By this week your baby has almost completely grown into that once-wrinkly skin, now it’s smooth and fine, as the fat under the skin is now fully developed. The face is slightly rounder, and the diameter of the head is 90 mm. Your baby may get a hiccup every so often; that’s just from training to breathe, preparing for life on the outside. At this point your baby can do all the things a newborn can. She or he has moved further down into your pelvis. Most children lie with their head downwards; only a few have their bottoms first. If this is the case, now is the time to try and turn the baby around. Illustration by Karoline Lenhult
Your uterus is probably under your ribs. Around weeks 32-34 your midwife, or doctor, will feel your abdomen to determine how the baby is positioned inside you. This may have changed many times during pregnancy. At 34-36 weeks the baby usually gets into position, and stays there. Have you noticed if your bump has moved at bit lower? The drop? You may find it easier to breathe. Even though it is easier to breathe, it is not unusual to feel both low and irritated around this time. You probably sleep little, have pain in your back, feel big, become breathless after (even) just a little effort and sweat more than usual. All this is normal, though hardly a consolation. So we will talk about something more cheerful; how does one know when it has started? Perhaps you already sensed the contractions, the so-called Braxton-Hicks? (The real contractions are more regular and become stronger and stronger as time goes by. The real ones cannot be rested away, they don’t go away.) A first sign is that you may expel the mucous plug, the mass of jelly-like mucus that has been covering your cervix for the last nine months. It can still take time before the delivery takes place - but it is a sign.
• A change of clothes for you, including something that makes it easy to breastfeed.
• Clothes and nappies for the baby.
• Toothbrush and other toiletries.
• Camera and/or video camera.
• Music to listen to during labour.
• Books and magazines.
Your partner’s bag:
• A book or newspaper in case the birth takes a long time.
• Change for the snack machine, especially if it's the middle of the night.
• Something to eat.
• Some music that you like too.
• Dextrose tablets and energy drinks for both of you.