39 weeks pregnant – No sign of labour yet!
Hubby’s mum came over from Switzerland to stay for a week, which is great because I really enjoy her company. We had a quick coffee at Starbucks before we went home to eat and prepare for my midwife appointment. Unfortunately, as soon as we arrived home, we realised we had left her Christmas card on the table at Starbucks and it took me a long time before I was able to get through to the store to ask them to hold onto the card for us. D’oh, pregnancy brain!
We went to my midwife appointment together at the birth centre and hubby’s mum commented on how cosy and comfortable the place was. She sat in whilst the midwife explained the importance of informing the birth centre if I displayed any signs of pre-eclampsia or if I couldn’t feel more than 10 movements of Boxer in a day. I told her that there was no danger of that happening as Boxer is so active, especially at night.
The midwife measured my bump and told me that I would probably have a baby weighing about 8/12 pounds. OMG! Hubby’s mum explained that hubby was over 9 pounds and he was 2 weeks early! My sisters and brother were all over 8 pounds (except for me, but I was 5 pounds at 3 weeks early, so I probably would have been big if I had come out full term). She told me not to worry though as he was placed in the optimal position, which apparently is the best position for birth.
As my due date was in a couple of days she offered to do a sweep to kick-start labour within 48 hours. I joked and said, “Since my mother-in-law is only here until the 15th we should do the sweep!” It was painful and very unpleasant, and the worse thing was that she couldn’t find my cervix. Apparently, it was so far back that this sweep couldn’t be counted as a proper sweep. So she booked me in for another sweep on my due date. She did tell me that it doesn’t mean that labour will take a long time to start because my cervix is so far back, but she did offer me a sheet containing some natural induction techniques. I was quite surprised at some of the things on the list, to be honest. Below is a list of what was on the sheet:
|Slow down, rest/relax more||Yoga – deep squatting|
|Freeing yourself||Hug a friend’s/relative’s baby|
|Sorting out environment/nesting||Eating curry or spicy foods|
|Relaxing bath – aromatherapy oils as directed by the practitioner||Letting go – glass of wine, massage|
|Nipple stimulation||Sex (no sheath!)|
|Going to a qualified practitioner for aromatherapy:|
* using clary sage to encourage labour
They can be used as a massage oil, hot compress, in a burner or in the bath
|Herbs – e.g. raspberry leaf tea etc||Sweeping of membranes by midwife|
|Spend time with your baby – talk to them|
I created an infographic too, which you can print off or pin to your Pinterest board.
A glass of wine? Nipple stimulation? I’m not sure I would want to drink any alcohol now that I’m only in the last stages of pregnancy, so I’m surprised the NCT advised this as a natural form of induction. Maybe a little bit of alcohol doesn’t affect the pregnancy or the baby? I’m so confused about this part of pregnancy because there are so many conflicting resources out there! Would you drink alcohol during your pregnancy? And, if so, how much is ok?
After the check-up, mum-in-law and I decided to take a long walk up into town (one of the things I can check off in the natural induction list!) We passed a hairdresser along the way and she decided to spontaneously get her hair done. I offered to walk back to the flat, get her money, walk back to the hairdressers then go to Starbucks to collect the Christmas card, then back to the hairdressers, so I could speed up labour. But, I was knackered by the time I got back to the hairdressers, although happy that I had done something to help the baby along.
In the evening hubby came home from work and we all walked back into town for an Italian meal. I looked like a penguin waddling down the street, but at least I slept like a log that night!!
A fun fact – The baby is the size of a watermelon!
The science part
Your baby at 39 weeks
- Your baby isn’t growing much anymore, but their brain definitely is!
- Your baby’s skin as turned white/grey and won’t have any pigment until after you have given birth
- Your baby is likely weighing around 6 to 9 pounds or around 3 to 4kg
Your pregnancy signs and symptoms
- Are you going to go into labour today? Maybe tomorrow? It’s any time now!
- You may be experiencing more discharge than normal, which should be thin, white and not smell much. If you spot anything that looks like yellow or pinkish (bloody) mucus then you’re having a ‘show’, which is the sticky stuff that plugs up your cervix. Once it comes out, it’s one of the first signs that the baby is on their way
- You may also be experiencing back pain as the baby moves down towards your pelvis.
- You may be feeling increased pressure at the bottom of your bump now too
Your next steps
Contact your midwife/GP if you have any of the following:
- Bleeding from your vagina
- Brown/pink discharge
- Headache that won’t go away
- Blurry vision, or sensitivity to light
- Pain below the ribs
- Extreme swelling of hands, feet, ankles and face
- Constant tummy pains
- Severe itching, particularly at night
- A high temperature but with no other cold or flu symptoms
Note: These are just general ideas of how you and your baby are getting on. Don’t forget that every baby develops differently. If you are concerned about your baby’s development, please consult your doctor or midwife.Have you already had your baby (congratulations!), but you’re still receiving pregnancy emails? Just hit unsubscribe at the bottom of your email and sign up to ‘My Motherhood’ posts to carry on with the personalised weekly emails for your baby up to 16 weeks old! Form below:
*Illustrations by Charlotte Watkins.
If you have any questions about her work, please contact Charlotte via her website, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn*