It’s maternity leave time! You should definitely be thinking about winding things up at work. Most commonly, women work until 36 weeks, but do what suits you, your budget and your health. From now until the birth, your baby is mostly concerned with gaining weight, and is about the size of a bunch of celery. Your baby won’t grow in length much more from now, it will just get heavier.
Your baby should weigh at least 2 kilos by now. Everything should be in place and functioning, 97% of babies are positioned head down and ready for delivery. If your baby is still head up your doctor or midwife may manually try to manipulate the baby to turn using external massage. If this doesn’t work you may need to schedule a caesarean in a few weeks time.
As the baby gets heavier you may feel a tingling or numbness near your hips, triggered by their extra weight pressing on your nerves. When your baby moves you may see your belly moving and jumping.
Your doctor has probably checked that the baby’s head is down and ready to go. If your baby’s head is down you may notice people commenting that you’ve ‘dropped’ or are ‘carrying low’. This is all normal, as baby is getting ready for their arrival. If your baby is not ‘head down’ you doctor may be starting to discuss a ‘breech birth’ with you. If your baby is breech, you may still be able to give birth naturally, but it depends on what type of breech the baby is. To learn more about breech babies, read this article.
At week 35, you’ll also be tested for Group B streptococcus (GBS). This is a bacteria that is present in the adult body and is usually harmless, but if it is passed on the baby it can cause them problems. It’s easy to treat, so there’s no need to worry about it, but if you’d like to read more about it, you can read this informative article. GBS is a type of bacteria that’s found in the digestive tracks of more than thirty percent of women. The test takes the form of a vaginal swab which you do yourself. If you test positive, you will be treated with antibiotics as this type of bacteria can harm the baby during delivery.
You might feel a little more puffy and swollen now so make sure you put your feet up as much as you can. A little bit of walking each day will also help get the swelling down. You might need to rethink your footwear. Slip on’s are a good option.
This is a good week to get a haircut so you can look your best in all the pictures that are going to be taken of you at the hospital!