Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Week 31- Baby Boy 4 Naval Oranges

How your baby's growing: This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four naval oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

How your life's changing: Have you noticed the muscles in your uterus tightening now and then? Many women feel these random contractions — called Braxton Hicks contractions — in the second half of pregnancy. Often lasting about 30 seconds, they're irregular, and at this point, they should be infrequent and painless. Frequent contractions, on the other hand — even those that don't hurt — may be a sign of preterm labor. Call your practitioner immediately if you have more than four contractions in an hour or any other signs of preterm labor: an increase in vaginal discharge or a change in the type of discharge (if it becomes watery, mucus-like, or bloody — even if it's pink or just tinged with blood); abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramping; an increase in pressure in the pelvic area; or low back pain, especially if you didn't have it before.You may have noticed some leaking of colostrum, or "premilk," from your breasts lately. If so, try tucking some nursing pads into your bra to protect your clothes. (And if not, it's certainly nothing to worry about; your breasts are making colostrum all the same, even if you don't see any.) If your current bra is too snug, you might also want to pick up a nursing bra. Choose a nursing bra at least one cup size bigger than you need now. When your milk comes in you'll be grateful for that extra room! If you're having a boy, you and your partner will want to take some time to think about whether or not to have your baby circumcised. Find out the pros and cons from your doctor, and what the procedure involves.

Baby: Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. Measuring 16 inches long, he weighs 4 lbs. 4 whole pounds, wow! And from this week, until 2 weeks before birth, he will gain about a half pound every week. As you've probably noticed, he is moving around quite a bit in there! It's not uncommon for his continuous movements, which may feel like somersaults, to be keeping you up at night. His arms, legs and body are also filling out as he continues to develop fat underneath his skin, making those kicks and prods feel even stronger than last week. You may even see an arm or a foot move slowly across your belly!

Mom: How are you feeling? Braxton Hicks contractions are common towards the end of a pregnancy. These contractions, often referred to as "false-labor", usually only last about 30 seconds, occur infrequently and should be painless. Frequent contractions however, may be a sign of preterm labor.
Call you health-care provider if you experience...
More than four contractions in an hour
An increase or change in vaginal discharge
Abdominal pain or cramping
Increase in pressure in the pelvic area
Low back pain, especially if you haven't experienced it before
These may all be signs of pre-term labor and it is important that you contact your practitioner.
Have you noticed? Is there any leakage from your breasts? This is called colostrum, or "premilk". You can place nursing pads in your bra to absorb this fluid. Even if you don't see anything, your breasts are making colostrum and you also may find that your bra is fitting a little more snug than usual. You might want to get a nursing bra, but be sure to get one a size larger than you need now. Trust me; you'll be thankful for the room later.

So, it's funny that all of this information was in my emails today because we just left the hospital after a couple hours of testing for the Braxton-Hicks contractions. Whenever I am standing, I am having a really severe tightening in my stomach. Everything tested out ok, the baby looks just fine, but I am having the contractions every time I stand. My dr's orders are to keep hydrated- super hydrated- and hopefully they will start to go away. We'll see. Tomorrow I will have a pretty long shift at work, so we'll see how everything goes. Right now, I'm sucking down the water like crazy! Hope it helps!
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