Your actions can impact your baby's growth at this stage
Your Labor Bag
Now is probably the right time to pack a basic kit for the birth and afterwards.
You will need:
- Nightdresses with front opening
- Maternity bras
- Breast pads
- Sanitary towels
- Toiletries - toothbrush & toothpaste, brush & comb, face cream, shower gel, shampoo, make-up, mirror, perfume
- Clothes to come home in
Your Baby will need:
- Suitable Clothes - 2-3 sets
- Car seat - you must fit a suitable baby seat to the car in which you are bringing your baby home
- An extra pillow
- A thick pair of socks
- A hot water bottle for pain relief
- Massage oil
- A box of tissues
Learn to recognize the real thing
True labor is defined as regular painful contractions that cause cervical dilation. Often it can be difficult for you to tell if you are in true labor. Signs of true labor are:
- After timing the contractions, you notice them coming consistently and closer in pace.
- Each contraction lasts anywhere from 30 to 70 seconds and gets longer.
- Your contractions do not ebb even after you change your activity.
- The contractions start in your lower back and radiate to the front.
- Your water breaks.
Usually once you find that you have been having painful contractions that seem to occur every 5 minutes for 2-3 hours it is fair to consider yourself in labor. However this doesn't mean you are ready to deliver. There are still many hours before you would be offered an epidural.
Common Concerns in in Week 38
How will I know when my ‘water’ sac breaks?
- Many women don't even realize that it has happened because it can be very unobvious. What you may feel is a warm trickle of liquid. You could also hear a pop sound and feel a gush or a trickle. You may get confused between ‘water’ breaking and your bladder. The wise thing to do is to put on a sanitary pad and lie down for 20 mins or so. When you stand up and you feel another trickle or gush then chances are your ‘water’ did break.
How will I know if the head has engaged?
The most obvious change you will notice is your bump looking lower than it did and the kicks you felt in the ribs are less. You may need to pee more often. Also termed lightening, your doctor will confirm this event by an external examination.