Third trimester: A miracle in progress

Relaxin, a pregnancy hormone, is responsible for the softening of hip joints. As a result, you may catch yourself waddling. Also, the large uterus throws your posture off, causing you to have a slight swayback appearance. This can cause backaches throughout the final trimester if posture goes unchecked.

By 35 weeks, you baby weighs about five pounds and measures 16 and on-half inches long, although height and weight variations are more common now. From this point on, your baby will gain about a half-pound per week. The survival rate, if your child were born today, soars to 99 percent.

Suddenly, you have a lot of decisions to make. If you decided on a home birth, is it still advisable? Will you breastfeed or bottle feed? Would you like to avoid an episiotomy? Under what conditions would you consider induction? Does a natural, non-medicated birth appeal to you? By the time you complete the necessary reading you may be overwhelmed. No wonder you can’t seem to figure out what to pack in your hospital or birth center bag!

There are many factors that can alter your visions of the perfect birth. That’s why it is a good idea to look into birth plans. Discussing labor issues with your doctor or certified nurse-midwife can help you end up with a more ideal birth. However, always remember that the ultimate safety of mother and child must outweigh any decisions made previous to labor.

Toward the end of the pregnancy, you may be concerned with a decrease in fetal activity. While this is usually normal, due to less room in the uterus, it’s a good idea to notify your practitioner at once if you notice a sudden decrease in movement. Your practitioner may order a non-stress test, which can evaluate your baby’s well-being through an external fetal monitor.

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