Pregnancy: Week - 33

How your baby is growing:

Your baby is now an estimated four pounds in weight and is around seventeen inches long. Ossification or hardening of the bones has completed now. Only the bones of the skull have failed to fuse together, pretty much everything is complete and ready to go for your labor. From week thirty-three on, all that happens is weight gain, strengthening of the immune system and brain growth. In fact all of those things continue even after birth! The majorities, up to ninety-six percent, of babies turn by this time and get into right position or will shortly do after this week.

How your body is changing:

Just as a reminder, common symptoms in the thirty-third week include shortness of breath (unless the baby “drops”), constipation, indigestion, dizziness, headaches or migraines, heartburn, Braxton Hick Contractions, pelvic pressure (more so when the baby “drops”), and difficulty sleeping. As always call your doctor if you experience anything out of the normal.

Most moms have gained twenty to twenty eight pounds by this time and continue to gain more weight. Your uterus is now a whole five inches above your belly button. You may think you couldn’t possibly get any bigger than this, but you can and you will!

How your life is changing:

Now, all that your baby needs to do is put on plenty of weight. Be sure you’re eating plenty of proteins and fats to help him or her achieve that. They’ll help you stay energetic as well. Sleeping has probably become quite the chore. While there is excitement & anxiety about your impending labor and delivery, you will also have to live with the discomfort of your new size, even though temporary.

Since much like last week, one of the main things on your mind is that labor and delivery, one of the questions in your mind will be what will happen during your labor and some of the pain relief options. Fear of the pain of labor is one of the biggest fears many first time moms have. You may be comforted to know that only ten percent felt labor was “extremely” painful, while another ten percent felt it didn’t hurt at all. The other eighty percent would place it somewhere in between. While it may not be painless, it is not as bad as people around you might have made it out to be.

You may also want to know:

So, what happens during your labor?

Every labor is different but one thing is always the same, the stages of labor.

The first stage of labor begins when your true contractions start. Stage one of your labor is divided into two parts, early labor and active or transitional labor.
Early labor is when you are having true contractions that are gradually affecting your cervix. They will work to thin and dilate or open your cervix to the ten cm that is considered full. While early labor contractions can be painful they tend to be wave-like and subside.
Active labor begins when contractions become closer together and more painful. They affect the cervix very quickly. Active labor usually occurs as the last few cm of your cervix dilate.

The second stage of your labor begins once you are fully dilated and ends once your baby has been delivered. This stage is some times called the “pushing” stage. During the second stage of your labor you’ll be instructed when to push with your contractions to help you baby out of you. Most women however already have an urge to push so little instruction is needed. You’ll be surprised how instinctual the majority of your labor is.

The final stage of labor is a little lesser known. On the television shows they never show the third and final stage of labor, the delivery of the placenta. Generally the pain is less severe or absent entirely and the placenta comes out in one good push.

The time frame on entire process varies from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy. The average first time labor is sixteen hours from start to finish, but this number varies greatly. Some labors can take literally days while others can happen in less than an hour.

What kind of pain management is available?

  • All natural:Of course option one, go it alone all natural. You can use breathing and relaxation techniques to make it through the pain of your labor. Some women choose to try it this way and then if the pain becomes too much you can opt for pain medication later.
  • Systemic pain medications:This is an IV or shot of narcotic pain killer administered during your labor. It will dull pain but not eliminate it completely. Systemic pain medications more take off the edge than kill the pain because large doses cannot be administered because the drugs can pass through the placenta to your baby.
  • Epidural:An Epidural is pain medication delivered to the lower spine through a catheter. This is usually a mix of narcotic pain killers and an anesthetic, between the two pain is blocked without the loss of feeling in your legs. Epidurals do not kick in instantly.
  • Spinal Block:A spinal block is very similar to an epidural except rather than a catheter being placed a single dose of medication is delivered directly into the spinal fluid. This provides instant pain relief for several hours but does wear off.
  • Lastly a Spinal/Epidural combo:Sometimes a spinal block is done to eliminate pain immediately and then an epidural done to take over once the spinal block wears off. This is done if a labor is expected to exceed the few hours a spinal block lasts.

This was just a quick look at the pain options of labor to give you an idea which one you would prefer so you can do more reading on the risks and benefits of each option. It’s also good to have an idea of what each option entails as you may find your labor hurts less or more than you expected. Knowledge is power.

Comments

As my tummy is starting to

As my tummy is starting to grow bigger and bigger, my cravings never stopped and I keep on eating anything.