Your little one continues to grow and will weigh about 2.5-3.8 pounds and measure at 17 inches this week. That puts your baby at the size of a squash! Baby has been practicing everything lately – from breathing to kicking. All of that continues in preparation for delivery day.
If baby hasn’t done so already, they’ve likely made the switch to the head-down-bottoms-up position. This is because your little one is getting so big and the living space is getting to be tight quarters. Your child will fit better in your pear-shaped uterus this way. It also allows baby to prepare for birth. Delivery is much more comfortable head first, otherwise the baby will be breach.
Your little one is looking and functioning like a full-term baby. Fat deposits are still forming to keep baby warm and protected in the outside world. The digestive tract is completed so baby will be ready to eat on delivery day. The lungs are still getting some practice and will be fully developed soon. If anything were to cause baby to be born early, your little one would be physically able to handle it.
If born this week, you would see that your baby has fully developed fingernails. They may even need a trim already. Toenails take a little longer to grow and you’ll see those form around 37 weeks. Your baby also has hair on top of their head. It could be thick and long or it could be more like peach fuzz but it’s definitely there.
While baby is busy prepping for arrival, your body is doing the same. You may have noticed your nipples have darkened. That’s so your little one will be able to see them more easily for feeding. It’s also likely they’re leaking these days, so it wouldn’t hurt to tuck nursing pads in your bra cups. It may not be the only body part leaking either. You may also notice additional vaginal discharge. It’s nothing to be concerned about. It’s actually your body’s way of keeping the birth canal free of infection in preparation for delivery day.
While, the leakage may be a little inconvenient, it’s nothing compared to the heartburn that’s rearing its ugly head. Calcium antacids are your friend these days. Adjust your diet to allow for smaller meals and avoid foods that induce indigestion.
You’re likely also experiencing a shortness of breath. Baby is getting plenty of oxygen but between the position of the uterus pressing into your diaphragm and the kicking towards your lungs, it’s causing you some discomfort. It’s completely normal for this to happen and will likely last for a few more weeks. In the meantime, try taking things slower so you don’t overexert yourself. At night use pillows to help you prop yourself up while you sleep. However, if it comes on suddenly or severely, you should certainly consult your doctor.
In preparation for the big day, you should plan ahead. Enlist a neighbor to bring in papers or take the trash to the curb while you’re gone. Prepare a grocery list with staples to keep the family going while you’re at the hospital. If you have the energy, you could even make some freezer meals ahead of time. Don’t push yourself too hard. It’s important to take things slow as your delivery date approaches. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for a little help.
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