Big day preparations continue you for you and for Baby as the baby watch is officially on.
Your Baby in Week 38 of Pregnancy
The changes that Baby might go through this week are rather small, but still significant. At the most, Baby has four more weeks in their personal little palace (labour will be induced at 42 weeks if it does not occur naturally, a little like a forcible eviction!) and so they are going through the last few changes that will fully prepare them for their new home. Their lungs are producing more surfactant, a substance that stops the air sacs inside the lungs from sticking together once Baby begins taking gulps of air in the outside world.
Right now they are still taking gulps of amniotic fluid, some of which will make its way into their intestines and make up, along with waste cells, their very first bowel movement after birth.
Your Body in Week 38 of Pregnancy
By now most Mum to Be’s are experiencing a little leakage, in the form of colostrum, a thin, yellowish discharge that is the precursor of breast milk. This is very special stuff – it has more protein and less fat and milk sugar than the ‘real’ breast milk that will come later, and has been specially engineered by your body to provide just the right kind of nutrition to get Baby through their first days on the outside. It is also packed with extra antibodies to give Baby’s blossoming immune system a bigger boost when it needs it most, as they (and their little bodies) begin to get used to the real world.
If you do experience leakage now is a good time to break open that first package of breast shields and get used to that brand new nursing bra. If you do not however don’t panic. Your body – and its milk supply – should swing into full action by the time Baby is ready to eat.
As Baby is sitting quite low now, as previously mentioned, eating and breathing should have become easier for you. Take advantage of that fact – and of your last few days without Baby – by heading out to a local restaurant and treating yourself to a really nice (but still healthy) meal.
Tips for the Thirty Eighth Week of Pregnancy – Stock that Freezer
In the movies and on TV new Mums are often portrayed as domestic goddesses, happily feeding Baby while whipping up delicious dishes for dinner for everyone else in the house. Then, Baby sleeps at just the right time so that Mum can enjoy her meal in peace without a hair out of place.
Godzilla is more realistic than this picture perfect scene. The fact is that in the weeks (months) after Baby comes home getting the chance to take a two minute shower and run a comb through your hair is a major achievement, so actually cooking a meal is a bit of a miracle.
To avoid having to serve cereal for dinner every night (and there may still be days when you do) stock up your freezer with pre-prepared, easy to microwave meals now. Soups, stews and casseroles all freeze well so you can burn off some of the nervous energy you probably have right now by doing a little cooking. You might also want to spend some time programming the numbers of a few of your favorite takeout restaurants into your speed dial and pinning their menus to the fridge.
There IS an App for That
So, the simple fact is that most of us have our smartphones close at hand almost all of the time and allowing them to assist us in almost every aspect of daily life is becoming second nature to many of us. So therefore, the fact that there are more than a few apps designed to assist in the labor and delivery process (or at least in the early stages when you can still pay some attention to such things) should come as no real surprise. Here is a little about some that can actually be very useful.
There are a number of contraction tracking apps in the iTunes Store and Google Play, but for iPhone users this is certainly the best one that I have seen in action. You have known for months that timing your contractions is something that you will need to do but when it comes to actually doing so it can be tough to keep a decent count.
The app has an easy ‘tap to time’ interface and automatically creates an easy to interpret graph of your last ten contractions so you can see at a glance how quickly (or slowly) things are progressing. You can then email that chart to anyone, including your doctor’s office.
This app is as cute as heck, but it will also save your partner a lot of time as well as prevent any quibbles about who got informed of baby’s arrival before who, something that, if you are first time parents, you will find can become quite a bone of contention among your nearest and dearest.
The interface is designed to look like the front page of a newspaper. Before the big day make sure that everyone who wants to be in the know right away (ie everyone you know) is in your contacts and fill in some of the standard information – your names, the hospital name, baby’s sex if you know it etc. and then when Baby arrives Dad can just snap a quick picture, fill in the other important parts – time of birth, weight, Baby’s name if it has been decided – and then hit send. Everyone will get the good news at exactly the same time so no one feels slighted and you can spend a little more quality time together as a family before the outside world starts interfering.