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ultrasound of human fetus 39 weeks and 5 days

Your baby today

This great image of the hands even shows the fine folds that have formed in the palms. Every baby has a unique pattern of folds on the palms and on the soles of the feet that you'll see when your baby finally arrives.

You'll be in labor very soon and it's normal to be anxious about what you need to go through to meet your baby.

You're bound to have mixed emotions about going into labor. While you'll want your baby to be born, you may be apprehensive about going through childbirth. Most women are understandably concerned about the pain, and may worry about their health and that of the baby. Remember that the majority of deliveries are normal and without complications and the majority of babies are fit and healthy.

Even though you've spent the past nine months preparing for the birth, you may still feel that you're not ready for the baby and that you won't be able to manage. Some of this will be the fear of the unknown-you have not yet met your baby and it's impossible to predict what the labor-and the weeks that follow it-will be like.

Although you may not feel fully prepared, be confident that you'll know how to take care of your newborn. In fact, you'll have probably already started the process of becoming a mother, wanting to nurture and protect your baby even before she's born, and this natural instinct will continue.

MRSA: is it a risk?

There's a great deal of media coverage of "superbugs," such as MRSA. This is a bacterium that can live harmlessly on the skin of healthy people, but can lead to infection in vulnerable individuals. Good hygiene, particularly in the form of precautions such as hand-washing, is an effective method in the prevention of MRSA and your chances of acquiring the infection in hospital are low.

If cutlery and plates are washed using detergent and hot water this removes MRSA, and the risk of acquiring MRSA through contact with curtains, sheets, and pillows is very low. Health-care workers use antiseptic solutions, such as alcohol hand rubs, and more recently many hospitals are taking steps to prevent transmission of MRSA.

In addition to general hygiene measures, hospitals prevent the spread of MRSA by treating those infected with antibiotics, and by detecting cases early so that they can isolate affected patients. Infected patients are moved to a private room or to a room with others who have MRSA.

3D ultrasound picture of baby

The final details of your baby's appearance-including eyebrows, eyelashes, and nails-are now in place and all her internal organs are sufficiently developed for life outside the uterus.

Ask A... Doctor

What's the difference between an emergency and elective cesarean?

An elective cesarean is when a planned decision is made during pregnancy to deliver the baby by cesarean section before the onset of labor. This is usually decided upon for medical reasons, although some women may decide to have an elective cesarean for practical reasons or to avoid having to go through labor.

An emergency cesarean is when a situation arises, usually in labor, that means the safest route for delivery is by cesarean section.

Woman getting cesarean section

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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