Your baby is as long as stalk of Swiss chard. Because he's running out of room in your uterus, he mostly stretches and wiggles, instead of delivering big kicks.
The umbilical cord begins passing antibodies to your baby in preparation for delivery. By stockpiling antibodies, your baby will be better prepared for the disease and germs he'll encounter outside the womb. Your baby's senses are also getting more time to hone their burgeoning skills. He can hear and recognize your voice. Once he's born you'll be able to see him turn his head in your direction when he hears you speak. He knows his mom! Along with his hearing, his eyesight is improving each day. His fingers are also becoming more coordinated. He can grasp his face or toes. And after birth he'll be able to grab onto your finger.
Sometimes your doctor or midwife will ask for a test to check how well your baby is doing. One indicator of your baby-to-be's well being is a measurement of the amniotic fluid. This can also be part of a test called a biophysical profile, which will also include watching the baby's various movements. In this image, the sonographer is measuring the deepest pocket of fluid in each of four areas of your uterus. As you can see, your baby is getting a bit crowded in there!Read More
Sex might be the last thing on your mind now, but some experts believe it's beneficial and most agree it's harmless. At this point, your cervix is engorged with blood and feels sensitive, so you may see a little spotting after sex. If you notice persistent spotting or bright red discharge, though, call your doctor.
Your baby could arrive any day now. Exciting, sure. Terrifying? Yes, definitely. But no matter how scared you might be, you're way better off knowing as much as you can about D-day. So remember: No one knows exactly what sets off the big event, but somehow your body knows when your baby's fully cooked, so it starts releasing chemicals (called prostaglandins) that thin, soften, and dilate your cervix. When produced in large amounts, these prostaglandins will trigger your uterus to start contracting, or making involuntary muscle movements to push your baby down and out. (At some point, your water will break, too, but this is more like a side effect of labor than an actual trigger.)
Welcome to Week 37 of your pregnancy—and eek! Your baby is almost here. This has probably dawned on you no less than 30 trillion times in the last week and you might be starting to feel that panic over what this parenting thing will really be like—and how you'll really feel that week post-birth (will you even know what to do with a baby?). In this episode, we get real about what that very first week back from the hospital will be like, and we're not holding back...