Your Pregnancy: Week 39
• This week your baby weighs in at about 3.2 kg (7 lbs) and measures approximately 50 cm (20 in) long from head to toe. An ultrasound can estimate your baby’s weight, but it has a fairly wide margin of error.
• His skull bones are separated by membranes that allow them to move for an easier passage through the birth canal.
• Your baby’s neck muscles have strengthened and he can hold his head away from the chest wall, but that buoyancy is helped greatly by the amniotic fluid. Once he is born, you will need to support his head when you’re holding him.
Giving birth is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, and some women feel that becoming a mother has given them incredible confidence in their abilities and intuition. Some feel powerful — superhuman, even. Learn more about the transformative power of birth.
Birth, social network style
You’ve probably heard stories (or read for yourself) tweets or Facebook updates from moms while they’re really, really close to giving birth. Now that’s a multitasking mama! Will you be sharing your birth experience with your tweeps? Talk to other moms-to-be about what’s appropriate and what’s oversharing on our boards.
Did you know?
Your baby will be given his first test when he's one minute old (and a re-test at five minutes). It’s called an Apgar score and it evaluates your baby's breathing, heart rate, reflexes, muscle tone and colour to give caregivers a quick "snapshot" of his condition. It helps them determine if he needs any special treatment as soon as he's born. What's a typical Apgar score for a healthy newborn? Seven or more at one minute and 9 or 10 at five minutes, when he has become more active and used to being outside the uterus.
Labour day tips: fear of childbirth
Almost every pregnant woman — even the ones who are truly excited about giving birth — feel at least a little bit afraid of the birthing process. Other women are downright terrified. And although there is always someone who will remind you that women have been giving birth since before the dawn of civilization, what help is that, really? Here are some valuable strategies for working through your worries.
Has your caregiver mentioned induction? It’s often recommended that women are induced within 10 days of their due date, but is there good reason to do so? Before you scream “yes!” to being induced, arm yourself with information about our rising induction rates and the risks and benefits of kick-starting labour.