Making the drop.
If your baby is a boy, his testicles are
now descending from his abdomen into his scrotum. Occasionally, one or
both testicles fail to move into position before birth. In this case,
your baby's testicles will probably drop before his first birthday. If
your infant's scrotum seems large right after birth, don't worry: the
swelling is due to extra fluid and will go away in a week or so.
Your baby is moving around less frequently, mostly
because of the cramped quarters. Of course, it may not seem as if he's
settled down-now that he's so big (about 2 kg -about 4.5 pounds- and
about 46 cm – 18.4 inches- long), you can feel even the slightest
movement. In fact, since your baby is right up against the wall of the
uterus, you're probably getting good at guessing which body part (foot?
elbow? arm?) is protruding.
"Guess what colour my eyes are now?" Regardless of the
eye colour your baby will end up with, right now his eyes are blue. The
pigmentation process in his iris won't be complete until his eyes have
been exposed to light for several weeks after birth. His final eye
colour may not be evident for years.
Is it show time?
With only a few weeks to go, it's a good
idea to know the signs of labour. Labour is different for every woman,
but the most common symptoms are regular contractions that occur at
increasingly short intervals, lower-back pain accompanied by
menstrual-like cramps, a broken bag of waters (rupturing of the
amniotic sac), or a blood-tinged mucous discharge, which may indicate
that your cervix has started dilating. Be aware that the presence of
any of these symptoms doesn't necessarily mean that you're in labour.
You may have signs of labour days or even weeks before you actually
give birth. Let your GP or midwife be the judge; if you have any of
these symptoms, call him or her immediately. To learn more about the
signs of labour, click here.
Finalizing your birth plan.
Most likely you've done some research
and thought a lot about how you want your labour and birth to go-which
family members you want present, whether you want pain medication, and
so on. You've probably also discussed your wishes with your doctor or
midwife. Now is a great time to go over your preferences again with
your midwife to refresh her memory and to make sure you're both still
on the same page.
From the experts.
You may find that as your breasts enlarge, the
stretched skin becomes itchy. "You might want to try a soothing lotion
on them, one without perfumes," suggests Dr. Elaine Zwelling, "Vitamin
E ointment, cocoa butter, or a purified lanolin balm will work well