης και σε λίγο καιρό κλείνετε τον 9ο μήνας της κύησης. Σε αυτή τη φάση, μπορεί να έχετε αρχίσει να ανυπομονείτε για τη μεγάλη στιγμή. Το βάρος της εγκυμοσύνης σάς έχει κουράσει και το μόνο που σκέφτεστε είναι πότε θα κρατήσετε το μωρό στην αγκαλιά σας. Πολλές γυναίκες νιώθουν την ίδια ανυπομονησία. Το αρχικό άγχος για το άγνωστο έχει υποχωρήσει και πλέον δεν βλέπετε την ώρα να γίνετε μανούλα. Μην απογοητεύεστε! Η γέννηση του μωρού σας μπορεί πλέον να έρθει από στιγμή σε στιγμή. 

This is the 39th week and you will soon complete the 9th month of pregnancy. At this stage, you may have started getting impatient waiting for the time of delivery. Your pregnant belly may have exhausted you and you can’t wait to hold your baby in your arms. Many women feel the same as you. The initial fear about the unknown has subsided and the only thing you wish for now is to become a mom. Do not get discouraged! Childbirth may be just around the corner. 

The weekly visits to your gynecologist continue. In each visit, your doctor will ask for a urinalysis and measure your blood pressure to rule out preeclampsia. You will also have an NST (non-stress test), which will confirm that your baby is still doing well in there. He may decide to perform an ultrasound to check important parameters of your pregnancy, such as the blood flow to significant for pregnancy blood vessels. If he detects any issues, he may suggest intensifying the monitoring of your pregnancy or expediting labor. Whatever happens, your baby is now ready to adapt to life outside the uterus. 

 

Fetal size

You must be wondering how big your baby is. This week, it is 35cm long from head to bottom, the size of a watermelon, and weighs around 3200 grams. It has shed most of the fine layer of hair that used to cover its body, called lanugo, as well as the vernix that protected its skin from the amniotic fluid. Its brain and lungs continue to mature, while its fingernails extend now beyond the fingertips.Your baby is perfect in every way! 

Symptoms

  • Braxton-Hicks contractions. These are contractions of the uterus and prepare you for the time of delivery. As your due date approaches, they become more intense, however, they are usually mild, short-lasting and cease if you change position. If the contractions become more regular (every 5-10 minutes) or increase in intensity and duration (lasting 1 minute), then you have probably gone into labor. Other signs of labor include the presence of blood or mucus in the vaginal discharge, the leaking of clear fluid from your vagina (water breaking), nausea, diarrhea, and lower back pain. 
  • Pelvic pressure. The descent of your baby into your pelvis may cause discomfort or pain in your lower abdomen. It can also increase the number of visits to the toilet, worsen the swelling of your feet, and aggravate your hemorrhoids. You may even sometimes feel a tingling or burning sensation in your pelvis and vagina. This happens because your baby’s head is pressing on sensitive nerves of the area. 
  • Itchy skin. Your skin has stretched considerably. As a result, it is now more sensitive and easily irritated. Hydrate your skin using cream or essential oil. If you notice any kind of irritation that persists for more than two days, talk to your doctor. 

Tips

If you have reached this point and you’ve added no more than the recommended weight gain for pregnancy, which is 13-18 kg for a woman with a normal BMI, then congratulations. If not then don’t get disappointed! Breastfeeding is an ideal opportunity for you to lose these extra kilos, especially if it is combined with a little exercise. In any case, continue to follow a healthy diet, don’t forget to take your daily supplements, drink plenty of water, and boost your fiber intake. 

 Although exercising at this point can be difficult, a little walking or swimming can help you relax and give you extra energy. 

 You can prepare a few meals and put them in the freezer. They can be especially helpful after childbirth. 

 You can waterproof your mattress, in case the water breaks during your sleep, by placing a plastic cover under the sheet. Thus, you will avoid the hassle of washing the mattress after childbirth. 

 If you are looking forward to the time of delivery, here are some possibly useful yet not confirmed tips. You can try walking, eating spicy foods (be cautious as this can aggravate your hemorrhoids), or having sex. The sperm contains prostaglandins, which can stimulate the uterus and induce labor. 

40th Week

Fetal size

Pumpkin

What happens in the 40th week of pregnancy?

Congratulations! You’ve almost reached the finish line. This week is especially important for you, as, in this week, you will complete the 9th month of pregnancy and, by the end of it, you will have reached your expected date of delivery. However, keep in mind that this is merely an estimation and only 4% of women give birth on this exact date. Most of them will give birth either before or after that. Yes, you read that right. Some women will give birth in the 41st or even the 42nd week of pregnancy. However, because after the 41st week, the risk for pregnancy complications increases, your doctor may decide to induce labor earlier than that. In any case, after this week, your doctor may choose, to make your visits for NST (non-stress test) more frequent, possibly twice a week. If you belong in this category of women, who have to give birth by cesarean section, either due to breech presentation or previous operations of the uterus, then your delivery date will usually be scheduled at the beginning of this week. 

Fetal size

Your baby is now 36cm long from head to bottom, the size of a pumpkin, and weighs around 3400 grams. Most of its organs have completed their development. However, some, such as the brain, lungs, and liver, even though they are ready to support life outside the uterus, will continue to mature even after birthThis week, most babies have turned to headdown position. If your baby is still breech, then your doctor may decide to perform a cesarean section, as this is considered the safest way for your baby to be delivered, especially if this is your first pregnancy. Your baby’s skin has shed most of the vernix, while the fine layer of hair that used to cover its body, called lanugo, has mostly disappearedIts skin is now smooth and soft due to the deposition of fat. If you’re carrying a boy, then his testicles have probably descended to the scrotum by now. In some cases, they may still be in the inguinal canal and descend after childbirth. 

Symptoms

  • Loss of mucus plug. This is one of the early signs of labor. The mucus plug covers your cervical canal and protects the uterus from infections. The loss of this viscous substance, typically with a small amount of blood, usually means that childbirth is just around the corner.
  • Increased vaginal discharge. This is usually a sign that the water has broken. Although increased vaginal discharge is normal in pregnancy, water breaking or else the rupture of membranes is usually accompanied by the loss of a large amount of fluid. However, this is not always the case, as some women may experience loss of only a small amount of watery discharge. Caution, as this may be confused with urinary leakage.
  • Contractions. Another sign of labor is the contractions of the uterus. These, compared to the Braxton-Hicks contractions, are more regular, one every 5-10 minutes, more intense, and last longer, usually 60-90 seconds. Even if you change position they do not stop.
  • Lower back pain, nausea, or diarrhea. If you notice any of these, talk to your doctor, as you may have gone into labor.

Tips

Following a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water are important for pregnancy. Keep taking your daily supplements. Continue taking them even after childbirth, as they provide your body with valuable nutrients, which you are now consuming at a faster rate. 

 

Do not forget to take care of your skin. Apply cream or essential oil on the areas that are stretched the most during pregnancy, such as your belly and breasts. Put a pregnancy-safe sunscreen on when exposed to the sun. 

 

Put all the things you will need for the hospital in a bag and place it in an easily accessible place in your house. Make a list of the things you should add to the bag just before you leave the house, such as chargers, your cell phone, or your tablet. 

 

Install the baby seat in your car and make sure your car is full of gas. 

 

If labor doesn’t start, do not stress. Take care of yourself and plan something relaxing, such as a massage session, a visit to the hairdresser, or a walk with your partner. If you are still in the mood, you can also have sex. Sperm contains prostaglandins, which can stimulate the uterus and induce labor. 

 

In any case, relax and enjoy this journey. In a few days, you will be holding your baby in your arms and be the happiest mom in the world! 

Kalampalikis Andreas MD, MSc,
PhD Candidate, School of Medicine, University of Athens