At approximately half a meter in length and somewhere around 3.3kg in weight, your baby is now full term!
Although no drastic changes are occurring in your baby between now and birth, your little ones brain will continue to grow and is now thirty percent larger than it was a month ago.
Also, although babies are known to cry a lot, your baby will not actually be able to produce tears until sometime within the first four weeks of being born, as the tear ducts will not actually be working until at least two weeks after birth.
During birth your little one’s endocrine system (the network of glands and hormones in our bodies), will release more stress hormones (like adrenaline), during birth than at any other time in his or her life. When out of the nurture of your womb, these hormones will help kick start and manage his or her bodily systems without the assistance of your placenta.
These immense changes will require a large amount of effort and energy, but your little one has been well prepared throughout the last few months of weight gain and sleep.
Braxton Hicks contractions may be increasing in strength and frequency this week as you desperately await the big moment! This is a good sign as it shows your body getting ready to push your little one out into the big wide world.
You may also experience false labor. You can tell if labor is false because the contractions will cease if you get up and move around or change position, however it would be wise to bear in mind that false labor can quickly turn into real labor!
A key sign of the start of labor is the rupturing of membranes, also known as your waters breaking, containing mostly amniotic fluid. Unlike what you may have seen in films, the water breaking does not usually happen as one great gush of fluid, and most women feel a trickle down their leg and manage to make it to the toilet in time!
Pre labor you may also feel nauseous and have diarrhea. Other signs include loss of the mucus plug. There is no saying how soon you will go into labor after showing these symptoms, it could be a matter of hours or days, but be prepared!
You are probably feeling extremely restless and impatient as you anticipate the arrival of your little one! Not only do you want to draw to a close this period of discomfort, but also feeling anxious to meet your baby.
If you have any symptoms that concern you it is important to consult your doctor as soon as you can.
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