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hand of human fetus 37 weeks and 2 days

Your baby today

A 3D close-up of the hand shows the skin folds. Just as fingerprints are unique, so are the deeper skin folds seen on the hands and feet. The grasp reflex is strong and your baby will start to grasp anything that touches the palm of her hand.

Your baby will benefit from extra time in the uterus, but her development is almost complete and she's now "full term."

There is now less space for your baby to move and she will soon, if she hasn't already, settle down into a comfortable head-down position. The shape of the uterus encourages this head-down position and, once in it, turning would be a major effort for your baby. Plenty of amniotic fluid remains to cushion and protect your baby, who will still be attempting to be very active in this more confined space.

Your baby's behavior is now exactly the same as a newborn: she'll turn toward light and yawn just as much as a newborn, and she'll continue to practice breathing the amniotic fluid in and out with regular rhythmical movements.

The Lowdown

Hair down there

One dilemma that's rarely discussed-but much pondered-among moms-to-be is whether they should shave or trim their pubic hair before giving birth.

It's really a personal choice and depends how much it bothers you: just because your best friend had her pubic hair waxed, you shouldn't feel pressure to do the same-aside from anything else, itchy regrowth will not be welcome in the days following the birth of your baby.

You might want to trim your pubic hair or use tweezers or shave any stragglers, though, in the interests of postpartum hygiene. Postpartum blood loss will cling to the hair.

If you've arranged to have a cesarean, the top inch (at least) of your pubic hair will be shaved in hospital, so you may prefer to do this at home yourself.

3D ultrasound picture of baby

Your baby will be very cramped in the uterus. It won't be long, however, until she's positioned head down and begins to engage in the pelvis as she prepares to make her entry into the world.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

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