Okay ladies. Welcome to week thirty-three. We promised you a newsletter about pain relief and not just the “hee-hee-hoo” kind. This week’s newsletter is for all you girls that just don’t like pain or don’t want to commit to doing things naturally. We are going to tell you about all your options, and when we are done, we expect you to talk them over with your doctor or midwife. She can tell you what is available at your hospital or birthing center and help you decide which options are best for you. Epidurals are probably the most asked about pain relief option. You may be hearing all kinds of things about epidurals and, well, you might be feeling a little apprehensive about having one. We are going to try to put your mind at ease and answer your questions about epidurals and other pain relief options you may have heard about.
At this week of pregnancy, the baby should weigh about 5 pounds and measure in at 15 to 17 inches in length. The baby fat will continue to grow and settle under the baby’s skin. The baby’s bones are now hardened but the skull is still soft in some spots. There is no reason to panic; the skull has to be soft and flexible for birth. The pressure of childbirth is very powerful and that takes a toll on the baby’s head and that is why some kids are born with misshapen heads but they form throughout the child’s early years.
The baby’s lungs are almost mature now but if the baby was born now, they could survive in an incubator. Multiple births are usually born at this week in time. Baby’s settle into a special spot in the uterus until they are ready for birth. At this time, the baby is cephalic which is the head down position. If the baby has not yet reached this position, there is still time to turn the baby. You should not be worried about breach births or any other problems that you are scared of.
How Your Life’s Changing
As your baby fills out even more of your belly, lots of things might start to change: Whereas before you were sashaying, you may find yourself waddling. Finding an easy position to sit in — let alone sleep — is becoming more of a challenge. And bumping into chairs and counters is par for the course.
You may be feeling some achiness and even numbness in your fingers, wrists, and hands. Like many other tissues in your body, those in your wrist can retain fluid, which can increase pressure in the carpal tunnel, a bony canal in your wrist. Nerves that run through this “tunnel” may end up pinched, creating numbness; tingling, shooting or burning pain; or a dull ache. Try wearing a splint to stabilize your wrist or propping your arm up with a pillow when you sleep. If your work requires repetitive hand movements (at a keyboard or on an assembly line, for instance), remember to stretch your hands when you take breaks which should be frequently.
Many women are still feeling sexy at this stage and their partners often agree. You may need to make some adjustments, but for most women, sex during pregnancy is fine right up until their water breaks or their labor starts.
What To Expect
In week thirty-three you should expect some trouble sleeping, walking and even sitting. Your organs are being pushed up by the uterus and it is hard to breathe and hard to get comfortable. As the next few weeks progress, it will become easier and easier. Try wearing loose fitted clothing; this will help you feel comfortable. To find a comfortable ground to sleep on, try using pillows in between your knees, this will alleviate any stress from the legs and back.
You can expect more frequent urination at week thirty-three. Do not sleep on your back, this can reduce the circulation and blood flow to the baby, plus it will make breathing harder as well. The best position to sleep is on the left side, try to find a position that causes you the least amount of pain and try to sleep that way all the time.
Try to continue doing moderate exercises but don’t over do it. Continue to take the prenatal vitamins as well as supplements. You will be able to feel the baby hiccuping. The baby should be descending by now but he or she may not have turned yet. Don’t panic, there is time.
By now, you should already know that you know your body better than anyone. If something doesn’t seem right, call your doctor. Now is the time when you should be deciding on when to go on maternity leave. You should have received admitting paperwork from the hospital for when you give birth. If you have any questions about your method of childbirth, don’t hesitate to ask.
You should have everything almost ready, the nursery and the diapers, wipes, crib and clothing all ready for when the baby comes home. If you are still undecided on the baby’s name, you should start narrowing it down. He or she will be here before you know it.