As you begin to have more and more Braxton-Hicks contractions you may begin to wonder more about labor and what it will entail for you. Most women have questions about labor and birth, for example:
- Is this labor?
- When should I go to the birth place?
- How do I time contractions?
- What should I pack?
- Will labor be really painful?
I want to address the last question specifically. About 10% of women will tell you that labor is extremely painful, while 10% of the women will tell you that they experienced no pain. The rest, 80%, will fall someplace in the middle of the two extremes.
Your baby's movements will peak this week then change in quantity and quality. Remember to do your Fetal Kick Counts. Most of the wrinkles are disappearing from baby's face, and there may be a lot of hair! Your baby has put on weight, mostly fat and muscle tissue, bringing the total to about three pounds 11 ounces (1.7 kilograms), and 40 cms or 15.8 inches!
Babies who are born at a younger gestation than this will most likely having difficulties sucking or nursing. This also applies to babies who weigh less than 1500 grams. A good sucking pattern is a sign of neuromuscular maturity.
This week we hear from other readers about what contractions really feel like when you're in labor.
The majority of triplets will be born by now. If you haven't already looked for postpartum help, now is a good time! While the old fashioned thing to do was to have a baby nurse, now there are other professionals designed to help new families, called a postpartum doula. A postpartum doula will help you with all things baby related and home related, whether that be fixing meals, or learning to breastfeed, even taking an older child for a walk. Contact local doulas as soon as you can to learn schedules and prices. Some of these gems even spend the night!
Birth as an American Rite of Passage by Robbie Davis Floyd
A theory book on why birth in the United States has come to the place it is, written by an anthropologist.
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More Pregnancy Weeks:
There will be slight differences in everyone's growth and fetal development. Any problems should be reported to your practitioner.
Photo © M. West