This is the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy. You are gaining around one pound of weight per week and
roughly half of the weight goes straight to your baby. In fact the baby gains around 1/3rd to ½ of its birth weight in the next seven weeks. The baby will now be fattening up for survival outside the womb. The fatty deposit makes him plumper and healthier looking. You need to eat well for the rest of the pregnancy. Eat a varied diet rich in vegetables and fruits to help to further develop your baby’s immune system. Heartburn and indigestion can increase so you can eat healthy snacks in between meals or drink a glass of milk at bedtime if hungry. You need to cut down on junk food. Caffeinated drinks should be avoided.
Many expectant women tend to develop bleeding gums or cavities at this stage due to hormonal changes and shift in blood pressure. Your eating patterns also affect the teeth. Clean them regularly by brushing and flossing. Visiting the dentist at least once during pregnancy. Snacking on cheese and vegetable crudits with dips or salsa are also good for the teeth as they increase the calcium intake as well. Vitamin C is also vital for healthy teeth so snacking on strawberries or a portion of steamed broccoli is a good idea.
Your Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions are a painless tightening of the uterine muscles. They are quite common in the last few weeks of pregnancy and may become more frequent as the due date gets nearer.
Baby’s Development: Fat deposits are continuing to accumulate.
Baby’s Size: 41.1 cm, 1.5 kg.
To Do: Assemble baby gear (strollers, swings, bouncy seats, cribs, and changing tables) and install the carseat.
The baby weighs around 5 pounds and is approximately 15 to 17 inches in length by now. Fat layers continue to be deposited under the baby’s skin. The bones of the baby harden except for the skull. The skull needs to be soft and flexible for the delivery. The pressure on the head during child birth is so strong that many times babies are born with what appears to be a cone-head. These bones don’t fuse until early adulthood and so they grow as the brain and other tissues expand during infancy and childhood.
The lungs are nearly mature now but the baby would still need to stay in an incubator if born now. The baby is a little weak but fully formed with the same proportions as he will have after birth. If you have triplets, they are normally born in the 33rd week of pregnancy. This is a time when it becomes more likely for the baby to settle in a particular position in the uterus. Most of the babies are cephalic which means they are in a head down position. If the baby has not descended to this position yet, there is still time for this to change. There are exercises which can help you to turn the baby’s position to a normal one before childbirth. Yoga is an effective pregnancy exercise to build flexibility. However, use caution if you are starting yoga at this stage without having practiced before.
Changes with your body
The top of the uterus is more than 5 inches from your belly button. The total weight gain at this stage of pregnancy should be between 22 to 28 pounds. You may be wondering whether you will be able to tell when your water breaks. Only 1 out of 10 women experience a sudden gush of the amniotic fluid which happens mostly at home in bed. The amniotic sac can break or leak before any indication of labor in some cases. This is indicated by a small trickle and can be confused by the leakage of urine which is common due to the pressure on the bladder.
Kegel exercises needs to be practiced to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Good nutrition is a necessity as healthy skin stretches more easily during pregnancy. You might experience some pain and numbness in the fingers, hands, and wrists. If you work with repetitive hand movements remember to stretch your hands at intervals to avoid dull ache or tingling numbness. The baby should be moving frequently. However, every baby has its own pattern of activity in the stomach. For an added sense of security, you can keep track of your baby’s kicks with different methods. Normally you should feel about 10 movements within two hours.
What to expect
With the growing weight of the body you can expect difficulties in sleeping, walking and sitting. Wear loose comfortable clothes. While sleeping, you can place pillows on the side of the body or under your feet if you experience cramps due to the increasing weight.
Frequent urination can be increasingly common now due to the increased pressure on the bladder. Unfortunately, this can disturb your sleep pattern at night. Avoid sleeping on your back now as this can reduce the circulation of blood to the baby. The best sleeping position is to lay on the left side. This will be beneficial to you as well as the baby. Do your best to find a comfortable sleep position each night and get as much sleep as possible. When the baby comes, sleep will be a commodity. Insomnia is a common problem which can be overcome with diet and relaxation techniques.
Foot and leg cramps can produce discomfort. Try to continue moderate exercise like walking daily. Increase the calcium intake by drinking more milk or taking supplements. If you feel rhythmic movements across the belly, do not panic as the baby might just be hiccupping. If your baby is in a breech position right now there is still a good chance it will turn its position in the coming weeks. The doctor might start monitoring you from this stage to check for a change in the baby’s position.