So this is it, the final furlong. As your bump grows day by day your pregnancy finally feels very real – there’s definitely a baby in there preparing to make its entrance into the world! As baby grows from around 36cm long at 27 weeks to about 50cms at week 40, space becomes a little tight. His or her limbs are constantly either poking up through your bump or battling for space with your internal organs. There’s no denying it – the third trimester is an uncomfortable one!
You’re not alone
As you prepare for baby’s imminent arrival you may be experiencing a mixture of emotions: excitement, fear, anticipation, anxiety. There will be lots of questions going around your head about the birth and looking after your newborn. But don’t worry – there’s plenty of help, support and advice out there for mums-to-be and new mums. If you haven’t already, now may be a good time to join your local NCT group and meet others who are feeling just the same as you (you can find your local group here: www.nct.org.uk/branches) and if you have any worries you can always ask your midwife. They’ve been through this process many, many times so there’s unlikely to be a question or concern that they haven’t come across before.
From 27 weeks your baby is beginning to open its eyes and can distinguish between day and night. It is even developing taste buds and you might notice that if you eat spicy food baby gets hiccups! It’s a funny sensation as you feel baby hiccupping inside you but don’t worry, this won’t cause any harm and they will pass quickly.
It can be reassuring to know that if for any reason you go into premature labour during the final trimester your baby has a good chance of survival with the help of special medical care. Their lungs will not yet be fully developed but can function with medical assistance in a special care baby unit, where they will be well looked after by caring professionals.
During the last month baby gains around ½ a pound a week in weight, as it ‘fills out’ and prepares to make its entrance. It won’t be not long now! As there’s a lot less room for wriggling you’ll find that baby’s movements become less acrobatic, but it’s important that you still feel regular movements. You may be encouraged by your midwife or doctor to ‘count the kicks’ each day, just to make sure everything’s fine in there.
Your beautiful bump
Your bump is now shapely and round and, although you may not always feel it, you’re looking great! This is a perfect time for a bit of you time with a pregnancy photoshoot as a lasting memory of the beginnings of your motherhood journey www.kayoliverphotography.co.uk/MATERNITY. Maternity photoshoots can be carried out however you feel comfortable – on your own or with other members of your family; fully clothed or with your bump on show – it’s entirely up to you. They’re usually best to be done between 32-36 weeks, but please remember to book in advance to guarantee availability.
Making an entrance
You’ve probably read a lot about birth, been to birthing classes, watched TV programmes, talked to friends and your own mum, written a birthing plan, and packed your hospital bag – but in truth, how your birth is going to go is still unknown. Birth is a very individual experience and every woman has difference preferences for how and where they want it to happen. The medical professionals who will help you have seen it all before and will support you in whatever choices you make, so if you have clear ideas on what you want or don’t want make sure you express these.
The ‘due date’ has been marked on your calendar for the best part of nine months and you’ve been looking forward to this day with nervous anticipation, but it can often come and go with no ‘twinges’ whatsoever, leaving you feeling more than a little frustrated! Ultimately, it’s up to baby when and how it decides to make an appearance. It may be cooperative and go along with your plans or it may have ideas of its own! However your birth goes just keep focused on the end goal. Very soon, you will have your new baby in your arms…