You are 36 Weeks Exactly 28 days to go…
All pregnant women need support in the final weeks, but if you’re single this can be even more important.
You may notice a change in the character of your baby’s
movements, reflecting the reduced amount of amniotic fluid and,
consequently, space to move around in. Each movement is more likely to
be felt, however, as he touches the side of your uterus.
Your baby today
Whether you’re single by choice,
or have unexpectedly found yourself in this position, you may be
experiencing mixed feelings about the weeks to come. There is no doubt
that going solo involves extra responsibilities and worries, but with a
little help from your close friends and family, you can make these final
few weeks of your pregnancy positive.
If you’re concerned about
going into labor alone, line up a close friend or family member who is
on call at all times. He or she might want to get permission from their
place of work to take leave to be with you should you go into labor.
Keep yourself busy before your baby arrives, planning plenty of
activities during your maternity leave.
Don’t be afraid to ask
people for help with shopping for last-minute baby buys or getting your
home ready for your new arrival. Most people will be delighted with the
honor of being asked to keep you company, and helping you get things
take care of yourself: get organized by preparing meals you can freeze
so you have plenty of healthy food in store for the weeks after the
Throwing a baby shower
to celebrate the imminent arrival is a great opportunity to get together
with the girls. Arrange it yourself, or ask your best friend to do the
honors. Note to best friend: surprise parties are great, but consider
whether the mom-to-be will want to be the center of attention.
At your baby shower you’ll probably receive lots of gifts. It’s common for there to be presents for both mom and the newborn.
A pampering theme: the guests could give each other manicures and pedicures, or you could even hire a beautician for the afternoon.
Chipping in together to buy the mom-to-be something useful, such as a car seat, or indulgent, such as a relaxing day out at a spa.
Games you could play, such as inviting guests to guess the baby’s sex, weight, and date she’ll be born.
Refreshments: Champagne, non-alcoholic drinks, nibbles, anda “birth” day cake.
Your 37th Week
You’re now about as big as
you’re going to get. Soon—maybe this week—the baby will drop down lower
into your pelvis, ready for birth. Your belly may shift downward, too,
giving you a different shape. This doesn’t necessarily mean that labor
is imminent, so don’t worry about the baby “falling out.” You’re likely
to still have some time to enjoy maternity leave and get organized.
Your belly may look as though it’s started to slide downhill
You are 36 Weeks and 1 Day 27 days to go…
You’re in the home stretch now, and may start maternity leave soon. This can be a relief, but also a time of mixed emotions.
When scanned, this baby was lying with his back to his mother’s.
This “back to back” position is common at this stage but becomes less
so as the pregnancy continues. Your doctor will be able to feel for the
position of your baby’s back from this point on.
Your baby today
Going on maternity leave is a significant pregnancy milestone.
As you leave your working role, the reality of beginning your role as a
mother may hit you—but you hopefully have a few more weeks to get used
to the idea!
It can be a
welcome respite to take it easy and not have to rush around in the
mornings, and you’ll feel less tired by not having to travel to work.
Although you need to take it easy, it’s a good idea to plan some
outings, since not having a routine can take some getting used to.
Although it’s good to stay in touch with colleagues, try not to fall
into the trap of logging on to work emails or staying up-to-date with
what’s happening at work. You might be worrying about losing some of
your identity while you’re on maternity leave; this is a common feeling
but you’ll find that before you know it your leave is over and you’re
settled back into work again.
Try to enjoy this lead-up to the birth and make the most of the time (see Making the most of maternity leave) to get organized and prepare for your new arrival.
When your baby drops
Engagement is when your baby’s head starts to move down into the pelvic brim
in preparation for birth, and this can occur any time in these final
few weeks of pregnancy, until the start of your labor. In the last weeks
of pregnancy, your doctor will check to see if the head has started to
engage, or drop, sometimes called “lightening.”
Your doctor will do an
examination to check to see where the baby’s head is. This is called the
station, and it’s measured from -5 (the baby’s head is floating above
the pelvis) to +5, the head is at the opening of the vagina. This last
stage is called crowning.
When your baby drops,
you may find it easier to breathe, since your lungs will have more room
to expand, or the need to urinate more because of more pressure on your
Will I feel different when my baby drops?
You will feel lighter, in that your breathing will be easier,
with more room for your lungs to expand. Your abdomen may seem smaller,
with your belly shifting down and forward, as your baby’s head enters
the birth canal. With pressure on your bladder, you may need to urinate
more. You may also experience some pelvic pain.