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Pregnancy guide

10th month of pregnancy:
Weeks 37, 38, 39, 40, 41

37th week of pregnancy

Week 37, Mum's health: You've maybe put on a bit more weight than you'd expected over the last few days. Your hands, and particularly your ankles and feet, all appear swollen. This is mainly due to water retention (oedema)...

Week 37, baby: The fetus is about 45cm long and weighs 2.8kg. The fine, downy hair (lanugo) which covered it now disappears, and a little fat starts to accumulate under the skin. The brain grows particularly rapidly at this stage: it now weighs a little over 300 grams...

Week 37, advice: To help relieve backache and stomachache, or to strengthen the perineum, here are a few yoga-ispired positions that will quickly provide you with relief. Familiarise yourself with these exercises, carry them out slowly and breathe deeply as you do so...

38th week of pregnancy

Week 38, Mum's health: Your due date is fast approaching. Will you have a normal delivery or a Caesarean? Caesarean sections (or C-sections) are quite common (about one in five births). A Caesarean can be decided upon at the last minute to avoid possible complications during a normal delivery...

Week 38, baby: The fetus has less and less space for moving in. It weighs a little under 3kg but this is approximate as the weight varies of course from baby to baby. It won't grow much more now but it will put on weight...

Week 38, advice: The contractions at the start of labour are recognisable because they are both painful and increasingly frequent. Pay attention to their rhythm. For a first child, if the contractions last for at least one minute and if they occur every 5 to 10 minutes, it's time to go...

39th week of pregnancy

Week 39, Mum's health: Your due date is approaching. It's any time now, and a lot of women find that the impending birth weighs on their mind. Over the last few weeks, you have put on quite a lot of weight and will have experienced increased water retention...

Week 39, baby: Your baby now measures about 48cm and weighs 3kg. In utero development is complete, and baby is now ready for the big day. It's time for baby to make an appearance because it's becoming squashed and is unable to move much...

Week 39, advice: Are you hypersensitive and afraid that you won't be able to bear the pain of giving birth? Childbirth is often associated with suffering. Some women don't help, though, by taking delight in exaggerating the suffering they endured during labour...

40th week of pregnancy

Week 40, Mum's health: The big day isn't far away. If at this time you develop certain symptoms such as fever, burning sensations when you go to the toilet, or if you have any excessive discharge, contact your doctor or midwife...

Week 40, baby: Your baby now weighs approximately 3kg and is about 50cm in length. Baby is curled up and fast running out of room, either head first (cephalic presentation) or bottom first (breech presentation). The skull, which is 9...

Week 40, advice: A lot of women are afraid of "not being up to it", a fear that is fuelled by a prevailing view that women always have to be perfect. But we have the right to not be perfect 100% of the time! Some women are also worried that their partner will see them in a different light when they give birth...

41th week of pregnancy

Week 41, Mum's health: You have arrived at term, but when should you head to hospital? When the contractions become stronger, increase in duration, become closer together (every 5 to 10 minutes). Also, if you are struggling...

Week 41, baby: At around 50cm in length and 3 to 3.5kg in weight, baby is ready to come out into the world. If you deliver vaginally, baby will make a series of movements in order to descend and slide across your pelvis...

Week 41, advice: How do you imagine your first contact with your child will be? If everything goes well during the delivery, you will be able to hold baby straightaway, the eyes will probably be wide open and looking at you...

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