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Welcome to your Third Trimester (part 17) - Kicks and hiccups

- 9 Bad Habits That Can Cause Miscarriage
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
You are 29 Weeks and 4 Days 73 days to go…

Your baby is cushioned in a sac of amniotic fluid, which surrounds her until your water breaks and you go into labor.

Your baby today

In this image a hand is held up to the forehead and, to the right, part of a foot can be seen. The groove between the nose and the upper lip is visible and the nose has the characteristic “button” shape. It looks cramped in there but there is still room to move.

As your uterus has enlarged throughout your pregnancy, the amniotic sac has expanded to accommodate both your baby and the amniotic fluid. From now on, however, the sac will grow by simply stretching rather than forming new cells.

The amniotic sac is formed from two distinct layers or membranes, an inner “amnion” and outer “chorion.” The chorion originally had a blood supply of its own, but this has now been lost. The thinner amnion is able to slide over the chorion as your baby pushes against it. Neither layer contains nerve cells: this explains why it’s not painful when your membranes rupture or “water breaks.” Combined, the layers are only 0.5 mm thick. Collagen fibers in each layer allow for a great deal of stretch—this is vital in these final months to avoid early rupture of the membranes. Indeed, the membranes may be so resistant to rupture that they don’t break until the final stages of your labor .

In addition to holding in the amniotic fluid and providing a barrier to possible infection through the cervix, the membranes contain substances that form prostaglandins. Prostaglandins play an important part in the initiation of labor. This is one of the reasons why labor often starts when the membranes have ruptured.

The only reliable way to discover the sex of your baby is to have a diagnostic test, such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.

Even ultrasound can be wrong. And despite the common belief that the size and shape of your belly indicate gender, these are in fact determined by your muscle tone, your baby ‘s position, and your weight gain.

… Dads
Kicks and hiccups

By now, it’s possible to see and feel your baby moving, often with kicks and punches. This may happen more often in the evenings, when your partner finally gets to sit down and relax. Watching your baby’s movements can be a great way to bond with her, and with your partner.

Your baby will respond to your voice, to music, and may even jump at unexpected noises ; it’s impossible to say whether this is because these noises are enjoyed or because they’re irritating.

Your baby will also hiccup sometimes and you have a better chance of feeling her moving while she’s hiccuping than any other form of movement. This is because hiccups occur over prolonged periods of time, while kicks and punches can be fairly random.

Your baby may have several episodes of hiccuping in a day, or only one or two—you will both be able to feel these as a series of light, rhythmic movements.

You are 29 Weeks and 5 Days 72 days to go…

Regardless of your size—and that of your baby—nature won’t let her grow too large for you to be able to give birth.

Your baby today

The lip shape and groove between the nose and upper lip are particularly well shown here. If you or your partner has a prominent groove, or philtrum, above the upper lip, your baby may too, or she may inherit characteristics that are somewhere in between.

Your body shape isn’t an indication of whether you’ll have an easy birth. The size of your hips is not always a good indication of the size of your pelvis so having slender hips doesn’t mean you’ll have a difficult birth, and having larger “child-bearing” hips doesn’t mean you’ll have an easier birth.

What is known is that, although how big your child will be is determined genetically, women have an extra influence on the size of their babies while they are in the uterus. So, even if your child ends up growing to 6 ft (1.80 m) tall, if you’re small you’ll limit how big she gets in the uterus. This makes sense—if you’re small, you wouldn’t be able to deliver a hefty 12 lb (5.5 kg) baby, so your body limits the baby’s size at delivery. Your baby will then catch up on her expected growth after the birth.

There’s a condition called cephalo-pelvic disproportion in which the baby is too big or the pelvis is too small for the baby to engage. An MRI scan will be performed to get exact measurements.

As you marvel at the size of your belly, you may be concerned about how you’ll ever deliver your baby. But don’t worry—nature is on your side.

… Doctor
Q: What will happen when I go for a gestational diabetes screening?
A: You’ll be given a very sugary drink and asked to wait for an hour, after which your blood will be tested. If your levels are high, you’ll have to take a glucose tolerance test, which is similar, but longer. If you do have gestational diabetes, you will be taught how to test your blood sugar at home. You’ll likely be able to control your condition with diet and exercise.

It’s reassuring to know that most women who have sugar in their urine have normal blood-sugar levels in the glucose test.

A support network

After giving birth, your body will spring back into shape overnight; you’ll be bursting with energy and raring to go. That’s one scenario! The other—more realistic—possibility is that you’ll find yourself struggling to get breast-feeding established and to brush your teeth before lunch time. If you don’t like living in a mess, act now to prevent resentment (and the laundry) from building up in a few months’ time.

  • Talk to your partner now about how you’re going to split the chores once you’re parents.

  • Your “job” will be to nurture your newborn, so you’ll need domestic backup, if possible, particularly during the first few weeks. Recruit helpers (family and friends; or pay professionals if needed). Delegate so that you won’t have to think about shopping, cooking, or cleaning.

  • New parents need their own space, so it’s never too early to arrange for some babysitters for a few weeks after the birth. If you’re breast-feeding, you’ll need to express your milk.

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