Coronavirus: pregnant women urged to take extra caution by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
You feel increased pressure in your lower abdomen and may have severe back pain. On the other hand you could also have bursts of energy. There is likely to be a lot of vaginal discharge. If there is a small blob of mucus, it is likely to be 'show'. It is natural to feel anxious - when am I going to deliver?
At this stage -
“All new mothers are offered a thorough physical examination for their baby within 72 hours of giving birth. The aim is to spot any problems early so that treatment can be started as soon as possible. Usually, nothing of concern is found. I know that my son’s eyes, heart, hips and testicles were examined.”
“I was frightened of going to the toilet at first because of the burning sensation! I then drank a lot of water and the stinging sensation I was feeling went. I was also constipated for the first few days.
There was some bleeding from my vagina. It was heavy at first and took a few weeks to decrease. The discharge turned brownish before stopping. I also got stomach cramps similar to period pains. I had a normal delivery and did not need stitches because I did not need to have an episiotomy."
It can be boring and you may be frustrated – you have waited for so long and can’t wait any longer for the big day! Rest assured, your body is preparing for the big day just as your baby is – the cervix (opening of the uterus) is dilating.
There’s a chance you might meet your baby this week! Most women go into labour between 38 and 42 weeks.
Baby has swallowed some amniotic fluid (the fluid in the sac) and that will be his or her first bowel movement.
“ At this stage, loose bowel movement is nature’s way of making enough room for baby to emerge. After months of feeling constipated it's just the opposite now! Your baby could be born any day! At this point I was asked to drink lots of water and eat lightly.”
“Swollen feet or oedema affects about 75% of pregnant women and usually starts around week 22 to 27 of pregnancy and stays until birth. Mild swelling is harmless and normal. However, if there is excessive and persistent swelling and your blood pressure has gone high contact your doctor immediately.”
He or she is now big enough and mature enough to survive the outside world. Baby could come into the world any day!
“There are several signs that labour might be starting – contractions, ‘show’ that is when a mucus plug comes away, your waters breaking and a lot of back ache. Most women go into labour within 24 hours of their water breaking.”
“The majority of women don't have an episiotomy. In the early days it was quite common practise believing that it could make delivery easier or to prevent tearing during delivery.
In some cases surgical cuts are necessary, such as, if your baby's heart rate drops and birthing needs to be hurried."
Interestingly, you might feel this urgent need to keep everything tidy, organise the house and clean up. Its normal feelings in preparation for baby to arrive. But don’t overdo it!
Baby looks like an infant with puffy ankles and chubby little legs!
“It’s a myth that nursing comes naturally to mothers at birth! You need to know how to position baby, how to know if baby is getting enough milk and when the next meal is due. There is a bit of trial and error. When you first deliver, you will be producing colostrum, which is a thick, yellowy fluid full of vitamins, proteins and minerals to help your baby ward off harmful bacteria and infections. Doctors will advise that you feed your baby colostrum within the first hour of delivery. Ask your doctor more about
breast feeding. ”
“Antenatal classes help expecting mothers and their husbands with relevant information in relation to keeping healthy during pregnancy, what is best for your baby, how to prepare for birth and to explore any fears that women may have around labour and birth. The information helps you make right choices for you and you also get to meet other expecting mothers and couples.”
Physically, you could be achy especially with sore ribs and getting severe headaches. Also, wanting to go to the bathroom comes with a feeling of urgency!
“A plan that lists which hospital you want to give birth in, who you want to be with you during the birth, and what facilities you'd like to use. You can also ask your doctor what options you have for pain relief, what positions you could give birth in and then decide. In countries with higher chances of maternal mortality WHO strongly recommends hospital delivery.”
“You are having to make and go through many changes during pregnancy for your little one. Your husband can be supportive by also making adjustments alongside you. For example, to quit smoking and drinking alcohol, be more aware of what happens during pregnancy, go to antenatal classes like the Kushal wellbeing workshops and plan for the day of delivery, such as, arranging transport.”
Walking could feel more difficult and you may need to go to the bathroom more frequently.
You may feel less breathless if your baby has moved downwards to ‘engage’. Also, symptoms such as heartburn and acidity could disappear. Don’t be surprised if all your pregnancy
symptoms vanish overnight. It can happen!
If baby is a boy, his testicles will descend into its sac this week.
“You're likely to feel more relaxed in labour and better placed to cope with the pain if you learn and know more about labour. This makes you feel more in control and less frightened. Learn how to relax, stay calm and take deep breaths. There are yoga breathing exercises which can help. Your position can make a difference – try kneeling, walking around or rocking back and forth.”
“Having a light skinned baby based on what you eat or do when you are pregnant is an old wives tale, a myth. Skin colouring or tone is down to genes. Type of food does not make any difference. Just eat healthy and take your prenatal vitamins. Coconut water can help with hydration!”
“I put in quite a few items, which came handy.
“The majority of women don't have an episiotomy. In the early days it was quite common practice to help make delivery easier or to prevent tearing during delivery. Episiotomies may be necessary only in some situations, such as, if your baby's heart rate drops and delivery needs to be hurried. "
You may develop pelvic pain, which can be quite severe. It is not about harm to your baby.
You will be having many vivid and strange dreams and daydreams!
“Baby will try to settle head down and bottom up position in preparation for birth because it is easier for baby to come out head first during birth. Turning into position can take place right in the end! At week 36 when my little one hadn’t taken position my doctor tried to encourage my baby to take position! Sometimes babies come out bottom first or breech.”
“Contact your doctor immediately,
You can keep enjoying your sex life.
The end is in sight now! In two weeks you and your baby will go through a final growth spurt.
“You can still enjoy a healthy sex life and strong connection with your husband. Sex is safe. Try to find a position for sex that is comfortable and satisfying for you and your husband. Lying on your side is often the most comfortable. If you feel pressure on your low back, try tucking a pillow between your knees.”
“A caesarean is a major operation that carries a number of risks, so it should only be done if it's the safest option for you and your baby. Caesareans are either planned or done in case of emergencies. I was anxious about giving birth, so I discussed that with my doctor and he gave me suggestions on how to get support during my pregnancy and labour.”