Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Week 40- Baby Boy Small Pumpkin

How your baby's growing:
It's hard to say for sure how big your baby will be, but the average newborn weighs about 7 1/2 pounds (a small pumpkin) and is about 20 inches long. His skull bones are not yet fused, which allows them to overlap a bit if it's a snug fit through the birth canal during labor. This so-called "molding" is the reason your baby's noggin may look a little conehead-ish after birth. Rest assured — it's normal and temporary

How your life's changing:
After months of anticipation, your due date rolls around, and... you're still pregnant. It's a frustrating, but common, situation in which to find yourself. You may not be as late as you think, especially if you're relying solely on a due date calculated from the day of your last period because sometimes women ovulate later than expected. Even with reliable dating, some women have prolonged pregnancies for no apparent reason.

You still have a couple of weeks before you'll be considered "post-term." But to be sure your baby is still thriving, your practitioner will schedule you for testing to keep an eye on her if your pregnancy continues.

You may have a biophysical profile (BPP), which consists of an ultrasound to look at your baby's overall movements, breathing movements (movement of her chest muscles and diaphragm), and muscle tone (whether she opens and closes her hand or extends and then flexes her limbs), as well as the amount of amniotic fluid that surrounds her (important because it's a reflection of how well the placenta is supporting your baby).

Fetal heart rate monitoring (called a nonstress test or NST) will generally be done as well — by itself or as part of the BPP. Or, you may have what's known as a modified BPP, which consists of an NST and an ultrasound to assess the amount of amniotic fluid.

If the fetal testing isn't reassuring — the amniotic fluid level is too low, for example — you'll be induced. If there's a serious, urgent problem, you may have an immediate c-section.

Your practitioner will also check your cervix to see if it's "ripening." Its position, how soft it is, how effaced (thinned out) it is, and how dilated (open) it is can all affect when and how your labor is induced. If you don't go into labor on your own, you'll be induced, usually sometime between 41 and 42 weeks.

from BabyCenter

Baby: Congratulations! You've reached what will most likely be the final week in your pregnancy (if you haven't delivered already!) Your baby has probably reached his birth weight by this week in your pregnancy. Most babies weigh somewhere between 6-8 pounds when they are born. Boys are usually longer and heavier than girls.

Not much has changed from last week, all his internal organs are ready to support him in the outside world, he's developed healthy amounts of baby fat over the past week and his immune system is developing and will continue to develop after he is born.

Mom: How are you feeling? It's almost time to meet your little one. Your bags are probably packed and are ready to go, the nursery is all set, you have the car seat installed and your baby's first outfit is selected. You've been patient for nine whole months and the time is almost here!

When you finally do go into labor, it's important to stay calm. Usually, there is no need to rush to the hospital. For most women, labor typically lasts around 13 hours. So take some extra time to make sure you have everything you need and drive safely. You may even prefer to stay in your own home while your contractions are still far apart. When you first contact your healthcare provider, he or she should be able to tell you when it's the appropriate time for you to head to the hospital.

Labor – Labor is typically broken down into three stages and begins when you start to have regular contractions and ends when you pass the placenta.

First Stage – When the contractions start to pick up you are in the active phase of the first stage labor. Between this active phase and the next phase, known as Transition, you will want to get to the hospital or place where you plan to give birth. During the transition phase, your contractions will start occurring closer together.

Second Stage – This is the stage where you give birth to your baby! Your contractions will occur closer together and will feel stronger. You will either feel the need to push, or if you have received medication for pain, you may not, and will be directed on what to do. You will reach the end of the second stage when you have delivered your baby!

Third Stage – Anywhere up to an hour after giving birth, you will be told to give another push in order to get the placenta out. However, you will probably be preoccupied by the new baby in your arms!

from: PlanningFamily Pin It!

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