You have now made it to the third trimester!
Well done. Over the next few weeks your baby will put on a lot of weight, in bone mass, muscle and plenty of fat.
You may find that the reality of becoming a parent hits you more strongly as you start to think about the possibility of a premature labour, your birthing options and how a new baby will impact on your life. The thing to remember is to keep calm, well, as calm as you can. The thought of becoming a parent is a bit scary, but also exciting at the same time.
What’s happening this week to you?
• You may find you now need to go to the toilet even more often, as the baby will now be pressing down more on your bladder.
• Unfortunately, you may start to experience some or potentially all of these symptoms: heartburn, constipation, haemorrhoids, urinary incontinence, varicose veins, swelling, and at times, itchy skin.
• Your breasts may begin to leak a thin, yellowish fluid called colostrum — the precursor to breast milk. It’s simply your pregnant body making sure “all systems are go”.
What’s happening this week to your baby?
• Eyebrows and eyelashes are continuing to grow, and the hair on the head is growing too.
• The eyelids are open and the eyes are completely formed.
• Your baby can now open his/her eyes and will turn their head towards the source of any continuous bright light.
• The lungs are now capable of breathing air, but need more time to fully mature.
• The first meconium stool (black poo) is being formed in the intestines, ready to come out sometimes after birth. Let your partner do the first nappy change.
To help you sleep through the night, try tucking a pillow underneath your stomach while lying on your side. Now is a good time to start thinking about what you need in your hospital bag, ask friends and family, and check out with the hospital what essentials they recommend. You’ll find a comprehensive list of suggestions in our Midwife section.