Pregnancy Tips For Weeks 33 – 37 Hang In There! You are almost there!

 

At this point, there is no doubt that your mind and body are all about the upcoming birth.  

 

Hang in there; you’re almost there!  

 

You can’t imagine getting bigger but, believe it or not, you and the baby still have some growing to do.   Most moms begin to feel anxious.  They want the baby out of their stomachs and into their arms.  But good things are worth waiting for!

 

Baby shower time

Your baby shower is probably happening right about now, which will be exciting and give you a little boost!  Newborn babies do not need much!  All they really need is a car seat, basic baby clothes, a safe place to sleep, receiving blankets, diapers, your breast milk and your warm skin!!  Even though you’ll want to, don’t go over board with newborn clothing.  You don’t know what size your baby will be.

You may want to check out my blog posts on:

 

Anytime around 35 weeks...

Your baby may drop lower into the pelvis.  This is usually uncomfortable for most women.  This should make it easier to breathe but it will also make you have to pee more.  Keep drinking plenty of fluids, 3 quarts of filtered water a day!!!  Dehydration can cause you to have uterine contractions.  Your breasts may begin to leak colostrum.  This is what I like to call, liquid gold.  It is the first food your baby will have!  It seals their porous gut lining and contains all kinds of antibodies that help boost their immune system!  Plan on weekly OB or midwife visits.

 

Pesky Braxton Hicks

Most likely you are experiencing some tightening of your abdomen.  Most women at this time do.   Did you know that your uterus begins to contract around the third month and it contracts several times an hour?  WOW!  Who new?  It’s an actual mini work out that your uterus goes through so it’ll be strong and ready for labor.  These contractions are usually painless and last less than 45 seconds.  Some women describe them like mild menstrual cramps.  They come and go  (irregular) and happen more when you’re tired or have over extended yourself.  Drink a big glass of water, lie down, rest and practice your breathing techniques.  Or jump into a nice WARM bath.  Not too hot!

Check out my blog on Signs of Labor - What You Should Know If You're Pregnant

 

Tests:

Group B Strep Test - This test is done between weeks 35 – 37.  What is group B streptococcus (GBS)?  Group B streptococcus is one of the many types of bacteria that live in the body and usually do not cause serious illness.  It’s found in the digestive, urinary, and reproductive tracts of men and women.  It’s considered “normal flora” of the body.  The CDC reports that 25% of women will carry the Group B Strep bacteria in their vaginas or rectums.  GBS is not a sexually transmitted disease.  

Why do they test for it?  Carrying this type of bacteria puts women at higher risk for chorioamnionitis (infection of the membranes) and puts newborns at higher risk for Group B Strep infection.  Most infections happen while the baby passes through the birth canal but there have been cases even with an intact amniotic membrane.  IV Antibiotics are given during labor if a mom tests positive for GBS.  But a study just came out saying antibiotics might not be beneficial. Intrapartum antibiotics for known maternal Group B streptococcal colonization.  This is something you will have to discuss with your healthcare provider. 

What are the risks of the treatment?  There are a number of side effects:

  • Discomfort at the site of the IV.

  • Increased risk of yeast infection for mother and baby, mild to moderate allergic reaction (1 out of every 100 woman).  Long-term side effects for baby are unknown.

What are the risks of not treating it? 

  • The baby will be at greater risk of GBS infection. If a mom has GBS, her baby has a 1 – 2% chance of developing a serious infection. (sepsis, pneumonia, or meningitis.)

For more information go to: ACOG: Group B Streptococcus and Pregnancy

 

Is there anything I can do to prevent GBS?

I get asked this question a lot.  Here is what I found...In the book Natural Pregnancy by Lauren Fedar, M.D., she suggests boosting your immune system a few weeks before your GBS test.  

Considering doing one or more of the following:

  • Take probiotics, orally (1 a day) and vaginally. Insert 1 capsule a week (with or without the capsule) of the Garden of Life probiotic for vaginal health. This brand has lactobcillicus rhueteri and lactobacillus rhamnosus these have an affinity for vaginal health. You can use a different brand of probiotics just make sure they contain these two healthy bacteria strains. 

  • Take immune boosting supplements like, echinacea (considered safe during pregnancy), vitamin C (do not exceed 1000 mg), and/or grapefruit seed extract.

  • Eat plenty of fresh garlic.  You can insert a peeled and scored clove of garlic into vagina for 3 nights prior to the test. Using your finger to push it in about 2-3 inches. Remove and discard it every morning.  FYI - you'll probably taste garlic in your mouth. 

  • Insert plain organic cultured yogurt vaginally twice per week. (You can do it while showering and then rinse. Don't forget to wear a panty liner.) 

  • Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, sour cream etc. 

Hygiene 

  • Wear cotton underwear 

  • AVOID thong underwear (it is like a wick from the anus to your vagina)  

  • Ladies…always, always, always wipe front to back after urination or a BM 

  • After a BM use a wet wipe…and wipe front to back until clean  

Stress Release

  • Meditation 

  • Yoga 

  • Exercise

  • Massage 

To learn more about GBS, checkout my teacher Aviva Romm, MD's blog post. It is super informative! 

I recommend 1-2 capsules of a probiotic daily during pregnancy, and especially in the 3rd trimester, not just to help prevent GBS, but also because it has been shown to reduce the risk of atopic conditions in kids (allergies, eczema, asthma) when taken by mom in the last third of the pregnancy.  - Aviva Romm, M.D.

 

Recommendations from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

Here are the new guidelines for Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery by ACOG

Induction should not be done prior to 41 weeks without medical necessity.

March Of Dimes

March Of Dimes

Delivery prior to 39 weeks 0 days has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of learning disabilities and a potential increase in morbidity and mortality. There are clear medical indications for delivery prior to 39 weeks 0 days based on maternal and/or fetal conditions.  A mature fetal lung test, in the absence of appropriate clinical criteria, is not an indication for delivery.

 

 

Don’t schedule elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor between 39 weeks 0 days and 41 weeks 0 days unless the cervix is deemed favorable.

Ideally, labor should start on its own initiative whenever possible.  Higher cesarean delivery rates result from inductions of labor when the cervix is unfavorable. Health care practitioners should discuss the risks and benefits with their patients before considering inductions of labor without medical indications.

Doing the ‘Bishop score’ will help deciding your chances of having a vaginal delivery, especially when labor is being induced. The Bishop score consists of 5 parameters: 

A vaginal exam is done and the care provider evaluates the degree of:

Dilation-and-Effacement2, HDNYC.jpg
  • cervical dilation (how far the cervix has opened so far)

  • cervical effacement (how thinned out the cervical walls are)

  • cervical consistency (how soft or firm the cervix is)

  • cervical position (whether the cervix is pointing forwards or backwards relative to the vaginal walls)

  • fetal station (how far down the baby is in the pelvis)

 

A Bishop score can have maximum of 13 and a score of 8 and higher increases your chances having a successful induction and vaginal delivery.  Lower than 5 is not favorable. 

Make sure to discuss your bishop score and your options with your healthcare provider.  

 

Please watch this educational video about inductions.

It has all my favorite people in it, Aviva Romm, M.D., Christiane Northrup, M.D., Sarah Buckley, Ina May Gaskin and others as they discuss the risks of labor induction?

 

Appointment tips.  Things that need to get done!

  • Sign up for my week to week pregnancy guide plus learn how your baby is growing week to week. 

  • Tour your maternity floor at the hospital or birthing center.

  • Make sure you have a car seat that is installed properly.  To find a child passenger safety technician go to: cert.safekids.org  or check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – travel safety and car seat installation instructions  nhtsa.gov or http://www.seatcheck.org/

  • Look into maternity leave benefits at work.

  • Take a breastfeeding class and find a few lactation consultants in your area.  You can find LCs here,  International Lactation Consultants Association   ilca.org  Keep in mind that you may need to call one after the baby is born.  Lots of baby friendly hospitals have lactation specialist available after the baby is born.  Some insurance companies cover lactation consultant visits. 

  • Choose a pediatrician.  You'll need a pediatrician to check your baby after he/she is born.

  • Choose a cord-blood bank if you are planning to store your baby’s cord blood.  Her is some sites for more information - Parent's Guide To Cord Blood  http://parentsguidecordblood.org/   Cryo-Cell   www.cryo-cell.com   Cord Blood Center http://www.cordbloodbanking.com

  • If you have a pet, who will take care of your pet while you’re at the hospital?

  • Organize a good support system of friends, family and neighbors to help out when you’re home with your new baby.  Make a list of anything you can think of that will be helpful to you and your partner.  Assign tasks.  You may need someone to make a few meals for you, do laundry, light house cleaning, walk your dog, grab groceries, or watch the baby while you take a nap.  Everyone is glad to help.  They just need to be told what to do sometimes.

  • Buy several nursing bras and nursing pads.  Have them professionally fitted.  

  • Consider doing perennial massage.

  • Make 2 weeks worth of meals that you can freeze so you can quickly and easily warm up something nutritious and healthy after the baby arrives home.

  • Think about leaving a status sheet at work in case you go into labor early.

  • Call your insurance company and add your baby to your insurance policy. 

  • Start thinking about what you’ll need at the hospital and eventually pack a bag for you, your partner and the baby and leave it by your front door.   Gearing Up for Labor? What You Should Pack And Bring To The Hospital…

  • Have your partner read The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin

 

Check out three of my most popular blogs on how to help you get ready:

What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know About Eating And Drinking During Labor.

Real Labor Tips for Dads From A Doula - Childbirth Educator

How Making A Baby Plan Can Help Make Your Relationship Strong

7 Easy Tips on How to Create an Eco Friendly Nursery

Top 10 Reasons To Buy Organic Cotton Clothing, Bedding, And Toys For Your Baby

The Best Newborn Essentials Guide- Preparing For Baby

 

Ultra wellness tips for weeks 33 - 37 (choose a few that seem appealing to you):

  • Walk, walk, walk and get fresh air.

  • Drink 3 quarts of water a day. (This is a must!)

  • Practice relaxing techniques everyday.  Listen to hypnobirth CD’s.

  • Practice breathing and becoming extremely relaxed.  The more relaxed the better!   This is what you will need to do during labor.

  • Get a pregnancy massage.

  • Get a manicure – pedicure.

  • Have lunch with friends.

  • Go on a date with your partner.  It’s important to spend quality time with him/her. 

  • Talk to your little one.  Explain to him/her what is happening.  Your baby is so in-tuned with everything you’re feeling and thinking.  Your baby feels what you feel and it is important to explain things to them.  He/she is listening.

  • Start taking a warm bath (99 - 100 degrees) everyday around 36 weeks. Helps prepare cervix. 

  • Write a letter to your partner and tell them 5 reasons you think they will be a good parent.  Write a letter to yourself, 5 reasons you think you will be a good parent.  If you can think of more great.  You can even add to the list.  Place them on the refrigerator.  It is natural to feel nervous about becoming a parent.

  • Write a letter to your partner and yourself, 5 strengths you have that will help you get through labor.

  • Start envisioning the birth of your baby.  Picture every detail, smell it, feel it, what does it sound like, who’s in the room with you.  Many professional athletes envision their performance before they compete.  Studies show they do a better job because if the mind sees it first, the body will follow.

  • Make a sound track of relaxing music that you will like to play during labor.  Practice doing your breathing exercise while listening to it.  Nap to it and just practice relaxing to it everyday!

  • Make sure you are eating a healthy diet and drinking 2 - 3 quarts of water a day.  This is super important because your baby is made from what you eat!!  Literally!  So be mindful of what you put into your mouth and body. 

  • Check out my blog ‘12 Tips to Eating Well During Pregnancy’.   If you want to learn more about prenatal power foods and what will make you and your baby thrive, 12 Days To A Health Pregnancy, Healthy Baby & Beyond - Prenatal Nutrition 101. 

  • Wondering what you should be avoiding?  Check out my blogs: 

  1. Attention Moms! Top 12 Things To Avoid While Pregnant. 

  2. Attention Moms! The Yucky Seven NON-FOOD Items Pregnant Women and Kids Should Avoid

  3. Attention Moms! 8 Environmental Things Children and Pregnant Women Should Avoid

 

Navigating emotions

Learn How To Navigate Third Trimester Emotions


You may want to consider creating  a postpartum wellness kit for yourself.  Here is what you'll need. 

Make sure to watch  Baby Behavior 101 - Understanding Your Baby's Sleep and Cues

Don't forget to check out  Tips for Weeks 38 - 40:   The Home Stretch!! 


QUESTION:  What has been your favorite thing about being pregnant?  What will you miss?  I would love to hear from you so I hope you will share your answer in the comment box below.

If you find this information useful please feel free to share it with your friends and loved ones. 


Resources:

Sears M.D., W., Sears, R.N., M. The Pregnancy Book. 1st Edition. Published by Little Brown and Co. NYC  1997

DASC talk by Dr. Deborah Gleisner, ND, LM, CPM – Prenatal Testing

ACOG: Group B Streptococcus and Pregnancy

http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq105.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130727T2051167587