Week 38: Time to think about swimming or taking more baths, which can be soothing and help you sleep better during these last weeks and days of pregnancy.

BirthWatch Tips
  • Increased vaginal mucus, especially if tinged with pink blood, may mean labor is around the corner. Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
  • A complex interaction of signals between your baby and your body—your uterus, placenta and hormones—will cause labor to start. Labor will start when baby sends out the first chemical signals that he is ready for life outside the womb.
  • Now that you're feeling your heaviest, try swimming or wading at your local pool at least a couple of times a week. The pressure of the water can help alleviate some of the aches and pains of late pregnancy and reduce your swelling by pushing extra fluid back into your circulatory system so you can eliminate it the next time you urinate.
  • Do you love relaxing to the sound of water? Is swimming your favorite form of exercise? You may want to think about how you can incorporate the soothing, relaxing and calming properties of water into your labor and birth. Find out if your birth place offers tubs or showers during labor and plan on spending some quality time relaxing in the water during labor.
  • Intense dreams and lots of night waking is nature's way of getting you used to waking up in the middle of the night to feed baby.
  • Try not to feel pressure to accept an epidural or narcotics if you are coping well. Many women handle the pain of labor well if they are given enough support and time to follow their bodies' instincts for how to cope, breathe and move. The pain of labor, while often unpleasant, is normal and signals that the natural process of opening is happening. As long as you aren't suffering, try to cope with your labor and you may be surprised at what you can do. Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
  • Tension release is important during labor and birth. When your contractions build to an intensity where you can no longer walk or talk through them, it's time to start letting the mental and physical tension go that can build during a contraction. Every time you breathe in, identify some area of tension in your body. When you exhale, let that tension seep away and feel that part of your body go limp, loose and soft. Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn

Tips for Week 37

Tips for Week 39

BirthWatch Recommends:

Heart and Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth

This is a really cool book for understanding how a homebirth midwife works. It's a little technical but each chapter has a special section for parents to help understand the choices and information detailed in that chapter.

See All Reading Recommendations For the Third Trimester