30 days left; what an exciting moment, yet with some anxiety as the clock keeps ticking. It looked just like yesterday and now the countdown has started. Although the level of exhaustion is increasing, as well as some discomfort, the desire to meet this new bundle of joy that has been hiding inside mom's belly for as long as she can count is about to join her on an amazing journey of life filled with lots of love. As she reflects back through her journey with the baby, she begins to see the great favours she has enjoyed: she is famous at her favourite eatery, she receives first-class reception and service wherever she goes, she is in good health and has lots to be grateful for.
There is a sense of overwhelming love and support around her that will keep her going to the last days. It is an emotional moment with lots to treasure. However, there is still some planning to do, and things to put in order. She may find herself checking and updating her checklist, confirming different expected services, ensuring that everything meets her needs for the due date. Nothing can be left to chance. At the same time, the need to stay updated with what is to come increases, just to be sure that mom is prepared and well informed and knows what to do at every stage or how to handle any eventuality. Given that there is a lot of expectation during the last month, here are 20 things that may happen to mom and baby during this time.
20 Body feels bigger
During the last weeks of pregnancy, the weighing scale will be reading figures you least expected. In fact, you may end up having days when you feel like you have added more weight and other days as though you have reduced some. Your baby will have gained some weight which may make you feel as though you are getting bigger and heavier. During this time, the amniotic fluid levels begin to decrease, meaning that the baby is almost due. Eventually, you may end up feeling as though you have gained or lost some of the weight. Weight gain should be monitored and the doctor can advise on your weight. The only thing you can do is maintain a healthy diet.
19 More exhaustion
Feeling exhausted has become a better part of your lifestyle by now. There is no time you may not wish for a comfy seat and footrest because of the weight of the baby as well as engaging in different activities. Everything at this point appears to be draining you, and just when you think you need the rest, the demands just pull you out of your comfort zone into more work and work. You may have a bit of struggle in breathing due to feeling exhausted, and this would be a better time to have a lot of help around the house.
18 Frequenting the Washroom
The last few weeks may keep you on your toes for a while since the baby is almost due. At this point, your hormones will start shifting the fluid within your body and you will experience frequent urination. Also, the baby is applying more pressure on your bladder as it progressively moves to the pelvis. The frequent washroom visits may seem uncomfortable for a while, and one may feel the need to reduce the fluid intake. However, it would be advisable to maintain your normal fluid intake regardless of the embarrassing moments, so as to remain hydrated throughout your pregnancy. Besides, most people should understand that it is a natural experience and with time, it will pass.
17 Experiencing new pelvic pressures
At this point, the pelvic pressure becomes an uncomfortable experience. Most of your sitting positions become very uneasy, and you try every cushion and every seat just to find the perfect position to rest. During the last weeks, the baby's position may have changed in preparation for delivery and would be descending towards the pelvis. Also, the ligaments will be relaxing and stretching in preparation for delivery. The weight of the baby will eventually rest on the pelvis awaiting the due date. The last thing in one's mind is trying to do the catwalk at this stage. If you have been exercising, it would be advisable to consult your doctor or chiropractor on what measures to take and if you require more exercise regimes.
16 General aches and pains
At this time, the body will be screaming out for pain medication. There will be some aches and pains as though you have been taking on the world for the last 36 or so weeks. Due to the shift in the baby's position, you may experience back pains, pain in your hips and stomach, which may prompt a lot of irritability. It is advisable to note the intensity of the pain and inform your physician so as to ensure all is well. With proper diet and exercise, you may not experience the pain as expected. It is not advisable to take pain medication unless it is prescribed by your physician.
15 Protecting your mattress
During this time, contractions may occur and the baby may surprise you before the due date. It may happen unexpectedly even while watching a movie or laying down on the bed. The chances of this happening would mean that there is a need to protect your mattress in the event your water breaks while you are in bed. When this happens, cleaning the mattress after arriving home from the hospital may not be a fun experience. In fact, it may not appear anywhere near on your checklist unless it is on the protect-your-mattress item. You can get a mattress cover or a DIY alternative like placing a plastic sheet or trash bag under the bedsheets. It may be uncomfortable for a while but may serve well until after delivery.
14 Filing the paperwork
With all the aches and pains, discomforts and snooze time, the last thing on your mind by now would be documentation. A lot of preparation has been made from the time the doctor confirmed the good news about the pregnancy, but this is the time more accuracy is required. If one area is left out, it can lead to last minute rushing and somethings may not be completely done well. It is necessary to double check your paperwork and frequently update your file, as well as doing your pre-registration early enough which will help during the process of delivery and afterwards. This will help in maintaining regular communication with your OB, insurance company among others, as well as ensuring all pre-authorisations and confirmations are filed in one place and clearly marked. This will help whoever will be handling your file to be able to access the documents while helping you to concentrate solely on the delivery. It is good to also have soft copies in case of any eventuality.
13 Booking a date night
Babies have their own way of showing up unexpectedly. Whichever time it is, it should not deter you from enjoying a romantic night out with your spouse. This could be the last one in a long while because, after delivery, the baby's demands will be or high priority, and there will be limited time to share niceties together. In fact, most of the time you may want to nap or rest after being preoccupied with the baby throughout the day and parts of the night. Take this opportunity and have more date nights than you can imagine. You can have different ideas of date nights especially when you just want to stay in and rest.
12 Getting your hospital bag in order
When it comes to planning for the baby and you, the hospital bag is a key item that cannot be overlooked. All the essential items have to be packed early enough in preparation for the baby. There are two essential bags. One for the baby, which contains most of the baby's items that he or she will use after delivery, including a camera to take the cute photos of the baby. The second bag is for mom, which will contain most of the clothes and essentials to use while at the hospital. There's no harm in sneaking some of your music or movies if required, which you may use after delivery. You can have a checklist packed in each bag to confirm all the items during this time.
11 Charging your camera battery
Every moment of the pregnancy term from conception to delivery is very special. One of the things that captures the moments clearly is the camera. You can use your smartphone, or camera or taking videos of the different stages of your pregnancy like taking pictures of every moment, like the first baby bump, baby movements, progressive bump, the day of delivery and post delivery. However, if you require to charge your equipment, it would be good to plan for emergency chargers to be part of your hospital bag essentials. It will help to have the camera, or whichever device you may choose to use, fully charged, and also ensure to have backups.
10 Pre-registration at the hospital
Being prepared for the baby's delivery is quite a task. No matter how much you prepare, you may still feel like something is missing. While ticking the pregnancy checklist, your doctor may recommend that you include hospital pre-registration as well. Hospital Pre-registration has a lot of advantages to expectant moms, and it works to your advantage if you do it early enough. Early pre-registration helps you to decide on the type of room you want, your prefered hospital, and where required, you can book more than two just in case your physician is in a different listed facility. It also helps you to coordinate well with your insurance prior to the due date. This may relieve some pressure from you, as you concentrate on other matters.
9 Stocking up on household supplies
Stocking up for household supplies would be a good idea while you are in your third trimester. It gives you more time to ensure all is in place, and you are able to give more time and focus on delivery the baby and recovering. Beyond household supplies, you may also stock up on baby supplies which will come in handy the first days when baby arrives home. It is more convenient to stock up early since it may be frustrating handling shopping lists while trying to juggle mom-time at the same time. for some of the perishable items, you may choose to buy a longer expiry date and chill them, or have them delivered a few days before returning home. You can coordinate with your family or relatives to have some of the perishables stocked up before you return home.
8 Finalizing child and pet care
When you have a large family and you are almost due, looking for the right caregiver is very important. They shall be taking care of your family while you and your spouse are away. At this point, you can take some time to look for good child care or pet care until you are able to manage around the house after delivery. You may be in the hospital for quite some time, depending on the delivery procedure, and you may wish to have your pets looked after while you are away. You may also choose to have your relatives watch over the children or pets which leaves out the anxiety of constantly checking up and gives you more time to focus on recovering.
7 House spring cleaning
Clutter! Clutter! Clutter! That is the last thing one may need to see in a home where the baby is about to arrive. Everything at this point is given a hawk's eye, just to ensure that there's no loophole. One needs to ensure that the house is clean and everything is in place. From the baby items to the baby room, the kitchen and its items, all the sitting areas to the drapes, no stone will be left unturned until the house is clean. However, the process of cleaning the house can be tedious at the same time, it would not be advisable to use chemicals to clean the house at this stage. It would be good to get some help in cleaning up or hire services at this stage so that you are not strained or drained while you stay protected from any harmful products. Also, the laundry can be clean and kept in order in preparation for the new baby. This will give you more time to prepare for other unchecked items as well.
The moment that every mom knows will come, but is least desired, is finally here with us. Contractions have never been the best experience for any mom. It is not a walk in the park. Then there is the Braxton Hicks Contractions, just before the main contractions. You probably have heard of false alarm contractions from other moms, or it is your second experience, but Braxton Hicks contractions are teasers which tell you of what to expect. Some moms may experience them at the second trimester, but they are very common in the last. So brace yourself, but keep your physician informed so as to keep track of the pregnancy and advice you on what to do at this stage.
5 Baby takes up the amniotic sac
Somersaults and all the 360-degree movements are soon coming to an end. The baby is finally taking up space in the amniotic sac and feels a little cramped-up. Your baby is now 36 weeks and counting or so, and weighing pretty much more than when you first began. The amniotic sac has been the baby's safety net for the past weeks and counting. It protects the baby from infections or harm as well as provides shelter throughout the pregnancy term. Also, during the last trimester, you can be able to monitor the signs of labour. However, it is advisable to keep monitoring the baby's movement and contact your physician in case there is a reduction on the same. You can have a snack and wait for some time, of which the baby will begin moving and you monitor the regular movement. Keep a record of the same, which will guide you in identifying if it has reduced the number of kicks as it used to.
4 Baby might turn head first
After twisting and turning, the baby is about to arrive at any moment. After several visits to the doctor, your baby seems fully developed and it is expected that the baby's head will have turned downwards towards your pelvis awaiting delivery. As the baby's head faces downward, they could be in a posterior or anterior position or breach. However, not all pregnancies may take the normal direction. Some babies do face breach where either part of the body, limbs, or their rear end may be the first one to face down. At this point, the physician has to make a decision on how to handle the breach.
3 Baby’s toenails grow
There is so much that goes into the baby's development. There is having a proper healthy diet, drinking lots of water, prenatal supplements to boost the mother's health system and help in the baby's formation, exercising and much more. All these go into the development of the baby's features and ensuring the baby and mom are healthy even after delivery. When the baby is born, it looks like every part of their body was there from the beginning, but most of it develop with time. The baby's features are clearly seen after 38 weeks into your pregnancy which includes fully grown toenails. The toenails' length reaches to the tip of their toes and baby may not mind a minor pedicure after delivery.
2 Baby’s chest is prominent
The baby's physical features are now visible and in the last stages of development. The brain activity, fetal posture and movement, organs and other physical features are keenly monitored to ensure that all is well by the end of the trimester. At every stage of pregnancy, the doctors will check for any irregularities in the baby' chest. It is a prominent feature that will help the baby breath and circulate blood and oxygen to the body. During ultrasounds or other regular checkups, the baby's heartbeat and the rate are measured, as well as monitoring of the lungs. If the amniotic fluid is decreasing, it means that the lungs will be affected and the baby will end up having infections. As the baby swallows the amniotic fluid, it communicates the functioning of the baby's diaphragm, ability to breath and digest. Therefore, it is very important to follow the entire prenatal program to track both the baby and the mother's physical progress.
1 Your due date arrives
From the time of conception, the doctors have given a tentative date of when the baby is due. You have carried with you that date with the desire of going full term. However, sometimes when we are expecting the baby to go the whole mile, things may not go as planned and the baby decides to come at its own pleasure. Some may come weeks earlier, just after the 24-week safe period, while others may decide to come a few days after the due date. However, any sign of danger for both mom and baby should be communicated to the physician for further direction. At this point, mom's body communicates its preparedness to deliver a baby, and the baby communicates its time to leave the womb. Well, as you await the arrival of your baby, with all the preparations in place, hospital team preparations and prayers made, just relax and allow nature take its course; you will make a great mom.
References: cdhgenetics.com; whattoexpect.com; healthline.com; babycenter.com; senioradvisor.com; hidethecookiejar.com; thebump.com; mayoclinic.com; whattoexpect.com; medlineplus.gov; americanpregnancy.org; pampers.com; verywellfamily.com; ehow.com; ncbi.nlm.nih.gov; pennmedicine.adam.com