Pregnancy Week 32

It is now 31 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 29 weeks gestation and is almost 11 inches long from crown to rump (14 1/2 inches from head to toe).

If your baby was born now, he or she could survive but may face respiratory distress, trouble stabilizing temperature and glucose, and feeding problems.

Many babies will be getting into position for birth, most likely with his or her head down. But if your baby is still head up (or breech), don’t worry, there is still time for him or her to turn.

Advice for Mom

Even if you are planning a home birth, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are pre-registered at the hospital or birthing center near your home. Begin working with your support person to prepare for labor. Relaxation, massage, and focus exercises can be practiced.

If you have gestational diabetes, make sure you are testing your blood sugars and stay with the diet your doctor prescribed.

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Pregnancy Week 33

Your baby may comfort himself by sucking thumb. His grasp is well developed and he may even grasp the umbilical cord at times. Your baby’s brain and nerves are continuing to develop and direct bodily functions. Your baby is starting to prepare for life outside the womb by storing iron in his or her liver. These iron stores will last until your baby is about four months old.

Advice for Mom

Talk to your baby as he or she is able to hear sound and is getting accustomed to family and other familiar voices. Some moms even read to their babies now!

Some doctors will perform an internal exam to check for early cervical changes. While they can be quite uncomfortable for you, they will not harm the baby.

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Pregnancy Week 34

It is now 33 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 31 weeks gestation and is almost 11 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (16 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 4 pounds 5 ounces.

Your baby’s eyes are developed and the pupil will now constrict if light is shined in their eye. When your baby is most active (many are most active right when you want to sleep!), you should be able to feel about 10 movements in one hour. If not, drink a glass of juice or milk and count for one more hour. Call your doctor if your baby hasn’t moved 10 times in 2 hours.

The vernix on the baby’s skin is thick and the lanugo is almost completely gone. Your baby’s rate of growth will slow down some but still be steady as he or she continues to put on weight and fill out.

Advice for Mom

Although an increase in vaginal discharge is common now, be cautious that it is not leaking of amniotic fluid. Your Doctor can do a simple test to be sure.

Braxton-Hicks contractions will likely continue to occur but without regularity or pain. If you experience pain, contact your doctor.

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Pregnancy Week 35

It is now 34 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 32 weeks gestation and is almost 12 inches long from crown to rump (16 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 4 pounds 11 ounces.

Your baby is likely beginning to develop sleeping patterns. Although it’s still early, if your baby was born now, he or she would have an excellent chance for survival with the provision of warmth, respiratory support and good care

Advice for Mom

You may be feeling anxious and excited about the labor and delivery. Be very careful when taking a bath or a shower late in pregnancy. Your expanding belly can make you somewhat ungainly and this could lead to slips or falls.

Did you know that breastfed babies are less subject to illness in the first year of life?

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Pregnancy Week 36

It is now 35 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 33 weeks gestation and is almost 12 1/4 inches long from crown to rump (16 1/2 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 5 pounds.

Since your baby is done taking most of the iron he or she needs, your hemoglobin (iron) is coming back up. If labor started, it probably wouldn’t be medically stopped as your baby has an excellent chance now.

Advice for Mom

Lightening may occur at any time now as your baby drops into your pelvis.

Start planning for postpartum now. Get some support teams in place for housekeeping, meals, and laundry. The best advice is don’t be proud and accept any help that is offered!

Don’t forget that expectant fathers also have needs! They sometimes doubt their parenting skills and wonder what life will be like once the baby arrives. Support and communication are very important.

Some cultures have baby showers before the baby is born. Others wait until after the baby is born.

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Pregnancy Week 37

You are staring Lunar Month 10! It is now 36 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 34 weeks gestation and is almost 12 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (17 1/2 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 5 pounds, 9 ounces. This month marks the most rapid weight gain for your baby — about 1/2 – 3/4 lb. per week.

Advice for Mom

You will probably be scheduled for weekly visits to your doctor as your baby’s arrival is not too far off now!

Be sure to report any symptoms of pre-eclampsia to your doctor — excessive water retention, headaches, visual disturbance, or abdominal pain. Be sure to discuss labor and delivery options/routines with your doctor. Issues could include IVs, fetal monitoring, positions, episiotomy, drugs, shaves, and enemas.

Your uterus has grown from about 3 inches to about 12 inches in diameter to hold your baby. Your doctor may perform more frequent cervical checks, although labor is hard to predict. Cervical thinning (effacement), softening and some early dilatation may be occurring .

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Pregnancy Week 38

It is now 37 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 35 weeks gestation and is almost 13 inches long from crown to rump (17 1/2 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 6 pounds.

Although your due date is still a couple of weeks away, your baby would be considered ‘full term’ if he or she was born now. The fluid in the amniotic sac has increased from one drop to about one liter! The placenta has grown to about seven inches in diameter and weighs about two pounds.

Advice for Mom

Research baby-related products carefully. Talk to other moms about what products they could or couldn’t do without, and have a look at our checklist.

Pack your bags! Even if you are planning a home birth, pack a few essentials in case you need to go to the hospital. Check out our checklist to help you decide what to pack.

Bloody show (mucous plug – which is thick mucous) may occur any time now, but it does not mean that labor is imminent. It is normal and due to changes in the cervix.

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Pregnancy Week 39

It is now 38 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 36 weeks gestation and is almost 13 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (18 1/2 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 6 1/2 pounds.

Your baby’s lungs are mature and the baby continues to practice breathing in preparation for his or her first breath of air. The umbilical cord is about 20 inches long and will support your baby through birth until the lungs take over.

Advice for Mom

Rest, rest, rest! You’ll appreciate why in a couple of weeks.

Worried about your membranes (‘water’) breaking in public? Try to relax — the rupture of membranes before labor begins occurs in less than 15% of pregnancies. When they do break, the flow of amniotic fluid is not likely to be heavy since the baby’s head acts a bit like a cork in a bottle, blocking the opening to the uterus.

Having trouble sleeping now? It’s quite common at this stage of pregnancy.

Prepare a list of phone numbers – family and friends you will want to call with your news. Be sure to pack it in your labor bag.

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Pregnancy Week 40

It is now 39 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 37 weeks gestation and is almost 14 inches long from crown to rump (19 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 7 pounds.

The vernix that covered your baby’s body is mostly gone now.

WOW! Your baby has grown from one tiny little cell to over 200 million! Your baby will be born when he or he is ready — maybe as much as two weeks from now. Only a very small percentage (about 5%) of babies are born on their due date.

Advice for Mom

If you are planning to breastfeed, remember it is not instinctual. Remember that it might take a little time for you and your baby to adjust to each other. Seek support and guidance.

Note any passing of fluid and notify your doctor immediately.

Congratulations! You will be holding your baby in your arms in no time!

Find out what to expect for your first week home with your baby!

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Pregnancy Due Date Calculator

Now you know your estimated due date!
What is all this talk about months, lunar months, weeks, days and trimesters?

If you are confused, you’re not alone. While most people talk about pregnancy being 9 months long (divided into three trimesters), most health care providers refer to a pregnancy as being 40 weeks long, starting with your last known menstrual period. You might like to know that this is also equal to 280 days, or 10 Lunar Months. Phew! Read More…