At 28 weeks
You’re getting bigger and bigger and your tummy button may turn inside out. There are lots of treats to come in the third trimester (weeks 26-40) which we’ll talk through as the weeks go by in my blogs.
So, how’s it going?
Are you drumming your fingers and feeling a bit like you’re waiting for a bus? The later stages of pregnancy can be like that sometimes! You won’t regret spending spare moments thinking about your birth plan and about the type of labour you want. I’ll come back to this topic nearer the time, but in the meantime mull it over with your partner or if you’re alone with your midwife, a friend or a relative.
Those aches and pains continue – backache, needing to drink lots, needing to wee lots, feeling uncomfortable when you lie down… Try lying on your side with one knee to your chest and the other leg stretched out. A pillow between the knees can help.
You may start to feel the odd Braxton Hicks’ contractions. They’re actually practice contractions that your uterus makes in preparation for birth. Named after the doctor who first described them, most women feel them in the last few months of pregnancy. With one hand on your bump you may feel a hardening and tightening of the uterus that lasts about 25 seconds.
Braxton Hicks’ are NOT the same as real labour – they’re
- much weaker
…so don’t panic or reach for the hospital phone number if you feel a run of them. Instead, use them to your advantage and practise those breathing techniques you’re learning in your antenatal classes.
…and how’s your partner doing?
Making sure you look after your partner’s wellbeing during pregnancy is good for your unborn baby, good for your relationship and essential to your partner’s physical and emotional health. Try these suggestions, but don’t treat her like an invalid!
- Your partner’s hair and skin will look marvellous so tell her how good she looks to boost her self-esteem. Towards the end of pregnancy she may begin to feel bored, uncomfortable and unattractive so encourage her to go out and treat herself.
- Encourage your partner to eat and drink well. Get involved in the shopping and cooking. Adjust your diet in line with the healthy diet she’s eating.
…and your baby?
Down below, more milestones are being reached every week. He can now:
- open his eyes to see and focus
- control his own body temperature
and he’s busy in there…
- laying down fat beneath the skin
- swallowing and sucking
- passing urine into the amniotic fluid – about a pint a day!
By the end of week 30 your baby will weigh about 1.5 kilos and measure 28 centimetres from crown to rump – that’s about as long as a 12-inch ruler. Not surprisingly, he’s moving around less – no more somersaults for him! Your doctor or midwife will now be able to tell how he’s lying just by feeling your tummy.
Something you might like to think about
The benefits of hypnobirthing include less pain, easier faster births with fewer interventions and complications and I’m a keen advocate so ask about it at your antenatal clinic.
So what is it?
Hypnosis is a gentle, effective therapy for lessening the pain of labour and shortening its length. Hypnosis works by suggestion and your practitioner will hypnotise you into believing that you’re able to control the pain of your contractions and therefore you can minimise the pain as a result. And you’ll believe. Hypnotherapy can also reduce the need for obstetric interventions with breech births and can help prevent premature labour. In addition, it can reduce the need for pain relief, specifically pethidine which is known to depress your baby’s breathing.
At each visit to a hypnotherapist you’ll be guided through visualising the experience of giving birth, relaxing, not being anxious, feeling secure, trusting you body and your baby and feeling confidence in your own power to go through your labour to deliver a healthy baby.
You will -
- have a sense of control, by knowing what will happen next
- eliminate fear of the unknown and release any feelings of anxiety you may have about the birth
- imagine the birth going smoothly, easily and naturally, with a wonderful reward – the birth of your baby
- visualise yourself bonding with your partner and baby and recovering rapidly after the birth
- rehearse how it will feel to breastfeed your baby
Bye for now
for more information please visit http://www.dk.co.uk/static/html/features/stoppard/intro.html
Copyright Miriam Stoppard 2012