Your little resident is running out of space inside you. Good thing they’re getting ready to come out soon! Seriously soon – most will be starting to get into position by placing their head in the narrowest part of your uterus. 95% of babies are born with their heads down and tilted back towards the left. By now, your baby has swallowed a lot of amniotic fluid. Their intestine gradually fills with meconium because of it, a thick, viscous greenish or blackish material made from solid particles and various bits and bobs suspended in the amniotic liquid (things like cell debris and fat vernix). This meconium will make up your baby’s first bowel movement at birth. Just in case you were wondering!
Have you got that funny line going down the front of your belly? During the last trimester a line forms down the middle of your belly, seeming to divide it into two halves. This is known as the linea nigra, which becomes darker as pigmentation increases. It can be seen most clearly right after the birth. A few weeks later, it will have completely disappeared. A further change is that, because the uterus needs all the room it can get, it presses the navel gently outwards. It can be unpleasant for many women: the soft skin of the navel can chafe on clothing. One small consolation is that, after the birth, the navel returns back to its old position.
Heartburn and reflux might be back again now there’s not much room left for your stomach in there! If you suffer from these at night, try elevating your head a bit by adding a pillow. Try to have your evening meal be a light one, too. Pay attention to fatty greasy foods, they can slow down digestion and accentuate your digestive problems, which leads to disturbed sleep. If too light an evening meal gives you night cravings, consider adding a snack an hour before bedtime. Don’t hesitate to take it to bed on a tray if you are really pooped at night.
Even if an experienced mum, it can be helpful to not assume it will be the same this next time. Researchers are constantly discovering new information that can help you during your pregnancy. In addition, delivery methods change frequently. Understand the changes occurring in your body during labour and delivery, and learn some good relaxation techniques for limiting anxiety when the time comes. You might be giving birth in a new place this time around and/or your last baby was delivered some years ago.