safe motherhood

Your pregnancy - 29-40 weeks

Towards the end of your pregnancy, you may find it harder to get comfortable, particularly at night. Sleep disturbances are likely, with vivid dreams common in the last few months.

Even though you may be longing to see your baby - and 'get your body back' too - you may find yourself getting anxious about the birth and the health of the baby. Talk through any worries with your midwife, your mother or a good friend. Getting worries off your chest will usually make you feel a lot better.

From about 36 weeks, your baby's head may drop down into your pelvis (become 'engaged'), which will take the pressure off your diaphragm and make it easier to breathe, though it may mean running to the loo more often.

"I've started waddling now, because the head's engaged, but I couldn't understand at first why I could still feel two little feet right up in my ribcage! It's a big baby!"
Sarah, 38 weeks pregnant.

During the last month of pregnancy, have your labour bag ready for hospital. If you're having home birth, your midwife will bring round a pack.

Make sure that you:

• Contact your partner or labour companion easily at all times (have a neighbour or friend on standby just in case you need company in the early stages);

• Have petrol in the car;

• Have the telephone number of your midwife or hospital maternity unit with you at all times;

• Keep your antenatal notes with you wherever you go.

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