Your developing baby
Sometime soon your cervix will begin to dilate in order to prepare for the birth of your baby. Some women will experience what is called a ‘show’ which describes what happens when the mucus plug that sits at the top of your cervix becomes dislodged as your cervix widens. The show is usually blood-stained and mucus-like and you will probably find it in your knickers when you go to the loo.
While a show does mean that labour is imminent it could still be a couple of weeks away. Visit our Labour and Birth area for all you need to know about the birth of your child.
If you have not been told what position your baby is lying in, you may be able to tell from where you are being kicked. If your baby is breech (with his head up), you might feel kicks low down in your abdomen near your bikini line. If your baby is head down, or cephalic, you will probably be feeling kicks in your ribs. Even though the most common position for babies at this stage is head down, breech babies can still turn, although room in the womb in getting rather limited.
Your developing body
This week you are probably feeling tired and huge. You put on more weight from now on than any other time in your pregnancy. You may notice colostrum (milky white substance) leaking from your breasts. This will become your baby’s first drink if you plan to breastfeed.
You may feel tingling sensations this week. The first may be in the pelvic area and can also feel like pressure around the pelvis. This is probably because your baby is moving further down the uterus to prepare for being born. The other tingling sensation is one you may feel in your fingers – this is common in pregnancy and occurs because the tissues near your wrists swell from pregnancy, decreasing the amount of blood getting to your fingers causing numbness. If your fingers are also painful, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Occasionally at this stage in pregnancy a tiny amount of urine leaks out on to your pants. Before you panic and grab the incontinence knickers, you can be assured that this is because you baby’s head is pressing down on you bladder. Wear a sanitary towel if this is a problem. Remember to keep practising those pelvic floor exercises so that you strengthen the pelvic ligaments and can stop situations like this happening after you have given birth.
This week, read up about Caesarean sections. You may be hell-bent on having a natural delivery but there is no harm in reading about what happens in a C-section, just in case you have to have one.