You are inching your way closer to your estimated due date. This week is your thirty-sixth week of pregnancy. As the days go by you may be starting to wonder if you are ever going to actually have your baby. You may be analyzing every cramp, ache or feeling of wetness. In this week’s newsletter we are going to be discussing just what’s on your mind, signs of labor. We will tell you the things to look for to let you know that you may have started labor. You may know some of the signs and symptoms of labor but may be wondering how to tell the difference between real labor and false labor. We are going to be discussing false labor in this week’s newsletter as well.
What is going on with mom & baby
Baby: Baby’s crown to rump length is around 35 cm (13.8 inches). Your baby weighs about 2850-2950 grams (6.3-6.5 pounds). Over the next few weeks your baby will continue to put on fat. You may notice that he feels a little lower in your abdomen. This is called “lightening”. It is the result of your baby’s head shifting down into your pelvis.
Mom: You may notice an increase in vaginal discharge. This is common during the last few weeks of pregnancy. If you notice mucous tinged with blood, also called a bloody show, this may be a sign that labor is starting.
This week’s Pregnancy Checklist
|Make sure your partner knows where your hospital bag is.|
|Make a belly cast of your belly.|
|Practice lamaze breathing or other pain relief techniques.|
|Some moms like to drink raspberry leaf tea at the end of their pregnancy. (Talk to your doctor first).|
|Have your partner practice timing contractions. Braxton Hicks are great for practice.|
|Take a new belly picture for your scrapbook or journal.|
Signs of Labor
Here are some of the common signs of labor.
Nesting: Many women begin to “nest” right before they go into labor. Nesting is a word used to describe preparing your baby’s nest. You may feel the need to get your house super clean or perhaps you may start cooking lots of freezer meals.
Dropping or lightening: As your baby descends into your pelvis you may notice that your baby’s position has dropped. Sometimes this is obvious and other times you won’t notice this at all.
Cramping or Pelvic pressure: You may notice menstrual like cramping or achiness or you may sense more pressure in your pelvic area. Some women describe this feeling as if their baby feels like she might “fall out.”
Cervical dilation or effacement: As your body prepares to give birth your cervix will begin to thin out and dilate. Your doctor may begin doing cervical checks at the end of your pregnancy. Cervical effacement and dilation are a good indicator that labor might start soon.
Mucous plug or bloody show: The mucous plug seals the entrance to your cervix. You may lose your mucous plug a little at a time or all at once. Some women lose their mucous plug weeks before labor starts. If you notice that you have lost your mucous plug or if you see mucous tinged with blood this may be a sign that labor may start soon. Blood tinged mucous is called a bloody show. Many women have a bloody show shortly before labor begins.
Contractions: At the start of labor you may have contractions that are ten to fifteen minutes apart. As your labor progresses your contractions will become more regular and closer together. You may be advised to call your doctor once your contractions are five minutes apart; however, you will want to consult your doctor for specific instructions on when to head to the hospital.
Water breaking: If your water breaks you may feel a “pop” followed by a gush of water or you may just feel a small trickle. Some women even feel like they have urinated. If you think your water has broken call your doctor right away.