The wrinkles have ironed out! This week your baby's skin begins to become smooth as well, a baby's bottom and thicken in preparation for birth. Other than that your baby is simply continuing to gain weight this week and won’t do much else for the next seven weeks (or less if you go into labor before the forty week mark as many first time moms do!). He or she will likely reach the four pound mark this week and taller babies may already be pushing seventeen inches while others will still be back at fifteen to sixteen. Babies born at after week thirty-two have over a ninety percent chance of survival, though they may have issues suckling and nursing due to an immature neuro-muscular maturity. Congratulations! Not only are you nearly there but you’re out of the “danger-zone”, when it comes to pre-term labor.
Your body much like your baby’s body also has already undergone the majority of the changes it will during this pregnancy. After thirty-two weeks you know well the symptoms of pregnancy as well that any abnormality warrants a call to your doctor. You will continue to put on weight at a rapid rate of one pound a week, and an amazing one half of that will go directly to your baby!
You’re likely thinking, “Really? Nothing new thrown at me this week at all? No way!” So here you go! You may begin to get the classic pregnancy waddle around this week. The pregnancy waddle is a way of walking that women at the end of their pregnancies tend to get due to all those hormones that are relaxing the ligaments to allow the pelvis to open more for labor. You may not notice it at all, but someone will ever so kindly point it out at some point.
Hypothetically you now have everything set up and ready to rock for this labor and delivery. If you don’t get it on, when you’re in labor is no time to be jumping through hoops. At this stage, it is important for you to understand and learn another important skill, knowing when you’re in labor, because, a great deal of your life right now is spent wondering one of two things, “Am I in labor?” or “When will I be in labor?”
The problem with this is, many women begin to mistake Braxton Hicks contractions, which also just so happen to increase in the common pregnancy as the weeks till your labor dwindle down, for true labor. Specifically knowing more on signs of labor and a quick refresher on what Braxton Hicks contractions feel like compared to the real deal should ease your anxious mind.
The signs of labor:
None of these signs minus that last one ensure a labor or delivery within a set time line; they are however indications your labor is near. (Think within weeks to days) Once your labor does begin you will have contractions that increase in intensity at even intervals apart, slowly they will increase in speed once they reach around five minutes apart they will be painful, you will need to get to where ever it is that you have decided to have your baby. Depending on how far that location is from your home you’ll want to call ahead to your doctor and leave with plenty of time to get where you need to go.
Example: You live two hours from your hospital; don’t wait until your contractions are five minutes apart to leave. You may give birth on the way. Where as if you live five minutes away, it is safe to wait that long.
It’s a good idea to have discussed this with your doctor before your labor occurs so that you know when to leave and call and can be ready.