Day 246, Week 36

Mom at Week 36

In this week your care giver will want to see you every week till delivery. At this stage your baby’s head gets firmly fixed in the pelvic cavity and it is now difficult for the baby to change position. You will feel your abdomen sink lower. This will reduce the pressure in your upper abdomen which will lead to you being able to breathe easier and will also result in the return of your appetite. However the pressure in the lower abdomen will cause extreme pressure in the pelvic area and the need to urinate more frequently which is absolutely common.

You are also thinking a lot about Labour and Contractions at this stage. Labor and contractions go hand in hand. Pain is an outcome on account of the contractions. Labour can last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours especially for first time moms. Let’s talk a little more about the contractions. Firstly what do contractions mean? Contractions mean that the uterine muscle is contracting and squeezing and while doing so it pulls at the mouth which is the cervix is causing the effacement and the dilatation. By the time most moms realize they are in labor, they are already dilated 3 or 4 cms when they reach the hospital. After you reach the hospital the resident ob/gyn will examine you in order to confirm that you are indeed in labour.

Your baby’s growth

The baby is almost fully ready and is now about 49cms long. Your baby in this week will shed most of its covering hair on the body and also the vernex caseosa, the waxing coating that protected the baby’s skin all this while from the amniotic fluid. At this stage your baby is getting ready to enter the world in a couple of weeks

Day 249, Giving Birth

Giving birth is a natural process. Towards the third trimester of your pregnancy your body starts preparing for the moment when your baby would enter the world. Labour and contractions take place before the actual process of giving birth as an indication that your baby its on his way.  For many first time moms, labor is scary. They will describe their perception of birth as scary, painful, nerve wrecking and so on.

When a mom first realises that she is in labor she will be excited, relieved that she has finally gone into labor. At this time the contractions are mild and far apart and many moms may even sleep through this phase.

As labor becomes more active and the pain becomes a little more, mom starts feeling a little worried. She will start to focus and start practicing her breathing exercises and other coping techniques.

Closer to the birth the contractions are very intense. This is when most moms will feel a loss of control and will probably ask for some pain relief. But there is no point in taking any pain medications at this time as birth is just about to happen.

Once the body is completely ready the mom will feel a strong urge to push and bear down. This can also be compared to passing a hard motion. The sensation is unmistakable and mom will be fully aware of the fact that the baby is now ready to come. As the baby’s head crowns she will feel a burning sensation in her perineum as it stretches to accommodate the head of the baby.

As the baby comes thru the contractions pause and mom will feel intense relief and a huge sense of achievement. She is very excited and over whelmed. She is keen to meet her baby and get breast feeding started and at the same time wants to shout from the top of the world that she is a mom.

Day 250, Nutrients while Breastfeeding

When mums begin to breastfeed their baby there are several concerns that arise like – Am I eating the right food? Will the intake of certain food items increase my breast milk, etc? There is also a lot of myth that surrounds these topics too. Let’s look at a few things that a new mom can do while breastfeeding her baby.

Moms do not need to eat a whole lot more while nursing. They do need about 500 extra calories just the same like the third trimester of pregnancy. Make sure you have healthy snacks and water at your bedside since you will be hungry as well as thirsty and since you may be feeding at all hours and for long hours getting up to get your meals may not be possible. Avoid eating a lot of junk food. Contrary to popular belief, eating a lot of ghee and sugar does not lead to more production of milk and it also does not make you stronger. So just eat a healthy balanced diet.

Make sure all food groups are consumed in moderation. Eating cold foods does not mean you would produce cold breast milk or eating foods which are deemed gassy will not cause the baby to have colic. However, if you eat too much of any one food or do not balance your meals then digestion may be a concern. There are no magic foods which produce more milk but there are some traditional foods which have been known to have galactagogue properties. These include fenugreek leaves and seeds, cumin seeds, papaya, oats and edible gum. Do not go overboard but you can include some of these in moderation in your diet. The most important thing to remember is that the more you feed the more milk you will make.

Day 252, Preparing the Hospital Bag

Preparing your hospital bag! Here’s all that you need

Into the last week of your Pregnancy and can’t wait for the little bundle of joy to come into the world and into your lives? This excitement can be quite overwhelming. You must however ensure that you are prepared for the big day a few weeks in advance. Labour can start anytime once you are in week 37 and when you do feel the contractions you do not want to scramble around or stress about your hospital bag. Of course most hospitals will provide everything for the mother for use during labour and even gowns for the stay, so do not worry. Check with the hospital if they will be providing the items for the baby and pack accordingly. Some hospitals insist that the baby items should be from the hospital whereas others will insist that you bring all baby requirements and also arrange to have them washed from home.

Here’s a quick checklist for you:

1) Toiletries- Personal articles like hair brush and tooth brush, mums creams and lotions, undergarments and any other personal effects.

2) Maternity Pads- Mom should also pack maternity pads which are especially designed for post partum bleeding and also help the stitches to breathe.

3) Warm socks- For use during labor the mother will need massage tools, warm socks to help her feet stay warm especially during pushing and birth,

4) Chapstick-  to keep her lips from getting dry with all the special breathing that she needs to do during labor contractions,

5) Others – Camera, wash cloths for hot and cold compresses, an exercise ball if possible to practice labor positions, some music to help relax her and anything else she feels will make her comfortable.

Make sure you complete this checklist and you should be good to go!