Hey mama, guess what? You only have eight weeks left! At this point, you are probably thinking that eight is a verrrry large number. The very end seems just as long as the seven months before now, but even if the days pass slowly, they will pass! Your babe still needs some time to work on her lungs, so don't go wishing her out of you quite yet! Soon enough, you will have a fresh baby in those arms!
Just as you are busily preparing a nursery, and getting everything else in order for your baby, your body is preparing too! Braxton Hicks are basically just warm-up contractions. Many first-time mamas don't notice these very often, but they are known to increase and be more noticeable with each pregnancy. Sometimes they may feel a lot like regular contractions, but they do not mean you are in labor or that you are going to be in labor tomorrow.
Are you a first-time mama, wondering what to expect? Braxton Hicks usually start at the top of your uterus and spread down across your whole lower abdomen. For some they last only a second or two, and for others they can last a few minutes. Every person, and every Braxton Hicks contraction are so different! So, how do you know if they are real or not, since they may feel like a real contraction? They will stop. If you change positions or activities, Braxton Hicks will not continue. If they are getting uncomfortable, fill up that tub or have someone give you a nice little back rub. Remember, you are so close to loving on that sweet baby! You can do this!
What is baby doing this week? Well, for one, they are working on their sleep cycles! Hopefully (for your sake) they like to sleep when you do! Research shows that babies in utero have definite sleep and awake periods. They are sleeping about 70% of their time now, so it is common for you to feel less moving from them these days. When your babe is awake, they are probably listening very intently to the sounds that surround them.
As your countdown gets smaller and smaller, your baby is settling into the head down position. There, of course, is the possibility that your baby could be breech. A very small percentage of babies get to full-term without going head down, so don't worry if you have been told they aren't quite there yet. Baby's little lungs still need more time to develop, but all of the other major organs are ready to be used--even their digestive system! Baby is getting ready to have some good milk when she gets on the outside. Her cozy little space is getting cozier (or tighter) every day, so even when you do feel them move, it will be very different than before.
Will you be breastfeeding? If so, you will most likely want a breast pump! They are great especially if you need to leave baby in the care of others. Talk to your insurance company about getting a breast pump covered by them. Make sure you know what you need from your doctor to make that happen, and where you can go to get the pump when baby has arrived! It is also smart to have a few different types of bottles on hand. Some babies are very particular!