This will be the shortest “Baby Development” update of all time – your baby is ready to be born! No new developments, just you and your baby waiting for the big moment to come. Don’t worry if the little one seems reluctant to leave your cozy womb even after the 40th week. Only a very small number of babies are born on the exact, calculated due date. Firstborn children, particularly, have a tendency to show up a bit late. Your baby is allowed to rest for up to 14 days before your doctor induces the birth.
This is the last “official” week of pregnancy, and your body knows it! It’s as ready as it’ll ever be for labor. But did you know that birth is just as much a physical achievement for the baby as for the mother? Your child plays an active role by kicking against the uterus and birth canal (i.e. the passage from your womb to the outside world), and twisting around in such a way that it slowly “screws” its way out of your body. Talk about smart and helpful! Your baby’s head is also designed in such a way that its two top bones – known as the cranial bones – haven’t fused together yet. This way, they can squeeze together during birth to make it easier for the head to pass through.
You’ve been eating so well for the past nine months, and your baby’s healthier because of it! Try to maintain a balanced, nutrient-rich diet even after you give birth, especially since you’ll be breastfeeding. But this week, you’ve earned the right to indulge in a treat or two. Enjoy a bit of that chocolate or ice cream you’ve been craving so badly. Eating your favorite food is a great way to naturally boost your mood.
Immediately after birth, your doctor will most likely lay your baby down on your chest. This is so that your baby can feel your warmth, smell your skin, and recognize your familiar voice and heartbeat. Studies show that skin-to-skin contact between mother and newborn has numerous health benefits for the baby. It also makes it easier for babies to latch on to their mother’s breast and get the hang of breastfeeding. Nothing will beat the feeling of holding your baby in your arms for the first time. All the hard work you’ve put in over the last nine months has paid off! And gazing into your little one’s precious face, you’ll know that every second has been wonderfully worth it.
Congratulations and best wishes on your new life!