As my body continues to gain weight, I’m starting to plump up into that cuddly little baby you’ll soon be holding in your arms. In fact, if you want to practice holding me at my current size, try picking up four oranges and swaddling them; that’s about how big I am at the moment. I’m also settling into something of a routine. Between weeks 28 and 32, most babies start to develop patterns of rest and activity, although of course, every baby is unique. Some of us love to jiggle and shake what seems like all hours of the day (and night), while others might take breaks at certain, repeated times of day. What can I say, I need my rest as I get ready for birth!
You meanwhile, are probably more sleep-deprived than ever. Those persistent (yet hopefully less painful) somersaults and kicks can mean serious insomnia for already pregnancy-addled moms. One thing I wouldn’t recommend is sleeping on your back. Because your uterus (and me) are so big, we’re actually cramping your diaphragm and reducing the amount of airflow you’ve got access to. In fact, things will be that way until I drop a little further down your uterus in preparation for delivery. Sleeping on your back can further restrict how much oxygen you (and I) have access to. One of the most comfortable and healthy ways for you to try and catch some Zzzz’s is by lying on your side with your legs crossed over one another and a pillow tucked in between them. It’ll help get nutrients and oxygen to me, and help you get a better night’s rest. Bonus! It may also help with those swollen legs and ankles.
With my due date just nine weeks away, you may start thinking about how you want the birthing process to go. Some women are determined to skip western pain medications, while others can’t imagine giving birth without them. Still others may want to try for an all-natural birth, with the option to bring in drugs if things just get too painful or complicated. Ask your doctor or look online, if you haven’t done so already, for a local childbirth education class. You’ll have the chance to learn about all of the pain relief options available to you, along with their benefits and potential side effects. Of course, keep in mind – no matter how prepared you think you are for my arrival, things can always come up that may cause you to change your course or direction.
I know we haven’t talked about it much yet, but it’s okay if you’re a little anxious about the actual labor and delivery. Keep in mind, your body was made to do this. “Just as a woman’s heart knows how and when to pump, her lungs to inhale, and her hand to pull back from fire, so she knows when and how to give birth.” – Virginia DiOrio (Educator Nurse)