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Third Trimester 1stTrimester     2ndTrimester

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29 WEEKS, 5 DAYS

72 days to go...

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Your baby today

The lip shape and groove between the nose and upper lip are particularly well shown here. If you or your partner has a prominent groove, or philtrum, above the upper lip, your baby may too, or she may inherit characteristics that are somewhere in between.

Regardless of your size-and that of your baby-nature won't let her grow too large for you to be able to give birth.

Your body shape isn't an indication of whether you'll have an easy birth. The size of your hips is not always a good indication of the size of your pelvis so having slender hips doesn't mean you'll have a difficult birth, and having larger "child-bearing" hips doesn't mean you'll have an easier birth.

What is known is that, although how big your child will be is determined genetically, women have an extra influence on the size of their babies while they are in the uterus. So, even if your child ends up growing to 6 ft (1.80 m) tall, if you're small you'll limit how big she gets in the uterus. This makes sense-if you're small, you wouldn't be able to deliver a hefty 12 lb (5.5 kg) baby, so your body limits the baby's size at delivery. Your baby will then catch up on her expected growth after the birth.

There's a condition called cephalo-pelvic disproportion in which the baby is too big or the pelvis is too small for the baby to engage. An MRI scan will be performed to get exact measurements.

Time To Think About

A support network

After giving birth, your body will spring back into shape overnight; you'll be bursting with energy and raring to go. That's one scenario! The other – more realistic – possibility is that you'll find yourself struggling to get breast-feeding established and to brush your teeth before lunch time. If you don't like living in a mess, act now to prevent resentment (and the laundry) from building up in a few months' time.

  • Talk to your partner now about how you're going to split the chores once you're parents.
  • Your "job" will be to nurture your newborn, so you'll need domestic backup, if possible, particularly during the first few weeks. Recruit helpers (family and friends; or pay professionals if needed). Delegate so that you won't have to think about shopping, cooking, or cleaning.
  • New parents need their own space, so it's never too early to arrange for some babysitters for a few weeks after the birth. If you're breast-feeding, you'll need to express your milk.

As you marvel at the size of your belly, you may be concerned about how you'll ever deliver your baby. But don't worry-nature is on your side.

Ask A... Doctor

What will happen when I go for a gestational diabetes screening?

You'll be given a very sugary drink and asked to wait for an hour, after which your blood will be tested. If your levels are high, you'll have to take a glucose tolerance test, which is similar, but longer. If you do have gestational diabetes, you will be taught how to test your blood sugar at home. You'll likely be able to control your condition with diet and exercise.

It's reassuring to know that most women who have sugar in their urine have normal blood-sugar levels in the glucose test.

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Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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