How to Understand the Final Weeks of Pregnancy

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Realize most babies are usually born between the 37 to 42 weeks of pregnancy.,
Know that most babies at 37 weeks weigh 6 1/2 pounds and are about 20 to 21-inches long.

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Understand full-term babies, while waiting for birth, practice breathing, sucking and preparing for life outside of the uterus or womb.

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Expect colostrum production during these final weeks of pregnancy.,
Know that Braxton Hicks contractions will start during the final weeks of pregnancy.,
Watch for the bloody show which usually means labor has begun.,
Prepare for the mucous plug to loosen.,
Prepare for the amniotic fluid which may leak.,
Understand that labor has begun once a woman feels contractions in the lower back or abdomen.

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,,, Mothers-to-Be can use nursing pads to help prevent leakage onto their clothing. Colostrum is the precursor to breast milk and contains needed nutrients and antibodies for newborn babies.

, These contractions are practice contractions as the uterus warms up for delivery day. The contractions will become stronger as the weeks progress until delivery day arrives.

, The blood vessels in the cervix rupture as the cervix dilates in preparation for delivery.

, The mucous plug, which prevents bacteria from reaching the baby during pregnancy, will become dislodged in preparation for labor and delivery.

, Less than 15 percent of pregnant women will have this happen prior to the onset of labor. This event means the amniotic sack has ruptured causing amniotic fluid to leak. The fluid is usually clear and it means the baby is definitely on the way.

, Some women describe these contractions as feeling like strong menstrual cramps. Contractions will start out in an irregular fashion and later become stronger and more regular.

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