Feeling a bit short of breath these days? Your babies are taking up a lot of space now, which means they’re starting to crowd your lungs — and each other!
Your due date is drawing close now. Are you ready? Your babies almost are. In fact, they’re just putting the finishing touches on what will be the most perfect package ever delivered in the coming weeks.
Let’s have a look at what’s going on with your little ones this week and check in on how you’re feeling!
How are the babies?
Your babies are becoming more flexible in their joints and necks. This means they can turn their heads with ease and are might even be giving each other a quick once-over. Time for these roommates to get better acquainted because they’ll be seeing a lot of each other soon!
Their heads are still quite soft, as the bones of the skull are not yet fused together. This allows your babies to pass more easily through the birth canal. Their soft spots, known as fontanels, will close after they’re born. The posterior fontanel closes in the first 2 to 3 months of life, and the anterior fontanel closes when your babies are closer to 18 to 24 months old.
They continue to pack on fat, which will help regulate their body temperature once they’re born. Their immune systems are also nearly developed enough to fight illnesses on their own, though they will continue becoming more efficient after they’re born.
Your babies weigh over 3.5 pounds each now — about the size of a head of lettuce!
How are you doing?
What’s that tightening and discomfort in your belly? It’s probably Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are practice contractions that amp up later in pregnancy. Though uncomfortable, Braxton-Hicks contractions are known as “false labor” contractions. They’re your body’s way of practicing for birth. You can combat the discomfort by staying hydrated, resting, or taking a bath.
If Braxton-Hicks contractions don’t subside after an hour, or if they seem to follow a pattern, give your healthcare provider a call to ask if you should head to the hospital to be monitored. Other signs of preterm labor include vaginal discharge or bleeding, lower back pain, and increased pressure in your pelvis.
You might notice some yellowish discharge coming from your nipples soon. This is called colostrum, which is designed to be your babies’ first “superfood.” Colostrum is full of antibodies to provide babies an immune system boost.
To protect your shirts, you can invest in breast pads to soak up the colostrum. It’s worth noting that it is normal to have not noticed any colostrum yet, too.
Let’s plan ahead!
Determining who you want to be with you on delivery day is an important decision that external factors may influence. Some people want just their partners by their side, while others prefer additional support persons, like extended family or a doula.
Your hospital may have a policy on how many people you can have in the room with you during delivery, particularly if you’re having a C-section. Talking with your physician or OB team in advance can help answer questions about who will provide medical care and who can be with you for support during delivery, making planning easier.
It’s also worth considering whether or not you want visitors after your baby arrives, either at the hospital or at home. Let your friends and family know your decision, so you can welcome your babies as publicly or privately as you wish.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Multifetal gestation: Twin, triplet, and higher order multifetal pregnancies.” National Guideline Clearinghouse. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, May 2014. Retrieved May 15 2021.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Twin pregnancy: What multiples mean for mom.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, December 13 2014. Retrieved May 15 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/twin-pregnancy/art-20048161.
- “FAQ: Multiple pregnancy.” American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, July 2015. Retrieved May 15 2021.