The baby's heart is beating at a rate of around 120-160 beats a minute. It is getting a little crowded and that’s one reason why he or she doesn’t move like before. That and the fact that the baby may have turned so that its head is pointing down, ready to be born. On top of that, the child is gaining in weight between 25 and 30 grams per day. She or he doesn’t have the same space. The length of the thigh bone is about 66 mm. Illustration by Karoline Lenhult
Some women get very itchy, especially on their tummy, their palms and the soles of their feet. It can help to rub in moisturizing cream and also to brush the area with a fine baby brush. Always tell your midwife or doctor if you are suffering from itchy skin. You're sure to be feeling heavy and ungainly. You probably get irritated easily. Your tummy is often in the way and your arms feel a bit too short. It's hard to find a comfortable sleeping position. The only thing you can do is to sleep on your side. A few strategically positioned pillows may help. There’s nothing wrong with giving up tie-on shoes, like sneakers, for slip-ons and strap-ons. Go for flats, high heels and platforms are nice but you need stability now. A foot massage is always, during the whole pregnancy, a great idea. Request one from your partner. Right away.
What are contractions?
The most common sign of labour contractions is that they are usually regular and increase in duration and strength over time. You’ll notice a regular rhythm.
The more painless, not so rhythmical, contractions that you sometimes feel are called Braxton Hicks contractions. You can feel them early in your pregnancy and they may even increase in number and strength, but they often go away when you rest.
There are also false labour pains. How do you separate them from the real deal? False labour pains are irregular, the intensity doesn’t change, they do not get closer together and they are shorter. But they can be very painful. Try a hot bath, TENS, and/or a heated wheat bag.