Hands are fully formed and grasping is their new favourite hobby
As you near the end of pregnancy your bump is probably getting bigger and bigger. This can make things a little more challenging but getting some gentle exercise such as swimming is still a good idea.
Half of your weight gain going forward will go directly to baby
Getting the right nutrition during pregnancy can positively influence your baby's future health so continue to include a healthy balanced diet with a variety of nutrients right up until baby arrives - and beyond!
Baby is drinking about a pint of amniotic fluid each day
They are also urinating roughly the same amount! They can move around a lot now and may suck their thumb or grab at their feet.
Most of baby's bones will now harden, except for their skull. This is to help ease exit through the birth canal
Your own body will also react to help ease the birth. A hormone called relaxin will help you joints and ligaments to soften slightly which will make it easier for baby to move out of the pelvis.
Your little one is getting bigger, gaining about half a pound per week
Once your little one arrives, breastfeeding is the best way of nourishing them. Your breastmilk will be uniquely tailored for your baby and will change composition a number of times once your baby arrives.
Breathe easy! Your baby will soon drop lower into your pelvis, relieving some of the pressure from under your ribs
You may find as they get bigger that you have a little trouble breathing. This is because your internal organs have moved up in response to your growing uterus which can put some pressure on your lungs. As baby drops in the next couple of weeks this should ease up.
It’s around this time that your baby will start to move deeper into your pelvis ready for birth – this is known as ‘engagement’ or ‘lightening’ because it should give you a little relief from the heavy feeling of pressure under your ribs. Although it may be easier to breath - walking might become a little bit more difficult! Remember to keep talking to your bump throughout the day - your baby can hear you and your familiar voice will soothe them after birth. You may also experience Braxton Hicks contractions soon if you haven't already. Use these to practice breathing techniques if you can. .
Constipation can sometimes be an issue in the last few weeks of pregnancy so keep your fluid levels up by drinking plenty of water, choose wholegrain varieties of bread, pasta and rice and get your 5 portions of fruit and veg each day. Your baby's vitamin D stores at birth will depend on your own vitamin D stores so make sure you are including oily fish, eggs, fortified milk or your supplement in these final weeks. Once baby is born, it is recommended that you give them a 5ug supplement of vitamin D from birth until 12 months.
Baby would now be considered full term if they were born this week
You are getting closer and closer to meeting the little person who has been growing and developing inside you each day. Try to be patient - you're almost at the beginning of the next adventure!
All of the organs and features are now fully in place, meaning your little one is soon ready for the outside world
There isn't much left to do now but wait. You can use this time to read up on what to expect next - the signs of labour to look out for, preparing to breastfeed, how to change a nappy and all the new milestones to come!
Only 5% of births actually occur on their due date, so don't be too disappointed if you have to wait a little longer
But 50% are within a week of the due date and 90% are within 2 weeks - you won't have to wait forever even though it may feel like that.
Baby has grown from one single cell to a human being in just 9 short months. You're about to be a parent!
You're about to be a parent! If you are still waiting for baby to arrive have a read of some of the articles in this week to help keep you occupied - the impatience can be unbearable but you will soon have your little baby in your arms.
for week by week pregnancy and baby development updates