by Shannon Bartlett
Your baby's close to five pounds now and may have nestled down into your pelvic area if this is your first child.
Whew! You can breathe so much better, but the baby's pushing and shoving on your bladder now so you're running to the bathroom a lot more.
The pelvic pressure triggers extra Braxton-Hicks contractions, and for some moms, those trigger excitement or anxiety. They say it feels like their baby could "fall out" any minute. Does that happen to you?
Most likely, it will be a few more weeks -- and a few more prenatal appointments -- before you're holding your sweet new baby. What can you expect at your 36-week appointment?
Action Item List
During the last month, you'll probably see your midwife or doctor once a week. Your body's getting ready for birth and your baby's preparing for life outside the womb with extra fat layers, a waxy substance called vernix to protect the skin and lung development.
At your appointment, you and your partner will be making important decisions about the upcoming birth and getting acquainted with the entire prenatal team. This is the time to ask any and all questions you haven't had a chance to yet.
• Grab your list of concerns. As your baby grows and birth gets closer, you probably have questions and worries. Jot those down. Then bring your list with you or text it to yourself.
• Schedule your next prenatal visits: You'll probably come in every week. You can probably schedule the visits for the rest of your pregnancy.
• Bring along requested information: Did your midwife or doctor asked you to note your contractions or baby's movements? Track those with our pregnancy.org2go!™ mobile app or in a notebook.
• Group B Strep screen: Between 35 and 37 weeks, your midwife or doctor will swab your vagina and rectal area. This swab will be checked for GBS. The test doesn't hurt and doesn't have any risks to you or your baby.
• Monitoring your baby's well-being: You might be offered a non-stress test, a bio physical profile, a contraction stress test or an ultrasound to see how your baby's doing.
Routine Visit Checklist
• Blood pressure check and urine test: Unusual results can signal a complication such as preeclampsia.
• Current weight: You'll probably won't gain much more weight, but continue eating healthy foods that nourish your body and your baby.
• Uterus size: Your fundal height in centimeters corresponds closely to your week of gestation.
• Baby's position: Has your baby flipped to head down? If not you'll discuss options for turning and birth.
• Fetal heart rate: Depending on whether your baby's asleep or moving around, the heart rate can be faster.
• Talk time: You'll have a chance to talk about what's bugging you and last week concerns.
Questions to Ask
Should you be this tired? Can you hop on the plane to go to your cousin's wedding? How will you know the contractions are the real thing?
Sleep's hard to come by during late pregnancy. Don't lose a precious minute while concerns fly through your head. Jot all your questions down. Are you worried about what you should worry about? Other third trimester moms shared these questions.
• What will happen if my Strep B test is positive?
• When should I quit at work?
• Are there warning signs I need to look for at this point in my pregnancy?
• Should our baby boy be circumcised?
• Will you attempt a breech birth?
• What helps with hip pain?
• What are the real signs of labor?
• Can I donate my cord blood?
• Have you reviewed my birth plan?
Take advantage of the practical, thought-provoking and entertaining resources on early pregnancy we've gathered up.
Whether you'd like a peek at your baby's development, wonder what's happening with your body or want to meet up with others sharing this stage of pregnancy, we have what you need.
Tools to Use
• Find out what's happening each day in your pregnancy!
• Your baby may groove to the rhythm of music. Studies with heart rates show that babies also prefers some types of music to others -- already! See what else is happening on the fetal development front.
• Pregnancy Videos
You can print out this article, jot down your own questions, concerns and notes and bring it to your appointment to share with your healthcare provider.