Pregnancy Week 28
Welcome to all the moms-to-be in their final and third trimester! You all are getting bigger day by day but still not big to feel too clumsy. You are still energetic enough to do your daily errands on your own. However, may be by the end of the day, your feet and ankles may be swollen and you feel like getting into the bed immediately.
Those unlucky women, who were bearing the nausea and vomiting till now, can hope to get some relief in this trimester.
Though there would be many changes in and out of your body, your trimester would be filled with excitement, curiosity and eagerness to meet your baby.
Growth and Development of Baby
With this week, your baby has reached last trimester of his life in womb. He or she is weighing around 2 ¼ pounds and measures about 14.8 inches in length from head to heels. From last few weeks, baby was showing sluggish growth but now, he has picked his pace again. The fact is evident with his plump ultrasound image.
The baby is continuously packing on more fat so as to look like a complete baby you dreamed of. He is feeling warm and safe in his watery home thanks to the downy hair lanugo and waxy coating vernix.
Though, quite immature at this stage, babies born during this week have fair chances of survival provided kept under proper intensive care. This care may last for few weeks to months.
The lungs are attaining maturation with the continuous breathing practice through amniotic fluid. Blood vessels are developing throughout both the lungs to carry oxygenated blood to the whole body. Thousands of neurons are developed now which are giving a heightened sense of awareness and processing ability. The enzyme system and endocrine system is also progressing. Though being soft, the bones are fully developed now.
You must be noticing hard kicks, rolling and stretching your baby is doing to strengthen his muscles. As you read in the last week that baby’s eyes are open now, he is busy in blinking, looking around and investigating his small sweet home. Shining a bright light at belly may cause your baby to respond through kick as if he is saying, “mumma, please switch it off, I am sleeping in here”. This is just another skill of his repertoire which includes coughing, sucking, hiccupping and breathing activities.
Baby’s sense of hearing is getting stronger and efficient day by day. He can now very well recognize yours and your partner’s voice very well. Now beware of what you are saying, someone is listening you!
You must be startled by the fact that as you get weird and vivid dreams, your baby may be busy dreaming about you.
Unlike the soft and smooth brain that developed initially, today’s brain has proper grooves and indentations which reflect the maturity and development progress.
Did you imagine your baby to be bald or with lush hair? Well, babies show differences in this case as some come completely bald while others have thatch of hair. Whatever it would be, it will be decided in this week only.
Changes in Mother’s Body
Welcome mommies to the third and final trimester of your pregnancy! Now you will be making fortnightly visits to your doctor. Make sure you do not miss any visit as with every visit doctor monitor yours and your baby’s development and health. Apart from this, your health care provider will be continuously looking out for signs like infections, pre-term labor, pre-eclampsia or any other complications of pregnancy.
Some women have Rh negative blood type which can be harmful for baby. So, to ward of this danger, these women are given anti-D injections to prevent formation of antibodies. By now, you must have gone through glucose tolerance tests to check for gestational diabetes. As we told you earlier that it occurs in any week from 24th to 28th. If you haven’t already completed that, this week your doctor would definitely ask for the same. The test can either through a finger stick or through complete blood drawn from nerves.
Besides these medical tests and analysis, your body is facing lot of changes and challenges. Let us discuss what all they are:
Stretch marks: The gift of pregnancy-pink, red, white streaks on your abdomen, buttocks, hips and thighs may bothering you for some time. Well, these marks are like a gift of pregnancy which almost every woman has to bear with except a few lucky ones. Amy creams and lotions advertisements claim to prevent them from spreading but there is no proven way out there. There can be only one benefit of applying these lotions and that’s you won’t feel dry and itchy. The stretches appear due to stretching of collagen fibers in the middle muscles of abdomen by the pressure of the growing uterus. See your mother’s belly, if she has got one, you surely will get them. It has lot to do with genetics.
A little you can do to lessen them is try to have a steady gain in weight. This will prevent sudden stretching of fibers and thus marks would less prominent there.
First milk: Your breast may be prepping up to breast feed your baby through the production of an early form of milk, colostrum. This is yellow colored thick fluid which is quite rich in antibodies. Some women may not experience it till delivery but if this is your second pregnancy, you surely will be getting it a bit earlier than that.
Sciatica: With upcoming of third trimester, comfortable phase of your pregnancy is gone. Along with bearing the hard baby kicks, you will be awake in the nights due to sciatic pain. As the baby grows, he puts his weight on the sciatic nerve of lower part of spine which results in sharp, pain, tingling or even numbness in your buttocks and legs. This is actually a very intense pain which may linger till the birth of the baby.
Weight gain: Most of the women must have gained around 17-24 pounds by now. In the next three months of your final trimester, you will be gaining another 11 pounds. However, women may be above or below this average. In both the cases, women have difficulty in labor or are likely to delivery low birth weight baby or go into preterm labor.
Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction: As you already know that ligaments of your pelvis are relaxed due to relaxin, you may experience instability in your pelvic joint. You may help yourself by wearing a pelvic support belt which keeps the pelvic joint in place.
Apart from these major changes, there are several other problems you will face like:
- It is becoming tougher to do squatting and bending. With uterus acquiring most of your space inside, you may not feel like exercising. However, continuing with your exercise is extremely important in this week as it helps in easy delivery. Ask your doctor for a comfortable fitness regime that can help you with your problems.
- Heartburn and indigestion are still accompanying you and may do so till the end. This is due to the sluggishness of stomach and gullet muscles. This causes digestive acids move into your mouth and gullet causing a burning sensation.
- Your bulging and growing belly may be putting extra pressure on your blood vessels because of which there is less blood circulated in the brain. This makes you lightheaded, dizzy or even faint at times. Drink plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated.
Practicing Birth Positions
Birth positions are those positions which make you feel supple and alleviate your back ache. Practicing them from now will help you when you will be under severe labor pain. These positions will help you get some relief from the strong labor contractions.
There are different positions to be attained during different situations. Let us discuss them all.
- Take help of cushion and pillows to rest your forearms and head while sitting on the chair.
- Lean against your partner with your arms around his neck and head on his shoulder.
- Getting down on knee.
- Sit on a birthing ball rocking forwards and backwards.
- Kneeling on your hands and feet on a large cushion or pillow and leaning against a chair or some person.
- Lying on your left with full body bolster.
- Rocking pelvic backwards and forwards thus easing your pain through distraction.
- Practice squatting which is supported by the partner under the arms. This will help in better opening of the pelvis.
Some Important Tips to Consider
- To ease your sciatica pain, you can use heating pad, warm tub, some mild stretches and a simple bed rest.
- During this semester, your baby takes away majority of your iron. So, make sure you nosh on iron rich foods which include cereals, spinach, beans, tofu, beef, etc.
- You may feel some tender lumps on your breasts. Until and unless they are not painful and are small it’s okay. But if you sense something wrong, ask your doctor for breast examination in your next pre-natal visit.
- If your budget allows, think about investing in a comfortable chair. This will be needed in this trimester and even after baby. The chair should be comfortable enough to get in or get out easily without any stress. It should have well placed arm rests and good lumbar support. A foot stool with it will be the perfect combination.
- Loose fitting, large size or stretchy waist bands clothes won’t work now. You have to invest in some maternity specific dresses having cuts and designs keeping pregnancy belly in mind.
With the start of this trimester, you must realize that your baby is getting bigger and smarter with every passing day. He or she just needs few more finishing touches to be the baby of your dreams.