PHOTO: MANDY MILKS, ERIK PUTZ, ANTHONY SWANEVELD. FELT: THEFELTSTORE.COM
It’s a big week for baby! She is the size of a head of broccoli—about 41 centimetres (16 inches) long and weighing around 1.1 kilograms (2.5 pounds)—but the really cool part is what’s happening inside her cute little noggin: Nerve cells have separated into five differentiated areas of the brain, including the parts that control memory and coordination, and these compartments will continue to develop. At 29 weeks pregnant, the amniotic sac has also officially finished growing, but don’t worry about your wee one having enough room to develop: The sac is extremely elastic to accommodate your growing infant (not unlike your maternity pants!). By now—and sometimes as early as 26 weeks—your baby can smile, blink and even frown or cry in utero.SanyaSM / Getty Images
What symptoms don’t you have at this point? Constipation, hemorrhoids, headaches, heartburn, indigestion and an itchy belly—it’s a lovely laundry list of indignities. Luckily, most of these complaints are temporary and will improve once you have the baby.Ridofranz / Getty Images
It’s tempting to throw in the towel on your workout regimen toward the end of your pregnancy, but do your best to stick with it. If your achy joints are causing a fuss during this stage of pregnancy, consider a workout in the water. The water will support your expanding body and loose joints, making activity more comfortable for you. Try following a gentle water workout or look for a low-intensity aquafit class in your community.
Getting regular exercise during these last couple of months will help ease aches and pains, help you sleep better (yes, for real!), make you stronger for delivery, reduce your risk of delivery complications, speed up post-birth recovery and boost your mood.globalmoments / Getty Images
Creating a birth plan is a comforting activity for some moms-to-be. Envisioning how the childbirth experience will go feels like a little bit of control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation (for those of you in this camp, here’s a handy printable birth plan for your obsessive planning pleasure). For others with a bun in the oven, it’s an anxiety-inducing exercise that’s better left to the experts. Neither outlook is right or wrong—you should do what feels right for you and your partner. Just keep in mind that not all births go according to plan, so even if you detail the day down to the labour playlist, special mood lighting and socks you’re going to wear, it’s best to research alternatives so you’ll know what you’re dealing with in any scenario. And just for fun, read these wild celebrity birth stories. Did you know Seth Meyers' wife gave birth in the lobby?
And the baby was delivered by dad! Actress (and Parenthood star) Erika Christensen revealed on Instagram that her second daughter arrived so quickly that her husband had to step in to play doctor—because her doctor literally wasn't there yet. “My fault, as I didn’t know she would come so quickly and didn’t call the doc until far too late.” The doc arrived about one minute after Polly was born—he came in such a rush that he forgot to bring the scale so they think the baby weighed 7lbs 8 oz. And they think she was born at 9:21 a.m. on August 10.Photo: Courtesy Erika Christensen via Instagram
Shortly after his wife Alexi Ashe gave birth to their second child, Seth Meyers revealed what we are hailing as the wildest celebrity birth story. Alexi went into labour quite unexpectedly. As the couple and their midwife were going down in the elevator to get into an Uber, Alexi realized she wouldn’t be able to make it to the hospital in time. Faced with the unusual decision of whether to give birth in the lobby or the elevator, Alexi chose the former. Seth recounted the whole event on his show and even joked about how his wife looked like she was “trying to hide a baby in her sweatpants.” Seth was calling 911 when baby Axel made his grand debut in the lobby—and thankfully he was perfectly healthy.Photo: Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Amy Poehler shared her terrifying yet slightly hilarious birth story on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Her OB-GYN died the night before her baby was due, and to make matters worse, Amy found out while she was in the makeup room on the set of Saturday Night Live. Like any stressed-out, about-to-pop pregnant woman, she freaked out and had to be consoled by her co-star Jon Hamm. He held her by the shoulders and said, “I know this is very sad, but this is a really important show for me, so I’m going to need you to get your sh*t together.” Ummm, thanks Jon? Despite the overwhelming news and extreme amount of stress, Amy gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Archibald William Emerson.Photo: Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images
This celebrity couple has a history of trolling each other on social media. On one of Blake’s Instagram photos, Ryan commented, “You once drove me to the hospital when you were giving birth.” What?! Ryan, tell us more. Why didn’t you drive Blake to the hospital? Blake, are you secretly Wonder Woman? Give us more details, guys!Photo: Getty Images for Gabrielle's Angel Foundation
Did you know that Matthew McConaughey is not just an actor, producer, model, writer and director, but also a DJ? He revealed how he played Brazilian music while his wife, Camila Alves, was giving birth to their son, Levi Alves McConaughey. “Contractions started kicking in. I sat there with her, right between her legs, we got tribal on it, we danced to it! I was DJing this Brazilian music.”Photo: Rick Kern/WireImage
Mariah Carey seems to have found the best pain medicine—herself! Her now ex-husband, Nick Cannon, revealed on The Gayle King Show that the singer gave birth to twins Monroe and Moroccan while a live version of her song “Fantasy” played in the room.Photo: Noam Galai/FilmMagic
Dax Shepherd didn’t exactly keep his cool during Kristen Bell’s C-section with their second daughter, Delta. On The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he described his wife’s delivery in excruciating detail. The actor confessed that he regretted peeking after hearing that his daughter had arrived. “You peek around the sheet, and they’re lifting out the baby, but then you notice your wife is completely disassembled,” he said. “I can see inside of her. I was like, ‘It’s a girl! Your liver’s out, I think. And then those are definitely your intestines…Oh my god, put her back together correctly!’”Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
If you keep up with the Kardashians, you might know that this sister kind of delivered her own babies. The reality star allowed the births of her son Mason and daughter Penelope to be filmed, and during each delivery, Kourtney reached down and pulled her brand-new baby out. It’s amazing to watch, actually.Kourtney: Simon Russell/Getty Images
While giving birth to her son, Flynn, Miranda had an out-of-body experience as a result of the unbearable pain—we can definitely relate to that! In fact, she would not let Flynn’s father, Orlando Bloom, leave the room, and he had to pee in a bottle! “I actually thought I was going to die at one point and left my body.”Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Jessica Alba’s daughter was born while still inside the amniotic sac, which is quite rare—so rare that even the doctor was surprised. He called the nurse immediately and said, “Look at this!” as he signalled Jessica to stop pushing for a minute. And the story doesn’t end there. The birth ended up inspiring the baby’s name. Cash picked her up and said she came into the world in her “safe haven,” so they named their daughter Haven.Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Kate Hudson spent 18 hours in labour and four hours pushing. During all this, her mom, Goldie Hawn, showed up with some unconventional coping mechanisms. “She puts on these reading glasses that have headlights on them,” Hudson shares. “I have my doctor and my mom kind of looking over with these headlights. And she brings a magnolia flower. And she sort of starts to do these visualizations with me. And she’s going, ‘Imagine your va-jay-jay as a large magnolia flower blossoming.’” Despite her mother’s visual demonstrations (or maybe they really did work?), Kate gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Bing.Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Maya Rudolph had a slight change in her birth plan. The actress planned to deliver her second daughter, Lucille, at the hospital, but she ended up having her at home because her labour was so quick. “Luckily, she just kind of glided into her father’s arms,” the actress says. But that wasn’t even the biggest surprise of the day! “You have to put the placenta somewhere, and I didn’t know it at the time, but someone put it in my freezer. Then a couple of weeks later I opened the freezer and was like, ‘What is that weird meat?’”Photo: Michael Caulfield/WireImage)
Did you know that when Hilarie Burton gave birth, her husband, The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, ended up delivering his son, Augustus, and daughter, George, himself? I thought I was just there to lend support, hold a leg,” he said. “As soon as the baby started crowning, they kind of just pushed me in there. The first one, Gus, I kind of waited too long to pull him out and he came out and his head was shaped like a cone. He got stuck in that no man’s land a little bit too long.” Listen Jeffrey, if you’re in the delivery room, you gotta lend a hand—literally.Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Can you imagine tweeting during labour? Well, Kerry Washington did. She knew her Gladiators (a.k.a. fans of her hit TV show Scandal) would worry if she wasn’t tweeting live during the show on Thursday nights. “Every Thursday within three weeks of my [daughter] due date, I loaded up pre-tweets based on the episodes and what I would want to say,” she confesses. “I tweeted in the very early stages of my labour. I figured that if I went completely silent on social media, people would know I was in the hospital!” Only in Hollywood do you have to worry about these things!Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Megan Fox was determined to have a natural birth—but nothing goes according to plan when it comes to babies. “I thought I was going to be tough,” she says. “The nurses would be like, ‘She’s a warrior princess! She doesn’t need an epidural! She’s amazing! We’re such big fans!’” Little did the actress know that she would change her mind immediately after her first contraction. “As soon as I got out of the car I was already crying for an epidural. I was asking the security guard for an epidural.” If only he could have helped her.Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Lots of expectant parents are torn on the topic of stem-cell collection (often called cord blood banking) because of the cost. Stem cells develop into different parts of the body and, if they are harvested from the umbilical cord at birth and stored properly, they can potentially be used to treat various illnesses by replacing diseased cells. But the cells retrieved from the cord must be frozen and stored privately, and this service comes at a price (an initial fee ranges from $1,400 to $2,300, depending on the company, with a monthly storage fee thereafter). If you decide on stem-cell collection, investigate which stem-cell companies service your hospital or area and make arrangements for collection.Kyryl Gorlov / Getty Images
You’re well into your third trimester by now. Can you imagine going through all of this again while carrying and delivering someone else’s baby? This amazing mom did. Watch why she decided to become a surrogate mother.
Not worried about being too trendy with your babe's name? You can find some of the current trends in baby naming here.numbeos / Getty Images
Every women’s magazine in the world has a yearly feature on Kegels (apparently, it’s an unspoken rule). But what exactly are Kegels, and should you really be doing them in preparation for childbirth? Kegels are exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and have been known to make a huge difference in the incidence of pelvic floor weakness and even vaginal prolapse post-baby. (Yes, weak pelvic floor muscles can turn your previously made-of-steel bladder into Leaky McLeakerson in nine months flat.) You can get in a Kegel workout no matter where you are: The trick is to act like you’re trying not to fart during an important board meeting. (Yup, there’s a difference between holding your pee and executing a proper Kegel.) Hold for four seconds, then release for four seconds. Repeat 10 to 20 times, a few times a day, for a daily tally of 60 to 80. For the finer points of Kegel exercises and to ensure you’re doing them properly, read this.
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