Your baby is now about 20 inches (51cm) long in total and weighs about 7.5 pounds (3.39 kg) at the start of the week—and about 7.8 pounds (3.56 kg) at the end of the week. Fully developed now, your baby is ready to leave the safe haven in your uterus. Almost all the vernix has faded.
Normally, the umbilical cord is cut some two to three minutes after delivery (for healthy, full-term babies). Also known as delayed cord clamping, this allows more blood to transfer from the placenta to the baby. The placenta normally comes away within the first hour after the baby is born. Your baby’s head may be cone-shaped after pushing through the birth canal. It will return to its round shape within the first 24 hours.
Pregnancy hormones may affect the newborn baby, resulting in swollen nipples in both boys and girls that may contain tiny quantities of milk. The reproductive organs may also be affected, and result in swollen labia in girls or a swollen scrotum in boys. This is completely normal and goes away over the first few days.
You’ll soon be meeting a little brother or a little sister! You may be in your last week of this pregnancy—if you give birth around your due date, that is. Only about 5 % of all babies are born on their estimated due date, so expect to give birth on your due date plus/minus two weeks.
If you need to be induced, it will be done at the birth center/hospital around week 41+0 – 42+0. This differs a little depending on your healthcare provider, and how you and your baby are feeling. Occasionally, labor needs to be induced earlier for medical reasons. Which induction method is used depends on several factors and an individual assessment is always done ahead of any induction.
It can take more than one day before the body even understands that it should start labor, so remember to pack plenty of patience in your bag if you are induced. Some good movies and yummy treats are a good idea too.
If you had a vaginal delivery last time, it’s usually an advantage for induction since your body will remember what it’s expected to do—initiate labor—and it might make it a little easier to start your contractions.
In order to maintain your focus during childbirth, try to envision the first time your older child will meet your little one. It is one of the most special moments in our lives.
You’re encouraged to see your midwife or doctor for a postpartum visit about six weeks after delivery. You need to schedule this appointment yourself and we highly recommend that you make time for this visit. At your postpartum appointment you’ll talk about your delivery as well as your emotional adjustment. During your physical exam, your provider will check your weight, blood pressure and signs that your body is returning to its pre-pregnancy state. If you like, your midwife can do a pelvic exam and make sure that any tears and ruptures have healed properly. She or he will check your tummy for tenderness and healing of c-section incision if you had one.
You will have the opportunity to talk about contraceptives. Breastfeeding does not provide 100 % protection against a new pregnancy. If you have any questions ahead of your postpartum visit, contact your midwife earlier.
Did you know that we also monitor your baby for the first 24 months? Once your baby has arrived, enter his or her birthdate in the app. A new section is then activated where you can access loads of information about your baby up to the age of two. Among other things, you will receive monthly updates on your baby’s development, both mental and physical, as well as supportive information for you as a parent.