In the last week of pregnancy there are several substantial changes and symptoms that you can expect to experience. Here are some of the most common:
- Increased discomfort: As your baby continues to grow, you may experience more discomfort, especially in your back and pelvis. This can make it harder to get comfortable when sitting or sleeping.
- Braxton Hicks contractions: These are practice contractions that can occur in the last weeks of pregnancy. They are usually painless and irregular, but can feel uncomfortable. These contractions are a sign that your body is getting ready for labor.
- Increased vaginal discharge: As your body prepares for labor, you may notice an increase in vaginal discharge. This discharge may be thick and sticky or thin and watery.
- Nesting instincts: Many women experience a strong urge to prepare their home for the arrival of their baby during the last week of pregnancy. This can include cleaning, organizing, and stocking up on supplies.
- Difficulty sleeping: It may become harder to get comfortable and find a comfortable position to sleep in. This can be due to the size of your belly or increased discomfort.
- Shortness of breath – During the last month of your pregnancy, you might feel quite breathless. As a normal part of pregnancy, your breathing might be affected by the increase in the hormone progesterone, which causes you to breathe in more deeply.
- Heartburn – Pregnancy hormones relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus. This can allow stomach acid to reflux into your esophagus and cause heartburn.
- Changes in foetal movement: As your baby continues to grow, you may notice changes in foetal movement. This is normal, but it’s important to contact your healthcare provider if you have concerns.
- Pre-labor signs: Some women may experience pre-labor signs, such as a bloody show (a small amount of blood and mucus), or their water breaking. These signs indicate that labor may begin soon and it’s important to contact your healthcare provider if you experience them.
- Fatigue: As your body prepares for labor, you may feel more tired and exhausted than usual. It’s important to rest and take breaks throughout the day.
- Increased pressure: You may feel increased pressure in your pelvic area as your baby moves down into the birth canal.
- Emotional changes: The last week of pregnancy can be an emotional time. You may feel anxious, excited, or concerned about the upcoming birth of your baby.
Try to remain positive as you look forward to the end of your pregnancy. Soon you’ll hold your baby in your arms! It’s important to keep in mind that every woman’s experience of the last week of pregnancy can be different. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to talk to your gynaecologist and doctor.