You're on the home strait of pregnancy. Birth and motherhood is fast approaching! If you're working, start thinking about whether or not you'll be returning to work. Even if you feel sure of your intentions, it's worth exploring all your options in case you feel completely different after the birth.
Perhaps you could work more flexibly, combining home working with going into an office? Have you thought about the possibility that your partner could perhaps alter his working hours to give you more options? Is there a chance you or your partner could work closer to home, so the travelling time is reduced? Or maybe you have a family member who would be prepared to offer some free childcare? If you're planning to use formal childcare and haven't got your name on any lists yet, don't delay any longer: you can always cancel your place if you change your mind.Inside story
Your baby this week weighs around 2.5kg (around 5.5lb). The crown-to-rump measurement is about 33cm (just over 13in). It might be possible for you to identify the way your baby's lying by having a good feel of your bump, especially when you're relaxing in the bath.
The head will feel harder than the backside and you might be able to make out the curve of the spine, as well as getting to grips with those jabbing feet, elbows and hands. This is because there's so little room left for manoeuvre that your baby is pressing tight against the walls of your uterus.
On the outside
Breathlessness might peak this week and next as the top of your uterus has risen again, this time to around 15cm from your belly button. Your internal organs are becoming more and more compressed by your growing bump, so you might feel fit to burst!
Keep practicing your breathing exercises to help expand your rib cage; eat little and often in order to reduce bouts of indigestion and heartburn; drink plenty of fluids to avoid constipation and fluid retention, and put your feet up as often as you can.
Uncomfortable at night? Experiment with cushions and body pillows to support your lower back and bump. A pillow between your knees when you lie on your side can help ease lower backache. Raising the foot of the bed slightly can help to ease swollen ankles as it encourages fluids to drain up.
Things to think about
Hot flushes can result from hormonal activity, and the fact that you're so much heavier than you were pre-pregnancy doesn't help. If you're finding it hard to keep cool – especially if you're pregnant during the warmer summer months follow these tips:
• dress in loose natural fabrics
• carry a can of special cooling spray (find in supermarkets and pharmacies) and spritz your face, chest and limbs
• drink plenty of fluids
• warm drinks like fruit or herb tea will help you to keep cool
• carry a mini hand-held fan in your bag
• a pack of wet wipes can help give you an instant cooling
• have a tepid shower or bath whenever you can and allow yourself to air dry
• at night use a low-noise fan next to your bed: if you stand a bottle of frozen water near it (in a drip-tray for when it starts to defrost) it'll cool the air as it blows around
• beauty creams containing peppermint will leave your skin feeling cool and refreshed.
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See next week: 36 weeks pregnant