At this point, the baby still has plenty of room to change positions and turn somersaults inside the belly, despite its 40 cm and whopping 1.2 kilos. But there will be less and less room; you can now detect a foot or a hand from outside the belly when the baby propels itself to turn. The head is still big relative to the rest of the body, which seems small, because it still doesn’t have very much subcutaneous fat. Different babies move and kick different amounts, but most test their abilities and it isn’t uncommon for them to occasionally deliver a hefty kick that could ache for a while afterwards. The baby is now big enough that the kicks can reach all the way to the ribs and bladder (which can result in a little surprise for mum).
If you are stressed or upset, the baby will likely react to the secreted stress hormones that circulate to the baby via the placenta. No one likes stress, so try to soothe the baby by taking a few calming breaths and relaxing. As the baby grows and takes up more space, your inner organs will be pressed to the side. The uterus presses downward, towards the large blood vessels. This can produce visible and more distinct blood vessels and you might develop varicose veins on your legs. Support socks usually feel nice and facilitate blood flow. You also shouldn’t sit too much with your legs crossed (which is also a hot tip if you have pelvic pain). You might also develop varicose veins of the rectum, more commonly known as haemorrhoids. You will recognise this uncomfortable condition from an itchy bottom. Haemorrhoids often disappear altogether after the baby comes, but can be annoying until then. Be sure to drink plenty of water, because a sluggish stomach can be a haemorrhoid’s best friend. You can also find a salve at the pharmacy, but as always when it comes to medications, check with the staff to make sure this is okay to use during pregnancy.
If you’re expecting twins, then you’re not far from delivering now. Around 50% of people expecting twins give birth by the end of week 37, and the rest quickly follow, because at this point, labour is usually induced for regular pregnancies with twins. As the future parent of twins, you have a bit more to think about. The fact that you won’t get much coveted alone time after delivery isn’t something people expect (even if you’re only expecting one baby), but everything will be fine if you help each other out. Remember that you’re a team. Help each other, and be understanding of the fact that you both need some regular breathing room. And if you have someone else with whom you are close, who can offer day-to-day support, that is worth gold. All mothers who have given birth need to be able to focus on resting their body and avoiding unnecessary stress. The emotional adjustment to becoming a parent can be weighty enough as it is. If you also carried and gave birth to two babies, you might have an even greater need for rest, recovery and a little extra support.