What To Expect

  • Bloating and gas
  • Pregnancy "waddle"
  • Constipation

Your Baby This Week

Your baby this week is about the size of a large bag of popcorn.

Dear Diary

Full term. I seriously cannot get my head around that fact. If I had my baby tomorrow it wouldn't even be considered premature. There is a fully formed baby snuggled up in my tummy and they could be joining us any day now.

A couple of people I follow online have had their babies recently and I keep looking at the photographs daydreaming about what our little bundle will look like. I still firmly believe that we are having a boy, but I am so thrilled that we kept it a surprise all this time.

It's really keeping me going. I really loved knowing what gender Billy was going to be, but I wanted to experience the other side this time and it's making me very excited.


I had my 38-week appointment a couple of days ago and everything is looking great. No complications and the head is still down nice and low. I love that I'm seeing midwives now.

I had really missed that more holistic approach up to this point. I find the midwives really reassuring and caring. It's no surprise that the word midwife means "with woman" when you think about it.

This week I signed a consent form to use the birthing pool in the Coombe. That felt really good. At the moment you must participate in a study if you want to use the pool but that doesn't bother me at all.

I'm afraid to say it but I feel like I'm as ready as I'll ever be now.

In terms of preparations this week I started making a labour playlist on Spotify. I want a host of uplifting music that will help me to feel motivated when I am experiencing contractions.

So many of them remind me of Billy as we listen to them in the car on the way to school. I can imagine myself breathing through contractions thinking back to those drives and the little chats we have.

Our bags are now officially packed. All three of them. I've packed the usual hospital bag for me and the baby, but I've also included Billy. I think it's a genius idea if I do say so myself.

I've been worrying about what will happen for Billy when I go into labour. The time and day will determine whose house he goes to and therefore who packs a little bag for him. As a way of relieving my own anxiety, I packed him a little bag to cover all eventualities.

I packed his favourite PJs, toys, a spare toothbrush and then clothes for hot and cold weather. I also threw in spare runners and a raincoat. I cannot tell you how much peace of mind it's given me.

It feels good to know that regardless of where he is, he will have a bag packed by me. I won't be worrying about him as much or the fact that someone else might pack the wrong things. I am a control freak, and this has majorly relieved some of the anxiety surrounding Billy.


I'm afraid to say it but I feel like I'm as ready as I'll ever be now. I'm going to put the bags into the car so they're ready and waiting just in case. I've got one or two work commitments next week and then I'll officially be on maternity leave which feels a bit surreal.

A Partner’s Perspective

My wife has a week to go until she's officially on maternity leave! Instead of relaxing, we build a new dining table in my parents' garden from old floorboards. It takes a couple of days, with a lot of sawing and sanding. I am astounded by my partner's energy—we agree this is nesting of a sort.

Our little house feels nicer than it has in ages. I didn't expect the preparations to be so satisfying.

Our Midwife’s Advice

Your baby and all of their body systems are ready to go. If born now they have everything they need to exist outside. Imagine you just holding your perfect little bundle... it's just around the corner.

The exact mechanism of how and why women go into labour is still a bit of a scientific mystery. We know what hormones are involved (chiefly oxytocin) but not exactly the right combination of what happens. If we did, we might have a better idea of when babies will arrive.

There are several natural ways that we know help things along. Having sex is one of them, as there are things called prostaglandins which help soften the cervix. This might be the last thing you feel like right now so obviously only have sex if you feel like it.

Keeping mobile, bouncing on a birthing ball all help get that little head far down into your pelvis, so alongside getting your rest in, make sure you keep as active as possible.

Week 38

Our Wellness Tip of the Week

The weeks coming up to your due date can be stressful, so do everything in your power to prepare yourself. It may be helpful to organise your hospital bag now so that you feel prepared and calm when the time comes.

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