Your Pregnancy: Week 28
Have you turned into a stereotypical pregnant person and developed a waddle? Have you even noticed your new walk? Once again, this can be chalked up to the wonderful pregnancy hormones that have relaxed your joints and spread your hips to make the birth canal wider.
Also, while you still have an entire trimester ahead of you, now is the time to start taking classes such as childbirth, breastfeeding, infant CPR, and/or newborn care. If you haven’t signed up already, try and find sessions that are finished by week 36 or 37.
Baby will be getting some color this week – eye color, that is. Pigment will fill in your baby’s irises, but it might take six months after he/she is born for the eyes to settle in to their true color. Eyelashes, eyebrows and hair are continuing to grow, and brain tissue is rapidly increasing. You’ll also be happy to know that your baby is plumping up as more much-needed body fat develops (one step closer to those adorable baby thigh rolls and Buddha belly), even though he/she still only weighs 2½ pounds.
Count fetal kicks by making sure you feel 10 movements (whether it’s a kick, somersault, elbow jab, etc.) in an hour. If you don’t, drink some juice and try again. Still nothing? Call your doctor.
Start reading positive, uplifting birth stories and ignore the fear-mongering strangers offering gory horror stories.
Continue to use moisturizer on your belly and purchase an anti-itch oil if needed.
Start browsing birth announcements and place an order. This is the last thing you’ll care to pick out once your baby arrives, so get it done nice and early.
Advice from Dr. Shari E. Brasner
What a difference a trimester makes. One week a pregnant woman can be feeling wonderful – filled with a sense of well-being and freed of both nausea and fatigue – and then the next week, the third trimester hits. Now the pregnancy begins to take a profound physical toll. The presence of extra weight tends to induce musculo-skeletal pain. The fatigue returns, too, often with a vengeance. It’s as though the second trimester were merely a reprieve, a furlough, and now it’s time to return to the serious work of creating another human life.”
Babble recommends Dr. Brasner’s pregnancy book, Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician.
Mom-To-Mom Advice: What I’d Do To Sleep On My Stomach: The Discomforts of Late Pregnancy
Everyone is telling you to “Sleep now while you’ve got the chance!” but it takes you forever to get comfortable enough in bed to fall asleep, and once you finally do drift off, you’re up again to pee. By the time 4 a.m. comes around, you’ve given up all together and dragged yourself to the bathroom to wash away the stomach acid back-swill in your mouth. Sleep now! Grrrr.
Why is this happening? The best theory we’ve heard is that the miseries of late pregnancy are nature’s way of actually making you want to go into labor. The feeling of being sick of being pregnant can actually be a good motivation for the difficult work of giving birth. But a lot of the reasons for this discomfort are also signs that your body is preparing for labor. All kinds of small but important changes are going on to smooth the way. Perhaps your inability to sleep on a perfect diurnal (day vs. night) sleep schedule is a way to prepare you for the newborn period where sleep comes in smaller increments around the clock.
But if you’ve had enough of the explanations and just want to get some rest, here are some practical ideas that might help just a little bit:
- For the spinning thoughts: Try relaxation breathing and/or meditation work (taught in some childbirth ed classes or prenatal yoga) or a good, mind-focusing novel.
- For heartburn: Try papaya enzyme (at your local health food store), sleeping with your head propped up and frequent, small, non-greasy meals.
- For discomfort: Use lots of pillows in creative arrangements.
- For peeing every five seconds: Drink small amounts all day as opposed to huge gulps at a time (this is also good for heartburn).
- For aches and cramps: Try a prenatal massage and eat foods high in potassium, calcium and magnesium.
- For all of the above: Exercise (even just taking walks will help), get fresh air and take warm baths.
Babble recommends From the Hips, by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris.