Your belly is a marvelous thing. It's already changed so much over the last 27 weeks and will continue to grow until you give birth.
Inside that belly your growing baby is moving around. When your baby is kicking and turning around, take the time to look down, and you may be able to see him move or even see the imprint of a foot as it kicks you.
While you're taking a bath is a good time to watch your belly-you may find that your baby is more active around this time because you're relaxed-and you can take the time to observe his movements. Keep your partner involved when your baby is active by encouraging him to touch your belly.
In pregnancy your abdomen is measured to establish the height of the top of the uterus, which indicates how the baby is growing. It is important to know whether the same person is measuring you since there is an element of subjectivity depending on the technique the doctor uses. In early pregnancy, it is not necessary to measure you because this doesn't give an indication of fetal growth, but after 26 weeks, growth can be assessed this way However, even with your own growth chart and with the same person measuring you, the estimation of your baby's growth may still not be 100 percent accurate. If there are any concerns, your doctor may order an ultrasound to figure out why your measurement, called your fundal height, hasn't changed.
Being pregnant is more tiring than most women anticipate. In the third trimester, your partner's bladder is under pressure and this can cause her to wake during the night to use the bathroom. The size of the belly starts to become uncomfortable, and it can be difficult for her to find a relaxing sleeping position. The other changes she's going through, from shifting internal organs through to altered hormone levels, can contribute to her restlessness. And if she's having trouble sleeping, you are likely to be disturbed too. The end result is that both of you feel constantly tired.
Unfortunately there is no answer. Going to bed earlier can help, but having some time to relax together before bed is just as important. The bottom line is that disrupted sleeping patterns will now become part of the norm for both of you. There is no quick fix to this problem, but it may help to cut back on your social life in the evenings.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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