The third trimester seems like the longest, right? By 32 weeks pregnant, you can be forgiven for being less than enthusiastic about your pregnancy and more anxious, scared, nervous and excited for your life with a baby. Rest assured that you really don't have long to go, and that every extra day your baby is tucked up safely in the womb is an extra day he or she gets to hone essential skills needed for the outside world.
With just 8 weeks remaining, you may feel more like you did in your first trimester than in your second. Constant aches, worry, even morning sickness may return with a vengeance. Unfortunately, all these symptoms are completely normal and they're likely to stick around until you deliver. Remember, if you get any unusual symptoms such as painful cramps or very swollen legs, get yourself checked over.
Baby: What's Happening?
At 19 inches and coming up to 4 lbs in weight, your baby and your uterus have well and truly taken over your torso! Your stomach's squashed, your bladder's squished, and there's more of that to come! Try to embrace it. Remember, if your baby doubles his or her weight between now and D-Day, he or she will be more than prepared to enjoy life outside your womb.
Around now, your baby should be figuring out the position he or she is most comfortable in, and fortunately the position most babies choose is the optimal birthing position. That is, head down and ready to descend through the pelvis, and bum up in the air, preferably against the front of the stomach. Your Midwife will check this position at any antenatal appointments you have from now on.
If your baby has his or her bum towards your back, you'll still be able to have a natural birth, although any contractions you feel may be in your back rather than your stomach. This is known as a "back-to-back" birth and is renowned as being particularly painful, but it's no more dangerous for you or your baby. In some cases, Midwives may try and encourage Baby to spin around just to make things easier for you when the times comes.
If your baby is more comfortable with his head up and bum down, don't worry. It's known as the breech position and sometimes it's easier for breech babies to be born via caesarean section. However, as big as your baby may seem now, he or she is still small enough to turn over in your uterus. Your Midwife may give you some exercises to try that could encourage naughty Baby to flip.
You: What's Happening?
It's starting to feel like a scene from Alien, right? Your baby is so cramped in there that every little movement he or she makes has a big impact on you. Whether it's an elbow in the ribs or a foot pressing on your stomach, your little one is certainly making sure Mom doesn't forget he or she is in there!
Feeling tired, nauseous, leaking from your boobs? Normal! How about leaking....down below? It's not particularly pleasant, but around now you may be noticing a drastic change in discharge. Some women find an increase in egg-white discharge, while others find theirs to be very watery. You may even think your waters have broken (it's always best to get checked if you're not sure!). Discharge is normal, but if there's any strange smells do pop along and see your Doctor as thrush is a very common complaint during the third trimester.
Watery and egg white discharge is one thing, but how about thick, yellow-green mucus? Yes, it's truly disgusting, but it's an important part of the impending labor! From the start of your pregnancy, your cervix has been covered by a mucus plug that's protected your baby from infection. Around now, some women may start to lose a bit of their plug in preparation for labor. It's common to see some small bits on the toilet paper and it doesn't mean anything is about to happen, so don't panic!
Got a breech baby? Don't worry! There's plenty you can do at this point to help junior get into a more optimal position for birth. Up until 37 weeks of pregnancy, there's a very good chance your Baby will have enough room to move about.
Firstly, try getting yourself into that same position you want your baby to be in: head down! Don't worry, this doesn't mean headstands, but it does mean being a bit more flexible than you've perhaps been over the past few weeks. Try kneeling on a low sofa and extending your arms to the floor, but never ever try it without some assistance! Swimming, yoga and some time on the birthing ball are also good options.
If exercises are just a bit too much for your aching body, try placing a bag of frozen peas at the top of your belly. It sounds ridiculous, but it really can help! Baby won't like the cold and may try and turn his or her head away from the cold patch! Voila!