Welcome to Week 28 Of Your Pregnancy:
This week typically marks the beginning of your third trimester! Although your bundle of joy appears to be fully developed, there are still a few more hurdles before the big day.
Your second trimester symptoms continue to linger on, and unfortunately, many of them will magnify in the third trimester. Add a fresh batch of symptoms such as Braxton Hicks contractions, leeking breasts as they begin to produce colostrum, and shortness of breath.
What are Braxton Hick’s contractions ?
From now until the end of your pregnancy the uterus starts to practice contracting mildly in preparation for labour. These painless tightenings called Braxton Hicks’ contractions start at the top of the fundus and travel down the uterus causing it to harden for about 30 seconds.
It was the 19th century obstetrician John Braxton Hicks from St. Mary’s Hospital in London who was the first to describe them.
He realized that this painless activity toward the end of pregnancy was because the uterus needed to practice to contract strongly enough to expel a baby through the birth canal and into the wold.
These contractions also help to direct more blood into the placenta during the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Your breasts may feel fuller now due to the combined action of hormones preparing your breasts for lactation and breast feeding.
Although at times a little milk may squirt out at an unexpected moment many woman never see a drop of milk or colostrum before the baby is born.
Colostrum is the “early milk”. It is a concentrated clear yellow secretion which provides your baby with all the water, proteins and minerals required until proper milk is produced.
Colostrum also contains high levels of maternal antibodies and also a substance with a natural antibiotic activity called lactoferrin which helps fight infection.
Shotness of breath may also happen in third trimester. There a several reasons for this. High levels of progesterone increase your body temperature and breathing rate.
Your diaphragm has to stretch further and in the process becomes less flexible. This reduced movement forces you to breath more deeply. Lastly the expanding bump pushes abdominal contents up against the diaphragm leaving the lungs with less room to expand when you try to take a deep breath.
If lack of sleep persists, do not fight it, instead, when that nighttime insomnia hits, take the time to relax—read a book, listen to soothing music, take a warm bath, or drink some chamomile tea. This might be your last chance to spend some “me time” before your baby arrives.
The third trimester carries plenty of discomfort, but it also yields the joy and excitement of meeting your soon-to-be-born baby. The big day is fast approaching and you’ll likely be seeing your doctor every two weeks to monitor the baby’s progress. Although different centres have different protocols of when you’ll see the doctor or midwife. Women who previously tested with an elevated glucose level will be given the three hour glucose test.
As for women who tested Rh negative, like my self. You will receive an injection of Rh immunoglobin to prevent your body’s antibodies from attacking the baby’s blood.
Rhesus is part of your blood group status. Your Rhesus is either negative or positive. If you have Rh negative blood group and your baby has Rh positive then it’s possible for you to form antibodies to your baby’s red blood cells. If you become pregnant again and your next baby is Rh positive the antibodies you developed in this pregnancy can destroy your next baby’s red blood cells putting baby at risk for serious forms of anaemia.
Thanks to modern medicine though this is often quite rare because Rh negative Moms are given an injection of a Rh immuno-globulin which is completely safe and prevents the formation of the antibodies that attack your baby’s blood cells.
Your little one is packing on the fat and losing wrinkles and is about 1/3 of his estimated birth weight. He weighs in at a whopping 2.5 pounds (approximately 1.1 kilograms) and measures almost fifteen inches (38 centimeters) from head to heel.
This is a real life size model of your baby at week 28 weeks. Baby fat is accumulating underneath his skin and his muscles are becoming well developed. Although he’s almost done developing physically, meantally his breain is producing neurons by the second.
Baby is also developing scalp hair especially on the back of his head.
The network of nerves to his ears is now complete and he can hear more and more. Baby will also enjoy hearing your voice now so carry on talking to him.
The lungs are almost completely developed, which means that if your baby were born now although it would be difficult, his lungs are capable of breathing air and he would have a very high chance of survival.
The umbilical cord is very strong and can withstand being squeezed and twisted by your baby. Babies are frequently seen during an ultrasound to grip their cord.
Space in the uterus is becoming restricted do to your baby’s increasing weight, but this means she is becoming better acquainted with the various parts of his own body and as she squirms, kicks, and practices that right hook in your uterus.
She is also working on blinking and can even open her eyes for a period of time. That’s right. This week, your baby is mastering the art of the blink.
She has begun experiencing REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. So, rest assured that even if you aren’t sleeping, your baby is.
Tips For Week 28:
It’s a good idea to test baby’s movements. During the morning and the evening you should see whether you can feel 10 movements. If so, all is well…if not convey this information to your doctor.
You’ll need to increase your calorie intake now by around 250 to 300 calories a day to meet the demands of your growing baby. You can achieve this simply by having a glass of milk and a banana.
To expel any excess fluids accumulating in your hands and feet, consume more water and avoid standing for long periods of time. Wear loose clothing and sit with your feet up when possible.
Consistent swelling accompanied by dizziness, headache and visual disturbances must be reported to you doctor immediately.