You are 35 Weeks and 5 Days 30 days to go…

It’s a good idea to make practical arrangements now for what might happen if you go into labor.

Your baby today

Many babies will still have a good volume of amniotic fluid around them, but shadows from the placenta or side of the uterus, coupled with the curled up fetal position, will make imaging the baby harder and harder.

With only around four weeks to go, now is the time to make sure you have all your partner’s contact details and know exactly how to get hold of him in case you go into labor when he’s at work. He might want to be extra careful to ensure he has his cell phone switched on and at hand in these final few weeks, and that he’s not traveling too far away.

If you have other children or other dependants (pets, for example, a dog) then you should arrange what will happen to them when you go into the hospital. You may want to explain to any older children what is going to happen so that they are prepared for when they go to stay with Grandma, or whoever will be taking care of them. If you’re having a cesarean, you might also want your older children taken care of once you’re home from hospital.

Reassure your children that you will be coming back and that you’re not sick, but that you have to go to the hospital when the baby comes. Depending on the age of your children, you could go with them to buy a present for the baby or you could give them a special job such as opening all the new gifts. Presents from the newborn to her elder siblings is also a good gesture.

In the lead-up to the birth, ensure your toddler spends time with any family members who will be taking care of him while you’re in the hospital. This will help him manage without you without getting upset.

In one study of women who anticipated that they would not need pain relief, 52 percent actually used it.

According to recent research from NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence), women underestimate how much giving birth will hurt, and don’t find out enough about the pain-relief options available .

… Doctor
Q: My baby was premature and is in the neonatal intensive care unit. I’m trying to express milk—am I helping?
A: Yes, very much so. Breast milk helps ensure that the mother’s natural immunity is passed on to her baby via her milk. Since premature babies are more prone to infection, expressing your breast milk is a great way to help your baby while she is in the NICU. Breast milk is much easier for a baby to digest: this is important for premature babies since their digestive tract may be less developed than a full-term baby’s.

This is also a great way for you to bond and develop a relationship with your baby. It’s likely to be a time of considerable stress for you and you may feel helpless, so knowing that you’re doing such a great thing to help your baby will help enormously.

You are 35 Weeks and 6 Days 29 days to go…

Complex developments are taking place in your baby’s lungs that will enable her to breathe unaided once she is born.

Your baby today

Most babies will now be positioned longitudinally (lying straight up and down, with their head well in the pelvis). Even now, when space is limited in these final weeks, there is still time for the position to change to head down if your baby is bottom first (breech).

The blood flow to your baby’s lungs mirrors the development of the airways. Blood leaves the right side of the heart through a one-way valve into the main pulmonary vein. This then divides to give a pulmonary branch to each lung, and also a duct that allows blood to bypass the lungs and travel to the body directly. This will close soon after birth as the lungs expand and their resistance to blood flow falls.

Because your baby doesn’t use his lungs for gas exchange in the uterus, the blood supply to them is quite small—only 10 percent of the post-birth supply. At this stage of pregnancy, the lungs’ blood supply has completed its development, branching into finer and finer vessels as they come to lie closer to the alveoli.

When your baby is born, her chest is compressed in the birth canal and this helps to push the fluid out of the lungs in preparation for that incredible first breath. If your baby is born by cesarean, she will need first to bring the fluid up by herself. This is not a problem but for this reason the first breaths of a baby born by cesarean can be full of mucus.

Items for your hospital bag

Make sure you have all the items you need for your hospital bag. Remember to include items for yourself as well as the baby and, if you know you’re having a cesarean, pack enough items for a few days.

Your partner should also get a bag ready for himself  and ensure the car seat is installed. Pack snacks and drinks closer to the time, but think about what you might need.

Start figuring out now what you’ll take to the hospital, since you won’t want to be gathering items together once you’re in labor.

For yourself:

  • Pajamas

  • Underwear

  • Nursing bras

  • Slippers

  • Dressing gown

  • Hairbrush

  • Toothbrush

  • Toiletries

  • Maternity sanitary pads

  • Breast pads and nipple cream

  • Comfortable loungewear in case you stay in and want to get dressed.

For your baby:

  • Undershirts

  • Footed onesies

  • blanket

  • Diapers

  • Diaper bags

  • Cotton pads

  • Diaper cream, such as Desitin

  • Baby wipes if you intend to use them

  • Hat and cardigan for going home—you can also use the cardigan if your baby needs layers to keep warm while she’s in the hospital.

Other useful items:

  • Camera—still camera and/or video camera

  • Music for the delivery room

  • Books and magazines

  • Massage oil

  • TENS machine

  • Washcloths.

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