Most babies weigh over three kilos by now. That’s the finish line, and quite a lot of babies are born at this point. But if this is your first, then it’s not unusual for the baby to stay in the womb for the entirety of its allotted time. It will come when it decides it’s time – there’s not much you can do other than wait until your baby is ready. But by this point it will usually have dropped, making it easier for the pregnant person to breathe and eat. Birth is stressful for the baby too, so it has prepared by storing extra nutrients. Subcutaneous fat also serves as a little energy reserve during the first period of time outside the belly.
At this point, you probably have a few challenging weeks of waiting and physical discomfort ahead of you. It can be tricky to find comfortable positions for sitting and lying down, because your belly is big and in the way. Sleep is often interrupted: you might be sleeping restlessly and waking up often. That’s your body getting ready for the baby’s arrival and the strange sleep times that go with it. Even if you don’t usually sleep in the middle of the day, try to take the chance to rest as often as you can. Stay in bed for an extra moment and let go of any to-dos. The most important thing right now is taking care of yourself. The baby won’t be bothered by a little dust in the corners, or if you’ve forgotten to wash your hair. If you are among the lucky few with extra energy at this late point in the game, it’s better to spend it taking a walk or doing something else that makes you feel good! Are you looking for the first proper sign of childbirth beginning? There are a number of indications that it’s close, but really only one sign that it’s truly begun: regular contractions. When you’ve been having contractions over the course of a few hours, with 3-5 minutes in between, then it’s time to call the clinic. Use the timer for contractions found here in the app so that you don’t have to keep track of the numbers yourself. The clinic will definitely ask how often your contractions are coming.
Time may feel unbelievably slow at this point in the pregnancy. One tip – apart from trying to stay healthy so that you don’t risk infecting your partner or not being able to attend the delivery – is to try to find something to do before the baby arrives. If your hospital bag isn’t packed yet, go ahead and sort that out now (you can find a list here in the Libero app). That will be the last thing you’ll want to have to think about once the contractions really get going. Did you plan ahead, and you’ve already packed a bag that’s been in the corner gathering dust for ten weeks? Look through it again to see what really ended up inside. You might have a better sense of size now and know that the adorable size 48 onesie is going to be too small for the baby. Taking your partner out for some kind of activity to distract the two of you, so that you don’t feel like you’re spending the day waiting around, might also be a good idea. We’re not talking bouldering or a crowded shopping centre! More like a mellow visit to a museum, or a slow walk in nature – a nice activity that won’t make her feel like she’s stuck at home with her eyes on the clock. Another tip is to prepare food and freeze it – it will be so great to not have to spend time and energy cooking when you could spend it on simply watching your newborn baby instead. That’s an activity that most parents would spend hours doing if they could. Plus, it takes time to feed the baby, do a nappy change, soothe the baby, snuggle, carry, feed the baby, do a nappy change – and so on. Before you’re there, it’s hard to understand just how much time such a little life can require. Did you plan to buy a pram and missed the fact that delivery times can be long? Don’t worry! You’re not alone, and there are often excellent used prams available. Plus, your tiny little baby might prefer to be carried in a baby carrier, close to the body, over being alone in a pram in this first period of time. However, it’s essential to prioritise a good baby seat, especially if you plan to drive home from the hospital. If you’re panicking that you haven’t bought enough stuff for the baby, you can exhale. Infants tend to need less than you think! And don’t forget to check with your friends – people with kids are often happy to lend or give away items that their little ones have outgrown.