Last month, we mentioned that Month 5 of Pregnancy is probably our favorite, but Month 6 is pretty darn good too. Your belly is so sweetly appreciated by all around you, but still sizeable enough that it doesn’t impede your day-to-day movements in the same way it will a couple months from now.
One of the most exciting things about Month 6 is that you have officially launched into your third – and final – trimester of pregnancy. Yahoo! The end is in sight and, before you know it, you’ll be holding your little bundle of joy and wondering where all that pregnancy peace and quiet slipped off to.
What’s Going on For Mommy and Baby?
There’s plenty happening inside the ever-expanding womb of yours. Your baby is growing rapidly, putting on more and more weight so she can be well insulated when she’s born. Ideally, your baby wants to have a bit of “baby fat” with which to begin her “outdoor life.” In addition to helping regulate her body temperature, it gives her body something to draw on as you both get used to breastfeeding. It’s very common for babies to lose a little weight during the first several days of their lives, so a little extra cushion helps to offset this process.
Your baby’s skin is starting to thicken, losing that transparent quality you may have noticed on previous ultrasounds. She’s also developing sweat glands under her skin, which will also be important for regulating body heat later on. These glands take a while to gear up after the baby is born, so resist the urge to over-bundle baby. After the first week or so, her body will need the same number of layers as yours to be comfortable.
At this point, you may be able to see your baby’s movements on the outside of your body, which can be quite entertaining for both you and the rest of the family. You may also experience what seems to be rhythmic “jumps” from time to time, and that’s a sign that your baby has the hiccups – funny during the day, less funny at night if it keeps you awake.
The weight of your uterus is now putting serious pressure on your lower-abdominal organs as well as your circulatory system. The latter can make it more difficult for the body to eradicate excess fluids, evidenced by swollen feet and ankles. This is very normal, and the best thing you can do is drink plenty of water (seems counterintuitive, but hydration is important!) and get your feet up.
If swelling seems excessive, spreads to your other extremities or is accompanied by a headache, give your doctor or midwife a call. It could be signs of preeclampsia – also called toxemia – which is a very serious condition. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to the health of you and your baby.
What’s Happening for Daddy?
Prior to Month 6, so much of your pregnancy – besides your growing belly – can seem surreal for dads because they can’t feel anything. All that changes around Month 6, when the baby’s movements become more obvious to outsiders. Make sure to include him in visible/tangible motions and kicks, and let him talk or sing to the baby – or play his favorite sports shows – so he can bond with baby too.
The more “evident” the baby becomes, the more worries your partner may have in the bedroom. Use pillows and begin experimenting with positions that are more comfortable for you and your tummy – like lying on your side or on all fours. There is nothing he can do to hurt the baby, so put those fears to rest. Anything that is comfortable for you is just fine for the baby.
This is a great time to begin signing up for childbirth classes, which will prepare the two of you for what lies ahead.
What’s Happening for Sister and Brother?
Just like dad, your other children will LOVE to see and feel the baby move. It’s so exciting for them to place their hands on your belly, or to giggle and laugh at the little chick that appears to be pecking away at its shell. If you have a child who reads, have him or her read a book to the baby. It’s a great way for the two of you to get some cuddle time in, for the baby to get used to their siblings’ voices and for homework practice to continue. Littler ones will enjoy singing to the baby, or telling the baby about their day.
Are you looking for a family-centered labor and delivery experience? Contact Women’s Health Associates to speak with our committed team of OBs. We look forward to meeting the whole family.