Your baby is now about 18.9 inches (48 cm) long in total and weighs around 6.6 pounds (3 kg) at the start of the week—and around 7 pounds (3.17) kg at the end of the week.
Your pregnancy is now considered to be complete. Your baby is rapidly gaining weight and all internal organs are fully developed.
By this time, you are probably feeling pretty heavy and tired if your sleep is interrupted. You might well be tired of being pregnant and looking forward to finally giving birth. Hang in there! You’re almost there. You could be experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions, which is when the uterus tightens and then relaxes. These contractions can be painful, like menstrual cramps or more severe.
If you had a vaginal delivery last time, the Braxton-Hicks contractions might be so strong that you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve gone into labor. Things will calm down after an hour or two. It can go on like this for a few days before labor starts for real. Your uterus is practicing for the job that lies ahead—welcoming another baby to the world. Consult your midwife or physician if you have questions or thoughts about these contractions. Take some time for yourself—sleep or rest as often as you can. Listen to relaxation exercises since relaxation can help you to both fall asleep and later during your delivery. You’ll find the exercises under Play.
More of the hormone oxytocin is released when we feel relaxed. This hormone has several functions. For example, it stimulates the uterus to contract when labor starts and it’s the hormone that stimulates the flow of breast milk while breastfeeding.
It also plays a crucial part in bonding with your baby. Having peace and quiet around you once your baby is born will increase your body’s release of oxytocin and help when you start breastfeeding. Allowing yourself to enter your “baby bubble” gives you the chance to get to know your baby and interpret baby’s signals more quickly.
A nice thing to do with your older children is to pick out a toy or a blanket to give as a present to their little brother or sister. And why not a little present to the big brother- or sister-to-be?
You might recognize the odd tingling/prodding sensation in your vagina as the baby’s head pushes against the muscles in your pelvic floor, and occasional discomfort when you sit down too quickly on a chair. You may also notice an increase in milky discharge.
Your baby could arrive at any time now. You can help with all the practical arrangements such as making sure your partner’s hospital bag is packed with all you might need. This includes hygiene items, comfy clothes and maybe a granola bar or something else you like.
Listening to music can be a fantastic experience when you’re giving birth. What about creating a playlist together?