The fetus is finally starting to look like a baby. The head and body are proportionate at this time. Weight gain is rapid as fat stores continue to build under the skin. Eyes are completely developed and are now sensitive to light. Fetuses are now able to hear, see, and smell. Women pregnant with multiples have the same milestones this week though singlets may soon outweigh multiples.
Fatigue, difficulty taking a full breath, and edema are common in the third trimester. Living every day with a long list of pregnancy symptoms can leave you feeling as if you have been pregnant forever. It is important to remember that pregnancy is temporary and many of the symptoms are going to fade away after the baby is born. Hemorrhoids can occur during pregnancy due to the weight of the fetus pressing on the rectum. This symptom can stick around long after the baby is born, so eat lots of fiber and drink plenty of water to fend off constipation.
At the prenatal visit
There is no doctor’s appointment this week, but that does not mean mom should not keep a close eye on how she feels for next week’s visit. For the remaining weeks of pregnancy, jotting down symptoms, questions, and contraction times and strength is a good idea. When the doctor’s visit begins and the doppler is used to find the fetal heart rate, sometimes parents can forget the most important questions.
Women typically start writing a birth plan around the 29th week. Dads can take part in this process, as they will be an intricate part of birth. The nursery, household safety, and running errands for the expecting will also be part of everyday life.
Furniture is another Dad task. Building the crib, stroller, changing table, and other room accessories are areas where Dad can shine. Mom may feel as though she wants to be a part of the process, so Dad needs to take assembly slow and allow mom to help whenever she can.
Other household tasks that Dad can complete in preparation for the baby’s arrival include securing television sets to the wall with safety straps, placing mounts on appliances to prevent tipping, and placing socket protectors in all electrical sockets. These may seem like small things, but they are ensuring the safety of the baby who will be crawling and walking before you know it.
Tips for this week
Do you have a birth plan? A birth plan is a written checklist of sorts to plan out how you want active labor to proceed. When making a birth plan, it is important to be flexible as not all wants are the same as needs. You will naturally tend to think optimistically about labor and delivery, but you should prepare ahead of time just in case complications or situations arise that require the birthing plan to be changed a bit.
If you are planning for natural childbirth, it's important to note what type of anesthesia you prefer if the need arises. Natural labor is often a desire until the strongest contractions begin.