women

Welcome to your Third Trimester (part 51) - Placenta on toast

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

Your 40th Week

Like many moms-to-be, you may have to linger in suspense beyond the “last” day of pregnancy. Without a doubt, the big event is about to happen very soon and it will be worth the waiting, wondering, and worrying. Once you see and hold your baby, you won’t spend much time looking back over the past 40 weeks, but you’ll certainly marvel at the miracle of it all.

NOTE

All the milestones are safely passed and you will meet your baby any day now

You are 39 Weeks and 1 Day 6 days to go…

It’s good to revisit your birth plan at this late stage since you may feel differently now about some of the requests you made.

Your baby today

If you are having a planned cesarean delivery, this is usually offered now—in order to balance the chance of labor starting unexpectedly with that of delivering your baby too soon. It is best for babies to be delivered as close to the due date as possible.

A birth plan is usually filled in earlier in pregnancy, and you may not have given it much more thought since. Now that the birth is imminent, look over it with your partner to figure out whether you’ve changed your mind about anything. For example you may be veering toward a more natural birth or, conversely, you may now be certain you want an epidural. Adapt it as you wish and discuss it with your doctor, if necessary. Since your partner will be your advocate in labor, putting your requests forward to your labor nurses and doctor if you’re unable to express them, it’s important that he understands your wishes and that they’re fresh in his mind.

Remember, though, that you won’t really know how you’ll feel or what you want until you’re in labor, so keep an open mind and be prepared to adapt your plans on the day if it’s in the best interests of your baby’s well-being. Get your partner’s view. Remember that this is a big event for him, too: the moment when he’ll meet his baby for the first time. He may have anxieties and concerns and want reassurance about what his role will be on the day: tell him how you think he can best help you, whether it be a massage or just holding your hand throughout. Discuss how you both are feeling in the preparation for the birth—your concerns, hopes, and expectations.

… Mom
Q: How many visitors can come see the new baby in the hospital?
A: Check the hospital’s policy, but this is generally up to you. If you want your friends and family to come, by all means you can invite them—just be sure to check the visiting hours. Right now, you might think you want a roomful of visitors, but you may change your mind after you’ve been through labor and delivery, so wait to make your decision. You might just want to sleep or spend time alone with your partner and the baby. Remember, too, that young children (other than immediate family) may not be allowed to visit.
Staying close

It can be difficult to think of anything but the birth and meeting your baby when you are this close to the end of pregnancy. Try to focus on other things, too:

  • Spend time with your partner: Enjoy quality time together while it is still just the two of you, before the baby makes demands on your time, and exhaustion sets in. Share your hopes and fears about how your lives are going to change.

  • Make love: you might feel you are too big, or too tired, but it is good to remind yourselves of your sexual relationship. And, you never know, making love could just get your labor started.

You are 39 Weeks and 2 Days 5 days to go…

Your baby’s bones have hardened to a certain degree, but this process will continue right up to the teenage years!

Your baby today

This close-up 3D ultrasound view shows that this baby’s earlobe is particularly prominent. The dark flecks around the ear look like hair, but are in fact shadows (although many babies have hair at this stage).

Your baby’s skeleton has gradually transformed, from soft cartilage to bone, a process called ossification . This process starts in the center of each bone spreading outward. By the end of pregnancy, ossification is complete along the length of each bone but the ends of the long bones and the tips of the bones in the finger and toes remain as cartilage. This is necessary to allow later bone growth as the child develops.

The bones in the upper part of the skull are slightly different, developing from membranous structures rather than cartilage. These do not fully fuse until several years after birth and remain separated from each other by connective tissue. This connective tissue forms areas called sutures and where more than two bones meet, wider spaces called fontanelles. Their function is to allow space for movement or “molding” between the skull bones making it easier for the head to descend into the pelvis during labor. It is also these suture lines and fontanelles that help your doctor determine the position of the baby’s head during labor.

After delivery you will notice that your baby’s head shape is often elongated, but this soon changes as the bones realign back into their usual positions.

This MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan shows a fetus approaching full-term. The baby’s brain, spinal column, heart, liver, and lungs are visible, and the umbilical cord can be seen to the right of the image.

Placenta on toast?

The thought of eating the placenta may turn your stomach, but some women choose to do exactly that. The organ is revered for its spiritual properties, and devotees of placentophagia believe the nutrients it contains, including vitamin B6, will help prevent them from developing postpartum depression. However, the evidence in favor of the health benefits of consuming a placenta is purely anecdotal.

An alternative and less controversial custom involves dressing the placenta with herbs, then burying it at a party to celebrate the baby’s birth: this is thought to be an important bonding ritual for the extended family.

Art is another option: press the placenta against a piece of paper and you’ll get a tree-shaped print. Some cultures use the dried organ to make medicinal herbs.

Not sure how to cook placenta? Well just look online and you’ll find plenty of placenta recipes, from pâté to lasagne, but, understandably, these might not be to everyone’s taste.

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