Weeks 36 – 40
Changes in Baby
Your baby now weighs between 7 and 9 pounds and is about 16 – 20 inches long. Growth continues to be rapid during this month as your baby puts on about one ounce per week. The umbilical cord which supplies food and oxygen to your baby is now over 2 feet long and the placenta which weighs in at about a pound and a half is about 40 centimeters. Your baby should be in a head down position and will “drop” well into your pelvis. With limited space in your womb your baby may not kick as much but will keep trying to stretch in this confined space.
Changes in Mom
At this point you will be very anxious for your baby to arrive. You will continue to go through the nesting phase which is normal just before childbirth. Indulge your urges to clean every inch of the house and stock up on baby supplies, however avoid heavy lifting and climbing.
Physically and Emotionally you may notice:
-Less shortness of breath as your baby “drops” into your pelvis -Increased heaviness and pressure on your bladder and pelvis -More frequent urination -More intense Braxton Hicks contractions -Slight weight loss -Leg cramps especially at night -Swelling of ankles and feet -Increased difficulty sleeping -Restlessness -Fantasizing about your baby -More apprehension about the labor and delivery
Things To Do
-Master your relaxation and breathing techniques -Research all methods of delivery in case you may have to do an alternate birth plan -Make plans for family or friends to watch any older children during labor and delivery -Decide who is going to help you in the weeks after your baby is born -If you plan to breastfeed, talk to other moms or do your research on breastfeeding -Make weekly visits to your ob-gyn -Plan a date night with your partner