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 32 of your pregnancy!
Interventions are procedures or treatments done to find, prevent or fix problems. Certainly, some women need interventions in labor. But many hospitals and care providers have rules or tendencies that lead to routine intervention for all women, regardless of their risk or individual situations. Using interventions with women who are unlikely to benefit from them makes labor less safe and more difficult. This week, we'll explore the fourth Lamaze healthy birth practice: Avoid unnecessary interventions.
What's New with Baby
Although the big day is still several weeks away, your baby is preparing for her grand entrance into the world. This includes practicing the movements that are vital to life, such as breathing, urinating, and sucking. Of course, the only thing that your baby is breathing into her lungs right now is amniotic fluid, but these critical movements will be necessary for life as soon as she is born. Sucking is something that babies instinctually do even before birth. However, babies born prematurely may have trouble with the sucking reflex, and therefore have trouble with breastfeeding. Luckily, a premature baby will strengthen her sucking reflex as she grows- and in the meantime, there are nurses and lactation consultants who can assist the mother with building a strong milk supply to provide to her baby. Your baby is now more than 16 inches (41 cm) long and weighs about three-and-three-quarters pounds, or 1,700 grams. He's about the size of an acorn squash.
What's New with You
The wonders of the pregnant body continue! Your pelvic bones are connected by tough connective tissue called ligaments. Your body knows that the process of birth would be easier if this tough connective tissue could be softened a little, allowing the bones of the pelvis to move ever so slightly. To do this, your body produces higher amounts of a hormone called relaxin. The great news is that relaxin helps mobilize the pelvis and eases the passage of your baby through the birth canal. However, relaxin also works on the rest of the ligaments in your body, effectively making all your joints a little less stable. Keep this in mind as you move around now and the first few months after birth. Avoid higher impact activities such as contact sports, and be extra cautious on slippery ground.
Story from a Mama who has been there
'When I gave birth to Gavin, I made sure I chose a hospital that uses a Doppler to check the baby's heartbeat, instead of constant electronic monitoring. I barely noticed when the nurse listened to the baby, and I was able to move around as much as I wanted. It was reassuring to know my baby was doing well, but nice to not have that be the focus of my care during labor.'
'When I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, I felt exactly the same exhilaration I felt when Ben was born. I did it! The feeling of accomplishment I experienced after natural childbirth gave me strength and confidence for years afterward, whenever I wasn't sure I was up to a new challenge. The positive struggle of working with your body in labor and birth can be a reward in itself. And then add the joy of having a healthy baby!'
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TagsBirth Pregnancy Healthy Birth Practice Interventions Lamaze Pregnancy Week by Week Third Trimester