Check out what happened with your baby's development last week
. Ups and downs.
Your acrobat may be standing on his head now: Most babies settle in the head-down, or vertex, position by this week. Ideally, he'll stay put until you give birth. But remember, your little one has a mind of his own—he might decide to change positions several times before he's born. You might feel him jostling into place as he flips, especially if he does so late in your pregnancy. As full as it gets.
The amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus right now—about two pints—makes it fairly easy for your baby to switch from head up to head down. Over the next eight weeks, the amount of fluid will decrease as the amount of baby increases. Measuring up.
Your baby weighs between 3.5 and 4 pounds and measures about 17 to 18 inches stretched out.
Your Pregnancy Let the ribbing begin.
Ouch! As it gets more crowded in your belly, you may feel your baby's toes or elbows poking you in the ribs. It's not as fun to play "guess the body part" when said part is wedged up under your rib cage. Try lying on your side or changing positions to coax her into moving. Double up the checkups.
When you reach 32 weeks, most health care providers will want to start seeing you every two weeks instead of just once a month. Among other things, your provider will be on the lookout for signs of infection, preterm labor, or preeclampsia, a complication of pregnancy. Delivery drill.
If you haven't already, sign up for a tour of the hospital where you'll be delivering. (If you're taking a childbirth course organized by your hospital, a tour of the hospital may be included, so check first.) The tour will typically take you through the labor and postpartum rooms and acquaint you with registration and intake procedures and paperwork. Knowing where to go and what to do ahead of time will prevent a last-minute scramble when you're in labor. Dads: Map out and travel two different routes to the hospital. Doing your homework in advance will keep you cool under pressure. If you encounter an unexpected delay on the big day, you'll already be familiar with an alternate route. School days.
Your childbirth course should be starting around now. A good childbirth course
will cover the stages of labor, pain management techniques, medications, and the usual hospital procedures. Be an active participant in your childbirth classes—ask lots of questions, and feel free to talk about your hopes and fears. Don't forget to bring your partner so he'll be as prepared as you are when the moment arrives and will be able to support you fully. If you're a veteran of childbirth, consider taking a review class to keep you in top form. From the experts.
It's what got you pregnant in the first place. But when a baby is on the way, sex can be a cause of concern for some couples. "Your uterus does contract during an orgasm," says Elaine Zwelling, R.N., Ph.D. "But these mild contractions are not dangerous, nor are they a sign of labor." Click here
to find out more about the effects of pregnancy on sex...and the effects of sex on your pregnancy.