Your baby may be around six pounds and eighteen to nineteen inches by this week. Some babies even have become so chubby and adorably roly-poly by week thirty-six that they have dimples in places like their elbows, knees and cheeks. How cute, right? Speaking of becoming cuter your baby has likely now nearly shed all of it’s downy covering of fuzz or lanugo (though remember many babies still have some at birth) and will begin this week to lose the vernix caseosa, or waxy coating that has been keeping him or her from becoming a prune all these months. On a not so cute note, your baby has been and will continue to swallow these bodily shedding.Congratulations by the way, by the end of this week your baby is officially full term. Remember that because due dates are an estimated arrival date (Only about ten percent of women give birth on their due date naturally!) anywhere from thirty-seven to forty-one weeks is considered perfectly normal and full-term.
As your baby continues its weight gain extravaganza leading up to its birth, your internal organs feel the squeeze; you may even begin to find it difficult to eat large meals. It is important that you are still getting at least three thousand calories a day as your baby needs them now more than ever. Some women begin to slow in weight gain around now or even lose weight. If you are one of those losing weight, be sure to pay special attention to your food intake even if you don’t feel hungry.
Other symptoms you may notice around this week include change in appetite (up or down), extreme fatigue, very frequent urination, increasing clumsiness, pelvic discomfort, backache, and itchy skin all over most notably the tummy. Some moms-to-be also notice an increase in varicose veins, hemorrhoids, insomnia, and/or bleeding gums.
If your baby has not dropped into a head down position your doctor may chose to perform a procedure called an external cephalic version also known as an EVC at the end of this week. Basically this procedure has a big name and an easy explanation, he or she will attempt to turn the baby by applying pressure to your abdomen in certain areas. EVC’s have a success rate of about fifty-eight percent, though sometimes a stubborn baby will turn right back around.
What happens during an EVC?
You’ll be asked not to eat for twelve hours before the procedure in case of complications and an emergency surgery.
First, you’ll be taken to a hospital as this procedure can in rare cases cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall, your water to break or your baby’s heart rate to become erratic, all of which will result in either a C-Section or a labor, hence this procedure is never done before your baby is full-term.
Once at the hospital an ultrasound will be done to check babies position, the placenta position and over all health. Your blood will be drawn and if you are Rh negative the shot we’ve discussed before given.
Your baby’s heart rate will be monitored while your doctor or a specialist in EVC’s will apply the pressure to your abdomen and attempt to get your baby to turn.
And that’s it. If your baby is one of the forty-two percent that doesn’t turn most doctors will wait at least a week or two more to see if the baby just decides to go ahead and turn on its own. If your baby doesn’t turn and you aren’t having twins unfortunately most women end up scheduled for a C-Section has this is safer for the baby.
How to prepare your home for your new baby:
Many parents go a little over board with this. While you will need to baby-proof the house at some point your baby doesn’t come home crawling and most babies don’t begin to become mobile for several months. All you really need to do to prepare for a new baby coming home is have their crib and essentials ready and the house fairly clean. You may want to sanitize door handles etc. as a newborns immune system can be a bit weak.
If you have pets you’ll want to have someone bring a blanket or article of clothing from your new baby to the animal and let them get used to its smell so that your pet doesn’t view your baby as an intruder. Always introduce pets to babies with caution.
It is also recommended that you spend these last few precious weeks on romantic couple time and sleeping rather than worrying about your newborn sticking his or her finger in an electrical outlet because as wonderful as motherhood is, those three things suffer once you’ve had the baby.