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ultrasound of human fetus 36 weeks and 3 days

Your baby today

A short portion of the umbilical cord is lying close to the mouth, which makes this baby appear to have a rather grumpy looking expression. The placenta is seen to the right of the image partially obscuring the view of the face.

You'll find that your beautiful belly is intruding on your life more and more, affecting your movements and eating patterns.

You might be getting a little frustrated by your size around now, which can make everyday activities more difficult. Simple maneuvers, such as fitting through doors or getting off the sofa, can be more difficult and you may find that everything takes a bit longer to achieve. All you can do is be patient and focus on getting through the next few weeks. You'll soon have your body back to normal.

During pregnancy, it's common to eat more often than previously but to eat less at each meal. This is because your uterus has grown so much that all your other organs have moved around and are squashed into much less space. Your stomach simply has less room in it to fit the food so you can't eat as much before feeling full. When your stomach empties you may find yourself hungry again. It's fine to snack, but make sure you're reaching for healthy foods and not the cookie jar!

The Lowdown

VBAC

Doctors used to think that if you had one baby by cesarean, all future babies must also be born that way. But doctors now know that 90 percent of women who delivered by cesarean are candidates for VBAC, or vaginal birth after caesarean. Depending on the reason for your prior cesarean, you may be able to deliver vaginally, especially if you have no major medical problems, the baby is healthy and in head-down position, of normal size, and any condition that necessitated your last cesarean isn't present. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or are pregnant with multiples, you are not a candidate for VBAC.

Pregnant woman getting out of car

Getting comfortable behind the steering wheel will become increasingly challenging in the late stages of pregnancy. Keep trips as short as possible or take regular breaks if you need to travel for any length of time. Always wear your seat belt (see How to wear a seat belt).

Focus On... Your baby

Working out with Mom

Your baby will usually move several times in the 20 to 30 minutes after you exercise. By keeping the intensity of your exercise at a moderate level you will not compromise the oxygen supply to your baby. When you exercise too hard and for too long, you may compromise this exchange and the result is the baby's movements will fall below their usual levels.

If you're concerned and unsure, keep a log of how much your baby is moving and compare this to the activity levels after exercise. If the level falls below what you consider to be "normal," speak to your doctor.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

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