Mom’s Changing Body
Does your belly feel a bit lighter these days? It's called dropping, lightening, or engagement, and it's common around this time, as your baby settles lower into your pelvis to get ready for her big move outta there. In a first-time mother, the baby often "drops" two to four weeks before delivery. Also at this time, your milk glands are expanding and filling with colostrum, thanks to an increase in the hormone oxytocin. This might make your breasts feel a bit lumpy.
You've probably been wondering how you will know when it's actually, really, truly time. When you feel light twinges or cramps that are regular and strong and coming every four to five minutes for one to two hours, call your doctor. Another signal is a painless leaking of fluid—it means your water broke (actually your amniotic sac rupturing). Even if you don't start having contractions immediately, your baby will need to be delivered in the next 12 to 24 hours to reduce the chance of infection.
What Week 36 of Your Pregnancy is Really Like
Pregnancy Confidential Podcast
New Parent Mistakes—How to Avoid What You Can and Accept What You Can't
Parenting is a tough job—one of the toughest you'll ever have. And, of course, it's rewarding. But entering into the new world of parenting, especially if this is your first, can feel totally overwhelming. First, know this: You WILL make mistakes. Also know this: Everything will be OK. Luckily, there are a few things you can learn now, while you're still pregnant, that will help smooth those initial bumps in the road—whether that's helping you avoid some easy mistakes, or simply knowing when to relax (a little) when the you-know-what hits the fan.
This Week's To-Do List
This Week’s FAQs
What Are the Different Types of Contractions, and What Do They Mean?As your pregnancy draws to a close, you might be obsessing about labor contractions. Find out more about the types of contractions you can expect, how they feel, and what they mean for labor and delivery.