Your growing baby is running out of space inside you! Good thing that the little resident is planning to come out soon. And we mean really soon. In fact, your baby’s head is getting into position in the narrowest part of your uterus, i.e. near the exit! 95% of babies are born with their heads coming out first. By now, your baby has already swallowed a lot of amniotic fluid, the fluid that surrounds and nourishes every fetus. This is actually what leads to your baby’s first bowel movement after birth. Just in case you were wondering!
Have you noticed a dark line going down the front of your stomach? During the last trimester, this line forms down the middle of your belly, as if to divide it in half. This is what’s called the linea nigra, which becomes darker thanks to the hormones that prepare your body for childbirth. It can be seen most clearly right after you give birth, but will completely disappear only a few weeks later. Another change is that as your womb expands, it might press into your tummy and cause your belly button to stick out. This might feel a little uncomfortable, especially when your clothes rub against the soft skin of your navel. Soothe this sore spot with a drop of conditioning oil. Rest assured that your belly button will go back to its original position after birth.
Worried that you’re gaining too much weight? That’s normal! Just remember that you and your child need to put on sufficient weight to stay healthy during the third trimester. But if you’ve been gaining more than one pound a week, it’s best and safest to consult with your doctor. Excessive weight gain during the last weeks of pregnancy may be linked to a problem with hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, which in turn can be triggered by too much work! Be sure to rule this out by scheduling a check up with your doctor. Don’t try to cut out all the sugar and carbohydrates from your diet just to lose weight – that won’t be good for you or your baby. Better to enjoy a balanced diet in moderation.
Around the 8 month mark, some women experience a tightening of the muscles that feel a lot like contractions. That's not only possible, but right on time. These pre-labor contractions are called Braxton-Hicks contractions, and they last about 30 seconds each. They’re not actually the real thing, but your body’s smart way to “exercise” your uterus for childbirth – kind of like a dress rehearsal for the big day! Even though they’re not a sign of early labor, however, it’s always good to report contractions to your doctor, if only to get some reassurance that you and your baby are just fine and right on schedule.
Wondering what happens next? Click here to know what Week 34 has in store for you!