What’s happening this week
- may feel an ache in your abdomen caused by the baby bouncing around inside
- could find yourself wanting to eat more – good nutrition is still very important
- may be plagued by constipation – make sure you drink plenty of fluids.
- is going through a fast and furious phase of brain development
- may begin to open his or her eyes
- may suck a finger or a thumb
- measures about 25 cm from head to bottom – but if the legs were extended (they’re tucked up while inside you) could measure nearly 38 cm long.
Around now you may need to move to maternity clothes, even if you’ve managed with stretchy skirts and trousers so far. This week we also look at pelvic joint pain and backache, and continue with some things to think about for your birth plan…
Pelvic joint pain
Pregnancy hormones cause the joints in your pelvis to loosen – it’s part of your body’s preparation for labour. For some women this becomes painful. Talk to your LMC. Since the problem is caused by pregnancy hormones, it does usually clear up quickly after the baby is born.
Thinking ahead: birth plans
In New Zealand every maternity provider is legally obligated to formulate and use a care plan for each of their clients. A care plan ensures that all aspects of care are fully discussed, questions answered and gives the woman/family members an opportunity to know what may be discussed at the next antenatal/postnatal check. The Care plan should be written down, and updated as necessary. A copy should always be in your maternity notes…..if you change carers, your care plan goes with you. Before you start on your birth plan:
- gather all the information you need – from this guide, from antenatal classes, talking to other women, talking to your LMC…
- talk to your labour partner about his or her ideas on the best ways to approach the labour and birth;
- read your maternity unit’s leaflets to find out what’s on offer.
Here are some topics you might like to include (you don’t have to include all of these, just the ones that are important to you):
LabourChoice of birth companion:
Say who you want to be with you; will they stay all the time or leave for certain procedures?
Choice of carers:
Is it important to you to have only female staff caring for you during labour? Do you need an interpreter or someone to sign for you?
Say if you want to move around during labour. Do you want beanbags and floor cushions in the birthing room? Do you want to use a birthing bath for pain relief?
If you have a disability, write down what kind of equipment you will need and how the staff can help you. If you have particular religious or cultural needs, write these down.
Coping with pain:
(see our pain relief pros-and-cons chart on Week 28).
This is the place to think about assisted deliveries (see Special Deliveries, Week 36) and caesarean sections (see Week 31).
After the birthBaby:
Would you prefer your baby to be washed before being handed to you? Or do you want to have the baby delivered into your arms? (See Week 31 for more about the benefits of early skin-to skin contact.)
Brothers and sisters:
Do you want them to come into the birthing room to see the baby straight away?
Do you want to breastfeed your baby and not want him given any bottle feeds?
Do you need a special diet while in the maternity unit?