Thirty-eighth week of pregnancy


Future child

Height - 49 cm, weight - 2900 g.

Finally! Your pregnancy is now considered full term. How does one immediately feel calmer, right?

By this time, the baby's head has already sunk to the very entrance to the small pelvis. A little more and he will get out into the light. The amniotic fluid grows old and cloudy. When swallowed, they enter the baby, which converts waste into meconium - the original feces.

By this time, a lot of meconium had already accumulated in his intestines. It consists of fallen lanugo vellus hairs, peeled skin, disintegrated blood cells and other substances swallowed along with the amniotic fluid.

Meconium will leave the baby completely after giving birth (about two or three days). But some babies manage to do this even during childbirth, and then the baby will be born covered with green mucus.

The kid moves less (he has absolutely no room left for this), but pushes harder. In most boys, by 38 weeks, the testicles have already descended into the scrotum, some will tighten with this until the very birth. But if the testicles have not yet descended after childbirth, then we can talk about cryptochism - an anomaly of prolapse of the testicles.

The risk is that infertility or even cancer may develop with age. But don't be scared right away. In 80% of cases, the testicles take their proper place during the first year of a baby's life without surgery. In other cases, cryptochism can be cured with hormonal drugs or surgery.

Undescended testicles occur in 3% of term boys and 30% of premature boys. Among the reasons for the development of the anomaly, a genetic predisposition, hormonal problems in the mother in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, increase the adverse factors of low birth weight, premature birth, multiple pregnancies, intrauterine growth retardation, the use of estrogens by the mother in the 1st trimester.

Future mom

The average weight gain this week is about 14 kg. The height of the bottom of the uterus is 38 cm. Its growth is almost complete, now only the baby will grow, and even then a little. Get ready for the fact that you can give birth at any time. But do not deliberately stimulate labor - let everything happen when it should.

You may lose your appetite, but you still need to eat. Remember that there are yoghurts, skim milk, bananas and raisins, curds and cheese. Do not forget about laxatives prunes or dried apricots - after all, you may have problems with stool - just do not overdo it. Eat 3-4 berries or drink a glass of compote a day - that's enough.

Labor is just around the corner now, but are you ready to endure contractions? Many women are so afraid of pain, even at the initial stage, that they panic, grab onto doctors and midwives and demand their help.

You need to imagine one thing for sure: if everything is fine with you, then no one can help you at the fights, except yourself and your husband, if he goes with you to childbirth.

The only remedy that doctors can offer is anesthesia. Anesthesia is now used very often and women are very pleased with it. But anesthesia is not a panacea for pain. You should prepare yourself for the fact that the pain will still be and will be rather unpleasant.

Anesthesia is done by doctors no earlier than 2 cm of cervical dilatation, otherwise it can slow down labor. This means that by the time you open 2 cm, you will feel strong, but quite bearable pain. You will want to moan, change your posture, massage your lower back, etc.

Anesthesia is terminated by doctors at a 7 cm opening, then you give birth yourself, without the support of medication. Only in very rare cases, doctors can keep a woman in labor on anesthesia until the birth of the head, say, when she has problems with the spine (hernia, rheumatism, etc.), i.e. pain that can significantly complicate the course of labor due to muscle spasms. If everything is fine with you, you have to go out on your own to feel the muscles of the vagina and uterus, otherwise it will be doubly difficult for the baby.

Today, doctors suggest giving a woman in labor an epidural. What it is? You will be injected with pain medication right between the hard lining of the spinal cord and the vertebrae (scientifically, in the epidural space). To do this, you will first be given a drip and injected with saline to increase blood volume.

This is important as it helps to avoid the pressure drop that often occurs during anesthesia. Then they put you on your side on a roll. When there are contractions, this is a very unpleasant position of the body, but during the administration of medications, in no case should you move.

Your doctor will give you a local anesthetic around the point where the main injection will be given so you don't get hurt. Then you will not feel like a needle is inserted into your epidural space and a catheter is placed. Anesthetic medication will be delivered through the catheter. After a few minutes, you will feel warmth in your legs or a tingling sensation. And very soon the pain from the contractions will recede.

This is all great, but there are some drawbacks to be aware of:
- You will not be able to get up and even especially change your posture, because a catheter and a monitor are connected to you, and your legs are numb;
- Your ability to feel the need to urinate will be disabled, you will have to do it through a catheter. Not painful (because there is no sensitivity), but somehow morally uncomfortable;
- You will not be able to control or feel the process of childbirth until a certain point (if this is important to you);
- After giving birth for two or three hours, anesthesia will still work, and you will not be very mobile.

However, if you are afraid of pain, an epidural will make the birth process very easy. Is anesthesia safe for you and your baby? As always, it all depends on the circumstances. For most women, anesthesia is completely safe.

But there will always be those who have contraindications or side effects such as nausea, chills, even seizures. Therefore, the anesthesiologist, before doing anesthesia, be sure to ask: have you had any difficulties with any pain relief before, have you had head injuries, concussions, what is your usual blood pressure, etc.

Doctors say epidurals are safe for the baby, although some babies have changes in heart rate. That is why a monitor is immediately connected to the mother with anesthesia.

But in any case, doctors consider the "epidural" to be the best option, since with intravenous or intramuscular injection of medicines into the mother's blood (as they did before), the child also receives his dose, and this is harmful.

If you do not use anesthesia, then, as we have already said, only you can help yourself during contractions. For this, generations of women have developed some recipes. It is best to study them in detail in courses on preparation for childbirth, where specialists will explain and show everything in detail. But we will provide some tips here.
1) Attitude is very important. You must understand that the contractions will not end until the birth is over. Tune in not to pain, but to have a baby. The child is your direct target now.
2) Entertain yourself. Childbirth is a rather long process. You can have time to read a book and watch a movie, and guess a crossword puzzle. Yes, of course, all this is interrupted by contractions, but they are somehow easier to bear.
3) Remain calm, the fight is just a fight, not "horror-horror-horror". Any fight ends sooner or later and you will have a couple of minutes to rest.
4) Don't be silent. If you want to scream - scream. The maternity hospital is the best place to moan and shout, or even sing. You have every right. By the way, experts recommend singing, not shouting, so the throat sits less.
5) If you are not under anesthesia, then you should not lie down all the time. Walk, squat, at least run, if that's easier for you. Any movement or simply standing upright eases the pain of the contraction and stimulates labor.
6) Use the bathroom and shower facilities, if available in the rodblock. It is very good to massage the back with a shower during a contraction, a warm bath helps to endure the pain.
7) Use whatever you can to relax. At the time of contractions, it is really very important to relax, as a lot of muscles contract from pain, but they do not help the labor process at all. In fact, only one uterus should be compressed and unclenched (in an impracticable ideal). Try to remember this during the fight. Massages (eg legs, feet, back) can help to relax, but this often requires an assistant.
8) Frequent breathing indicates panic, so try to breathe evenly and calmly. This will help relaxation. Many courses teach how to breathe rhythmically, but no matter what you learn on this topic, during a fight you will forget half, if not all. Remember only one thing: the main thing is to find the rhythm of breathing that is right for you. There is no right or wrong, only your body and your psyche will indicate the rhythm that helps you. The main thing is not to breathe often and deeply, as this can cause hyperventilation of the lungs, and now it is unnecessary.
9) The alternating application of cold and hot helps. Bring with you, for example, a bottle of warm and cold water. Experiment with applying them to yourself in contractions and you will see how you can use temperature contrast effectively.

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