MONTH 10: Weeks 36-40
Possible physical changes
More Braxton-Hicks contractions (up to two or three times an hour), frequent urination, easier breathing, heavy vaginal discharge, decrease in fetal kicking, but increase in rolling, stretching and quiet periods.
Possible emotional changes
Intense excitement, anxiety, absentmindedness, irritability, apprehension, oversensitivity, restlessness, dreaming about baby and motherhood, fear of missing or misinterpreting the signs of labor.
Possible appetite changes
Increase or decrease in appetite, feeling full due to crowded stomach, cravings change or abate.
The inside story
Fetus is 20 inches long, weighs about 7 pounds and has mature lungs. Excellent chance of survival outside womb.
See Months 8 and 9.
Pack your overnight bag, including a few familiar items to help you feel more at home in the hospital: hairbrush, perfume, sanitary napkins, this magazine, lowfat munchies for post delivery (to supplement hospital fare), going-home clothes for you and Baby. Continue gentle exercise; water workouts are especially good.
See Month 9. Plus, not getting to hospital on time.
When to call your doctor
(Quick!) Breaking water before labor (occurs in less than 15 percent of pregnancies), increasingly more frequent and intense contractions that are not relieved by changing position, lower-back pain spreading to abdomen and legs, nausea, diarrhea, pink or blood-streaked mucus leaking from vagina, contractions that last 45 seconds and occur more frequently than every five minutes.