Your baby may now be as long as 44 centimetres from head to toe and weigh around 2.25 kilos. This week, the protective vernix (that white, waxy coating that protects the baby’s skin) begins to thicken. Your baby will likely be born covered in this, especially in the folds under their arms, behind their ears, and in the groin area.
Your body might feel a little lighter than it has recently. This is due to the baby dropping, also known as lightening or engagement. The lighter feeling is an indication that your baby is settling into your lower pelvis. Once this happens it may feel easier to breathe although walking may become more difficult and you may feel like you are waddling everywhere. If you see a blood tinged, extra thick discharge it is probably your mucous plug coming away. The mucous plug blocks your cervix during pregnancy to keep your uterus safe from infection. Many women lose their plug up to two weeks before their labour begins.
If you haven’t done it already this is the week you need to put together a birth plan with your doctor. Your birth plan is a written agreement between you and your healthcare provider about who will be in the room while you are in labour, what you like to drink or eat and what your preferences are when it comes to relieving pain.
If you are a single mum and don’t want your baby’s father with you during the birth, consider asking a supportive friend or your mother or sister to be with you instead.