Your baby is still growing and he reached now 47cm in length and almost 3kg in weight. He is down headed preparing himself for birth. Lanugo has disappeared from his skin as well as the vernix caseosa, the white substance that protected his skin during the 9 months in your womb from the amniotic fluid. Your baby is ingesting amniotic fluid as well as other secretions such as bile, epithelial cells, mucus and water. This mixture forms the “meconium” which is the first content of his bowl movement. It is viscous, has no odor and blackish. It is passed during the first few days of life. Usually it is stored in your baby’s bowel until after birth. Passing the meconium into the amniotic fluid prior to birth is a sign of distress and puts the baby in danger of inhaling the meconium.
During this final stage, your baby will drop down into your pelvis releasing the pressure on your stomach and decreasing the heartburn sensation. However, pressure on the pelvis augments which increases your bathroom visits and makes your walking exercise uncomfortable. You will feel less kicks but your baby still moves in your womb. Braxton Hicks contractions become more frequent but still have no effect on the cervix. You will notice a change in the vaginal discharge. The mucus becomes thicker and pinkish especially after sex or vaginal examination due to the sensitivity of the cervix.
Edema might increase especially around your ankles, feet and hands due to fluid retention. Do not decrease your water intake. Having a good night sleep is becoming hard. Try to wear light cotton clothes, open a window or put the air conditioner on. Try to support your back and belly with cushions. Your body is tired by this time but you might get some energetic boosts called nesting instinct, where you will have the urge of cleaning, baking or preparing your baby’s arrival. If you are not yet tested for Group B streptococcus, you should ask your doctor about it.
Your partner is also preparing himself for birth. Discuss the baby arrival to ease your fear. Read some books or watch movies together on how to prepare for a newborn coming.