The following information -- and much more -- can also be found in the free weekly email Lamaze Pregnancy Week by Week. Sign up now to receive helpful information for your stage of pregnancy. Subscribers will be given the opportunity to complete a Lamaze Parent Satisfaction Survey after their pregnancy and receive a Lamaze Toys coupon. We want to hear about your birth experience and the impact that childbirth education may have had so that we can continue to make sure parents have the information they need for the safest, healthiest birth possible.
You're in week 31 of your pregnancy!
Birth isn't something you're meant to experience alone. You'll be more comfortable and at ease with a team of people you trust and can draw support from. This week, we'll explore the importance of having continuous labor support. In most cultures, women do not labor alone. Throughout time, women have welcomed other women - mothers, sisters, trusted friends or experienced childbirth attendants - at their births. In recent times, birthing women in the United States also have welcomed the presence and support of their partners. Have you considered who you would like to have at your birth? Explore how to gather your support team.
What's New with Baby
With each passing week, your baby has less and less room to move around. The acrobatic turns you may have felt will slowly turn into jabs and pokes from elbows and feet. Even though space is tight, your baby will not stop moving. He will have definite periods of sleep, but should still be quite active overall. If you feel your baby is having a quieter day than usual contact your care provider. Your little one now weighs about 3.3 pounds or 1,500 grams, and will continue this rapid weight gain for several weeks to come. He's now about the size of a coconut.
What's New with You
Your body has changed so much in the last 31 weeks, and it will continue to do so for the next nine or so. With all these changes, you may find it difficult to be intimate with your partner. The good news is that intimacy in the form of sexual intercourse is healthy, normal and safe for the vast majority of pregnant women for the entire duration of the pregnancy. For women with a history of miscarriage, history of preterm labor/birth, unexplained vaginal bleeding or discharge of fluids, low-lying placenta or placenta previa, incompetent or dilated cervix, or multiples in utero, consult your doctor about the risks of sexual intercourse to your circumstances. Otherwise, as long as you are feeling in the mood, listen to your body and indulge in some intimacy with your partner. Certain positions will likely be more comfortable than others with your expanding belly. Try a cuddle position (both mom and partner are side-lying, with partner lying behind the mom) or other positions where the partner can be positioned behind the mother. Of course, there are many other ways to maintain intimacy in a relationship. Holding hands, hugging, kissing, or even sharing a bath together can be relaxing and enjoyable activities to do together. Be sure to include a few date nights for just the two of you in these final weeks of pregnancy.
Story from a Mama who has been there
'I loved the support I received in labor. My doula was a friend. My birth was actually the first she had attended, as she was in the process of getting certified. She had a way of holding me that made me feel so good. My husband did, too. It was just their calm presence and their belief in me that made coping with labor easy. In some ways, you do labor on your own and I liked that they just let me be strong and let my body work. They were definitely there with fluids to drink and to hold me, but they respected what I needed and where I was.'
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TagsBirth Pregnancy Planning for Labor Lamaze Pregnancy Week by Week Doula Third Trimester Labor Support