Your baby now measures about 13.7 inches (35 cm) from head to foot and weighs about 2.7 pounds (1.26 kg) at the start of the week—and about 3 pounds (1.4 kg) at the end of the week.
The brain and internal organs continue to develop, and the baby is putting on more weight. Your baby is still stretching and kicking, but there’s not as much space to move around now.
You’ve entered the third and final trimester of your pregnancy. You could be feeling completely exhausted and ready to give birth, or you could be feeling fantastic and completely enjoy expecting again—this varies from pregnancy to pregnancy and from day to day.
Your body now needs more energy than during your second trimester to cope with everything that’s going on. During your third trimester, we recommend that you eat two extra snacks a day, such as a sandwich, a piece of fruit and a glass of milk or unsweetened, vitamin-enriched oat or soy milk. A bowl of oatmeal or unsweetened yoghurt/soy yoghurt with muesli is also an option.
You should feel your baby kicking and moving many times a day. Do you have a very lively little person inside you who moves so much that you have trouble falling asleep? Or do baby’s workout sessions wake you up? Your baby already has his or her own circadian rhythm and is most likely to stick to it the first weeks after birth.
Are your thoughts focused increasingly more on the upcoming birth? If you had a less-than-favorable childbirth experience last time, the upcoming birth may trigger anxiety and fears you didn’t know you had. If you are very anxious and afraid about giving birth again, talk about it with your midwife or physician. If your fear is very great, you may see a therapist or pregnancy coach. You will work together to identify strategies that help you to feel as calm and secure as possible.
If you had a cesarean section or a large tear last time, you may need to meet a physician at the birth center to discuss which is the best way for you to give birth this time. If you’ve had two or more cesarean sections, you will be recommended to give birth with a cesarean section this time too. If you do not feel comfortable with that decision, you can raise the issue with your doctor.
A good mental exercise is to write a delivery letter or birth plan—one that you can bring to the birth center. Did you do that last time? If so, you know that you can write down things that are important to you, which can help the staff to give you the very best support based on who you are and what your needs are.
Taking a Lamaze course is an excellent way to prepare. The course will give you the tools you need to be present in the birth. Preparation improves your chance of having a favorable experience.