Your Baby This Week
Nearly 21 inches (53 cm) long and weighing in at 6 pounds (3 kg), your baby is rapidly approaching her birth weight. You may notice your "belly" seems to have dropped and may seem slightly smaller. That's because your baby has dropped lower in your pelvis, relieving some of the pressure on your abdomen.
While she may still move around a bit in the weeks to come, generally she'll settle comfortably in the lower part of your uterus. In the meantime, baby's brain tissue continues to develop, and finally, the lungs and respiratory system are nearing maturity.
Your Body This Week
Well there's no getting around it--you're feeling like you're carrying a beach ball! Driving will become more difficult, as will sitting in the front seat of a vehicle; going up and down stairs will start to feel like climbing a mountain! Even though you have a few weeks to go, your weight may stabilize around this time, so you won't get much larger. Stay off your feet as much as possible to minimize swelling and cramping, and rest when you can.
You will probably visit your health care provider on a weekly basis now--a sign that the delivery day is drawing near. Although your appointments will be frequent, they'll also be short; bring a list of any questions you have, particularly about labor and delivery.
Make a Plan
As with any aspect in life, you have choices when it comes to labor and delivery. By now, you've decided whether to go with a doula, midwife or doctor. And you've probably decided whether to have whether to have an epidural or deliver naturally (though sometimes baby makes that choice for you, doesn't she?). There are plenty of other choices you can make: Who will attend the birth? Do you want it videotaped? Do you want to wear a hospital gown or your own clothes? Do you want to be induced or allowed to progress naturally?
Start thinking about your birth plan. Here's a list that can help you and your partner decide what you want in a birth plan.
More Ways to Unwind
This may be your last chance to catch up on some much-needed sleep and relaxation before the diapered cyclone hits. This is very important for your health, so you and your loved ones need to find ways to make your rest and sleep time a priority. Full-blown meditation exercises, listening to music, or something as simple as getting extra sunshine can do wonders for your attitude, blood pressure, and ability to get a good night's rest. Learn some of these relaxation and meditation survival tips.