From the moment you bring your baby home from the hospital, you begin to undergo more life changes than probably ever before. As your baby's life begins, a new life also begins for you. As countless others have told you, "your life will never be the same again".
The first 6 weeks following your delivery is still part of the childbearing cycle. Called the postpartum period, it brings many changes as your body adjusts to a non-pregnant state.
There are a number of changes that take place in your third trimester of pregnancy. It's time to get to know them!
As you look ahead to your baby's birth, you'll want to begin thinking "safety". While a newborn infant can't get into much on his own, there are still many hazards and accidents that can injure the baby.
Even though you can't plan the exact day or time to give birth to your baby, unless of course our doctors and nurses have established a schedule for a Cesarean birth or induction, you can control preparation for the trip to your hospital that will make the journey less stressful.
If your pregnancy is progressing normally, you probably will be visiting our doctors and nurses every other week during this time period. At 36 weeks gestation, your provider may schedule weekly visits until your baby arrives. At each visit you can expect the routine:
- Your weight measured
- Your blood pressure taken
- Your urine analyzed
- Your abdomen measured to check you baby's growth (fundal height)
- Your baby's heartbeat listened to
- A vaginal exam may be done at each visit to:
When should you call the midwife or doctor when you're 33-36 weeks? Find out!
Your baby's skin is pink to reddish in color and is smooth. The body is continuing to fill out. The sucking and grasping reflexes are strong. At about 34 weeks, a substance that is necessary for the lungs to function (surfactant) is steadily produced.
What happens when you arrive at the hospital? How long will labor last? What can I expect after baby is born? Knowing what to expect when it comes time for labor and delivery can help ease any anxiety you may have about the birth process, especially if this is your first baby. Reviewing these facts will help, as taking advantage of childbirth classes.
For many months, you have visited your midwife/doctor with a list of questions. Now you arrive with one more question; "Will this prenatal appointment be the last?"