Your baby continues to prepare for her grand entrance. Her endocrine system, which is responsible for hormone production, is gearing up for birth.
Your baby continues to prepare for her grand
entrance. Her endocrine system, which is responsible for hormone
production, is gearing up for birth. Your little one will secrete more
stress hormones during birth than at any other time in her life. Once
she's out of the womb, those hormones will help manage her bodily
systems without the help of your placenta. These tremendous changes
demand lots of effort and energy, but she'll be ready.
Your baby's lungs continue to develop,
too, right up until she's born. At the moment, the lungs are still
working hard to manufacture surfactant, a substance that helps keep the
many air sacs from sticking together when she takes her first breath.
Cry baby. "Here goes my first cry!"
that initial deep breath comes a wail worthy of an opera diva. The
sound of your baby crying is a bittersweet experience; while no one
likes to hear a child expressing fear or discomfort, a loud cry means
she's breathing well. Don't expect to see tears yet; her tear glands
won't produce tears when crying until she's a few weeks old. And if
your baby doesn't let out that hallmark howl, don't fret: some infants
don't cry at birth. The important thing is that breathing gets started.
True or false?
You may have already experienced Braxton
Hicks contractions, which are your body's way of practicing for the
real deal. Now that you're considered full-term, it may be difficult to
tell the difference between these contractions, also known as false
labour, and true labour. If the contractions are irregular and go away
when you change position or walk around, you are probably experiencing
false labour. Don't be fooled by the name, though-false labour can turn
into real labour in a matter of minutes. Time your contractions
carefully; once they're at regular intervals and occurring five minutes
apart for at least an hour, call your doctor, midwife, or nurse. If
your waters break, indicated by a leak or gush of fluid from the
vagina, call right away.
The pain domain.
If you haven't already made some decisions, now is
a good time to think about what kind of pain relief, if any, you want
during labour. You have many options when it comes to medications-some
drugs are meant simply to take the edge off labour pain, while others
aim to block as much discomfort as possible. Of course, you don't have
to make any final decisions right now, but you should be aware of the
choices and talk them over with your midwife before the big day.
From the experts.
"There are two main signs that you'll begin
labour within a day or two," says Dr. Elaine Zwelling. "One indication
is the rupture of your bag of waters (amniotic sac). Another red flag,
so to speak, is a blood-streaked mucous discharge-the mucus that has
been plugging your cervix. This is called the 'show'."