You are now officially carrying over 5 pounds of pure, homegrown baby in your belly – about the size of a honeydew melon! With my weight getting closer and closer to my birth weight (although I’ll still likely have a ways to go in packing on the pounds), I’m pretty darn close to being fully developed. My kidneys and liver are both functioning, with my liver getting rid of some waste. Meanwhile my brain is still getting stronger and smarter each and every day – keep up talking to me; I’m very likely listening in on your conversations with friends and family.
Everyone’s heard (or made) a joke about how often pregnant women have to pee. Believe it or not, your uterus has grown 1,000 times its normal size during these last eight months – and it’s seriously cramping your insides. If you have to take constant trips to the washroom (especially during those already restless nights), consider practicing Kegel exercises. Kegels are gentle contractions of your pelvic floor muscles that are also useful during the birth process. And if you’ve had a little accident when coughing, laughing, or even being startled, pick up some incontinence pads for an extra layer of protection leading up to the big day.
With five weeks left and counting, you’ll probably start seeing your doctor more regularly. Don’t be afraid to ask them any of those lingering questions about the labor and delivery process. And don’t be afraid when they run a few final tests on you, including checking for something called Group B streptococci (GBS). This bacteria is carried by up to 30% of women, and while it’s harmless in adults, passing it onto me during birth can cause serious health issues like meningitis or a blood infection. If you do happen to be a carrier, don’t stress. Your doctor will simply administer a particular drug during labor to reduce the chances of me getting sick.
I’m sure you’re so full of love as you prepare for my arrival. Know that I’m just as excited to meet you and the rest of your family and friends. As a mother-to-be, consider that, “Now my belly is as noble as my heart.” – Gabriela Mistral (Poet)