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Pregnancy Weeks 33-37 - Page 3

Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter
Healthy Pregnancy Newsletter - Growing Mom

Signs of nearing birth

You body may begin to feel more uncomfortable as your due date nears. As your unborn baby grows in size and crowds the abdominal cavity, you may have difficulty taking deep breaths or getting comfortable at night for sleep. Or you may be free from any discomfort as you anxiously await the arrival of your new son or daughter.

Some common changes and symptoms you may experience during the third trimester include the following:

  • You may experience increased skin temperature as your unborn baby radiates body heat, causing you to feel hot.
  • Hair may begin to grow on your arms, legs, and face due to increased hormone stimulation of hair follicles. Hair may also feel coarser.
  • Leg cramps may become more frequent. This can be due to pressure on nerves with the weight of the uterus. Try some gentle stretches before going to bed to ease the cramping.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions (false labor) may begin to occur at irregular intervals in preparation for childbirth.
  • Stretch marks may increase on your abdomen, breast, thighs, and buttocks.
  • Your increasing weight gain and uterine size may cause backaches. Watch your posture and avoid arching your back when standing and walking. Wearing low-heeled, supportive shoes is also helpful.
  • Colostrum (a fluid in the breasts that nourishes the baby until the breast milk becomes available) may begin to leak from your nipples.
Dad's corner

Have you noticed mom is a little on the emotional side lately? Does she seem irritable one minute, and tearfully happy the next? Welcome to the mysterious wonders of pregnancy hormones! As a woman moves through the stages of pregnancy, hormone levels rise and fall. These changes can affect mood and emotions, as well as how she feels physically.

And more is affecting mom than just hormones. The discomforts of pregnancy may include difficulty sleeping, which makes her more tired. It's also likely she has some concerns about the changes that are happening inside her, and what lies ahead in labor and birth. As she adjusts to the idea of becoming a mother, is it any wonder her emotions are on a see-saw?

Tips for dad
Here's how you can help. Be sensitive to her needs--cuddle and pamper her when she wants it, and don't be offended if she doesn't. Give her opportunities to express what she is feeling. Sometimes, just talking about it will help her work through her concerns. Remind her that she is already doing a great job as a mom as your baby grows inside her. Take time to do things together as a couple, and enjoy these last months as you prepare together for parenthood.


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