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You're in week 33 of your pregnancy!
How do you see yourself giving birth? If you look at most books and TV shows, you’d assume every woman gives birth on her back, with her knees bent and legs held back, holding her breath to the count of 10. With encouragement and the freedom to move around, however, you’ll find that your body may have a very different idea of how to push your baby out. As with so many of the other things your body tells you in pregnancy and birth, it is wise to listen. This week, we’ll take a closer look into the fifth Lamaze healthy birth practice: Get upright and follow urges to push.
What's New with Baby
Your baby is getting ever closer to his birth day, but he still has a lot of important work to do! Lung development, brain development, and the accumulation of fat stores and maternal antibodies are important achievements for your little one at this stage. The closer to 40 weeks he stays inside your womb, the more he will benefit from these developmental events. Your little one is now at about four-and-a-half pounds, or about 1,800 grams in weight and measures about 17 inches, or 44 cm, in length. He’s now the size of a pineapple.
What's New with You
Your belly has changed your center of gravity, and as your body tries to compensate, you may feel a recurring backache. Take time to rest with your feet up, especially if you have a job that keeps you on your feet. Here are some other tips to try and relieve backaches:
- Try a warm bath, massage, or heating pad to help with the strain.
- Place a pillow between your knees and/or prop pillows behind your back or under your belly when you lie down.
Try getting down on all fours and slowly arch your back, like a stretching cat, then back down, or do pelvic tilts. This helps shift the weight of your baby down into the muscles a bit—a pleasant change from how things rest when you’re on your feet. This position can also be very helpful in labor to relieve back pain and may help rotate a baby who is not yet in the best position for birth.
Story from a Mama who has been there
“When I was pushing, I began by giving a few pushes on a birthing stool to see how it felt. It was very uncomfortable for me, so I moved to a hands and knees position on the couch. That gradually became tiring, so I moved around until I found comfort in a side-lying position. Here, I could really rest my body between the urges to push. My midwife reminded me to follow my body’s lead and gently gave me words of encouragement. She reminded me that the “ring of fire” would only last a short while, that I could get through it, and that I was doing wonderfully. Being able to move into whatever position that I felt was best for my body was absolutely wonderful. It helped me to be more at ease and confident with my pushes. It also helped me to relax between pushes so that I had enough stamina to continue the birthing process.”
“Our midwife actually encouraged me to help “catch” the baby. I wasn’t sure if I’d want to, but when the moment came, I definitely wanted to be part of the action. The labor had been long and hard—but also exciting and even fun at times. Guiding my daughter out and into her mother’s arms was such an awesome finish.”
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