At this point, your child has almost completely developed and is now simply growing to get big enough to survive outside of the womb. Take the next few months to finalize anything you need to be prepared for when the baby comes.
Your baby is the size of an eggplant!
Welcome to the third trimester! Right now you’re probably feeling relief and freaking out at the same time. Relief that your partner is in the final trimester and you’ll soon meet your little one for the first time. Of course, you’re probably freaking out a bit if this is your first child and you’ve come to the realization that things are about to completely change in a very short period of time.
Both of these reactions are completely normal. The important thing to remember is that no one knows everything about parenting and you’re going to do great!
This week is pretty amazing because as your baby is continuing to develop his or her lungs, they’re almost ready for the outside world. In fact, just about everything is ready for the outside world. While you obviously want your baby to go full-term, babies who make it to 28 weeks have a significantly higher chance of surviving, should he or she need to be delivered early.
As your partner gets closer to her due date, there’s a good chance that she’ll start to feel restless and have trouble sleeping either from nerves or hormones. Other symptoms include: shortness of breath, aches and pains, Braxton Hicks contractions, and leaky breasts.
What do I do?
Continue on preparing your home for baby. This could include baby-proofing, setting up the nursery, continuing the search for your ideal pediatrician, or contacting your human resources person to figure out how much your (or your partner’s) insurance will cover of the delivery.
Your baby is the size of an acorn squash!
The baby is getting pretty big now which means the he or she is taking up a lot of space and may not be moving around as much as before. Of course, the baby will still be active, so his or her punches and kicks will be much stronger.
Your partner might even start feeling subtle, repetitive, twitching. This isn’t anything to be worried about, it’s just your baby hiccuping!
Because of the increased pressure your baby is placing on your partner’s internal organs, he may experience several of these symptoms: headaches and/or lightheadedness, an itchy belly, back, leg, or hip pain, hemorrhoids, constipation, trouble sleeping, and frequent urination.
What do I do?
Start putting together your hospital go-bag – a bag of items you and your partner want at the hospital and leave it by the door. This way you can keep adding to it and you’ll know exactly where it is when you need to grab it go meet your new baby!
Your baby is the size of a zucchini!
Braxton Hicks contractions are pretty common starting in week 30. These are when your partner’s uterus starts to tighten and get hard. They’re her body’s way of preparing for labor and can feel anywhere from weak and barely noticeable to strong and very uncomfortable.
Normally, Braxton Hicks contractions are nothing to concern yourself with, but if your partner notices that she has four or more in an hour she should go to the doctor as it could be a sign of preterm labor.
Right now your baby is still heads-up inside the womb. This is completely normal, but know that the baby will soon start to flip over as he or she will need to be in a heads-down position for a successful, natural labor. And don’t worry, the baby knows this and will do this on his or her own.
Unfortunately, this week your partner will be going through more of the same from last week. These symptoms include: strange dreams, heartburn, trouble sleeping, swelling, shortness of breath, and aching … everywhere!
What do I do?
If she hasn’t had one done, try to find a masseuse who specializes in pregnancy massages and schedule one for her. It will be a nice and welcome surprise as she’ll likely be feeling a lot of aches and pains at this point.
Your baby is as big as a bunch of asparagus!
Does your partner seem like she’s forgetting a lot? Perhaps she keeps misplacing her keys or can’t remember why she went in to a particular room. If she is (and that’s not normal), she is likely experiencing what many moms call “pregnancy brain.”
While there isn’t any scientific evidence as to whether or not pregnancy brain is a real thing or not, between fifty and eighty percent of expectant moms have said they’ve suffered from memory loss or issues with focusing on tasks (and who are we to argue with the hormone-driven women bearing our children?)
Right now, your baby’s five senses are completely developed and his or her brain and nerves are continuing to develop. Also, remember last week when your baby was still in a heads-up position? He or she should be heads-down now, or will be soon!
Ready or not, it’s almost showtime!
This week, your partner’s symptoms will remain relatively the same, but some may get worse and others may get better. These symptoms include: shortness of breath, dry and brittle nails, Braxton Hicks contractions, leaky breasts, frequent urination, and of course, more bodily aches.
What do I do?
One thing we haven’t discussed yet is preparing your pets, if you have any, for when your baby comes. Most pets are pretty smart when it comes to knowing when your partner is pregnant, but getting little Spot ready for another human living in the house may take a little bit more effort.
Your baby is the size of a squash!
At this point in the pregnancy, your partner’s doctor is likely going to want to see her every week from now until the birth because believe it or not, the big day is right around the corner!
Your baby has more than likely turned to the “head down” position, meaning he or she is getting ready to make way down the birth canal. If not, your partner’s doctor will be able to tell at the scheduled appointment.
If baby isn’t head down right now, that’s okay! He or she will likely make the move soon since it’s getting pretty cramped inside the womb right now. If baby gets stuck in the “head up” position, your partner’s doctor will try to flip the baby in the weeks leading up to the pregnancy.
With the due date quickly approaching, it’s more than likely that your partner’s symptoms are getting more intense, but she may not show them if her anxiety for the big day outweighs the discomfort.
This week, she is likely to feel some, if not all, of the following symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions, darker nipples, shortness of breath, heartburn, leaking breasts, and vaginal discharge.
What do I do?
From here on out, most of your concern should be targeted toward helping your partner prepare for the big day and to check – and double check – that everything is good-to-go for the big day.
Have you thought about putting in your baby’s car seat yet? That’s definitely something you don’t want to forget and have to worry about after the baby is born. Not sure how to install it, or if it’s installed correctly? Contact your local fire or police departments; chances are, they regularly hold events to ensure car seats are installed properly.
Your baby is the size of a head of celery!
Your partner’s body is beginning to gear up for the delivery. She may be experiencing more Braxton Hicks around week 33 than she had in previous weeks.
If she is experiencing tightening in her belly and is concerned about going into early labor, ask if she’s also feeling any pain with the contractions. A clear difference between Braxton Hicks and regular contractions are that Braxton Hicks are painless and just a sign that her body is preparing itself for labor.
If your partner complains about cramping like when she has her period, has vaginal bleeding, unusual discharge or leaking, or pelvic pressure, these can all be signs of preterm labor. If she’s experiencing any of these, have her lay down and call her OB GYN.
If she’s not experiencing those symptoms, she may instead have any of the following in varying degrees of intensity: overheating, headaches, shortness of breath, forgetfulness, or clumsiness.
What do I do?
Your partner has a lot on her mind right now, obviously. Try to make sure she’s getting enough water to drink as dehydration can lead to early labor.
You’ll also want to use this time to ensure that you have everything packed and ready to go for the hospital and after you return home with baby.
Your baby is the size of a butternut squash!
At this point of the pregnancy, with about six weeks until its gone full term, your baby is putting the final touches on his or her development.
At this week’s doctor’s appointment, your partner’s OB GYN may order a biophysical profile – this includes an ultrasound and and non-stress test to monitor baby’s heart rate. Using the data from these two tests, your partner’s doctor can determine how well baby is reacting to stress in the womb (it is getting cramped in there after all!).
Symptoms this week are going to remain consistent for just about the remainder of the pregnancy. These symptoms include: blurry vision, fatigue, constipation, hemorrhoids, swollen ankles and feet, abdominal pressure, and Braxton Hicks contractions.
What do I do?
For here on out, if you’ve taken care of everything in preparation for the hospital visit and once baby is home, then your sole task as dad is to continue to help your partner with whatever she needs to remain comfortable in the final weeks.
Have you filled up your car’s gas tank? You’ll probably want to keep it topped off for the next several weeks.
Your baby is the size of a pineapple!
Are you feeling nervous that you haven’t gotten everything done you need to before baby comes? Perhaps you’re anxious to finally meet you new little boy or girl. Both of these emotions are pretty common at this point of the pregnancy. You’ve waited a long time and the last few weeks may feel like they’re dragging on, and on, and on … you get the idea.
Regardless, it’s okay if you haven’t gotten every little thing on your to-do list checked off. The biggest thing to remember is that if you have a safe home for your baby to sleep at home and an infant car seat to safely bring him or her home, you’re ready for the adventure ahead!
Okay, so your partner is going to have some common symptoms like a frequent urge to urinate, constipation, aches and pains in her pelvis, and Braxton Hicks contractions. However, now would be a good time to go over the signs of labor.
Water breaking – Throughout her entire pregnancy, she’s had to deal with a lot of various bodily discharges. Her water breaking will not be anything like that. Instead, she may experience a sudden rush of water-like fluid or a slow, yet constant trickle.
Painful Contractions – Your partner has probably experienced Braxton Hicks contractions throughout her pregnancy. This subtle tightening of her abdomen can vary in severity, but whatever she felt during these contractions will feel nothing like the real thing.
Regular Contractions – Unlike Braxton Hicks which last for a few minutes then stop, labor contractions will continue all the way through the laboring process. If your partner is feeling what she believes are Braxton Hicks, but they keep recurring, there’s a good chance these are regular contractions.
What do I do?
If your partner is experiencing any of these symptoms, you’ll want to grab your hospital go-bag, hop in the car, and safely get to the hospital. You’re about to be a dad!
Not sure if what she’s experiencing is labor? Call her doctor or the hospital, either one will be able to give you better advice.
Your baby is the size of a papaya!
It may seem like yesterday that your partner gave you the life-changing news that you’re going to be a father. Believe it or not, she’s now in her ninth month of her pregnancy! This means that the baby could come at any moment, so you’re going to want to be ready.
Depending on how long ago you and your partner attending a birthing class or took a recon trip to the hospital, you may want to brush up on what you’ve learned and what you’ve put in your birthing plan.
You’ve also only got a few weeks left until it’s only you and your partner at home. She probably won’t want to do anything very physical, but going out for one last dinner alone may be a nice way to celebrate your soon-to-be status as parents.
This week her symptoms will remain relatively the same as previous weeks – she may be experiencing any or all of these symptoms: pelvic discomfort, trouble sleeping, heartburn, swollen ankles and feet, changes in vaginal discharge, and Braxton Hicks contractions.
She may also find that she’s having an easier time breathing than previous weeks. That’s because baby has likely pushed his or her way down further into her pelvis, relieving some of the pressure on her lungs.
What do I do?
Get ready! You’ve done a lot around the house to help your partner and to make sure she’s ready for the big day. While it’s important to continue to take care of her, don’t forget to take care of yourself and prepare yourself physically and mentally for the big day, too.
This could include rereading material from the birthing class, reviewing your birthing plan, or simply trying to get more sleep at night.
Your baby is the size of a head of romaine lettuce!
Is your partner rushing around the house vigorously cleaning? You might be wondering where this sudden burst of energy came from. Well, around 37 weeks, many women begin “nesting” or, in other words, instinctively preparing the home for baby.
You might be thinking to yourself, “man, I could have used this version of her the last few months while I cleaned and maintained the house,” Well, guys, we’d highly suggest you don’t say that aloud. Instead, grab the duster and try your best to keep up with her.
The desire to meet your new baby may be overwhelming at this point. You’ve come so far! Your partner may even be talking about the possibility of inducing the pregnancy now or soon (these comments may also be a result of nine months of discomfort coming to a head).
It’s important for her to understand that at 37 weeks it’s still a little too early for baby to come. Right now it’s considered “early term” and while she may naturally go into labor this week, which is totally fine, some babies need a few extra weeks to finish developing for the outside world. It’s best not to rush these things!
Many of the symptoms this week can be easily confused with the signs of labor. Some of the standard symptoms she may experience this week are heartburn, spotting, stretch marks, abdominal pressure, trouble sleeping, Braxton Hicks contractions, and nausea.
Additionally, she may experience a mucus plug or bloody show in her underwear or diarrhea. These are an indication that labor is about to begin. If either of these happen, get ready, the show is about to begin.
What do I do?
Keep doing what you’re doing. You’ve made it this far, don’t give up just yet! The baby will be here soon, so continue to prepare yourself, your home, and your partner. It won’t be long now!
Your baby is the size of a winter melon!
This can be an anxious time for you and your partner. Labor could begin at any moment … or it could still be a few more weeks. We know what you’re thinking though, you’re ready to get the show on the road, you’re ready to meet the newest member of your family, right?
Your partner may be more anxious than most. Right now baby is likely sitting pretty low in her pelvis and putting a lot of pressure on some pretty sensitive nerves, creating a whole bunch of funky sensations below her waist.
While most doctors and parents suggest waiting until your baby has gone full term before going in to labor, if your partner showed any signs of complications, such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, her doctor may suggest inducing the labor this week.
If your partner hasn’t gone in to labor yet, she may experience any of the following symptoms this week: Braxton Hicks contractions, trouble sleeping, increased vaginal discharge, an itchy stomach, swollen feet and ankles, and anxiety.
What do I do?
You’re probably tired of waiting, but it’s important to be patient. It may be even more difficult to convince your partner to be patient, too. In fact, it’s probably best not to tell her to be patient either. Instead, be a sound board for her; give her the opportunity to express her feelings and try to help her resolve any stress inducers she my have.
Your baby is the size of a pumpkin!
Congratulations! Your baby has officially come full term. Your partner is probably expressing how ready she is to finally get baby out of her. You’ll probably remember that several weeks ago you and your partner developed a birthing plan. Don’t be surprised if, once your partner hits 39 weeks, she’s ready to throw that plan out the window if it means not being pregnant any more.
If your partner isn’t going in to labor yet, then she’s likely feeling a combination of the following symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions, pelvic pressure, urge to nest, mucus plug discharge or bloody show, stinging in the groin (also known as lightning crotch).
What do I do?
The thought of going through labor with your partner might be pretty daunting. If your idea of what labor is like comes from watching movies, chances are you’ll probably want to do a little research into the subject. We suggest reaching out to other dads to hear what their experiences were like (each pregnancy is different!)
Your baby is the size of a watermelon!
Woo hoo! Your partner has made it to her due date. Chances are that if the pregnancy has made it to this point there isn’t a whole lot left to do other than play the waiting game for baby to come.
Hopefully he or she decides to pop out this week, but some pregnancies may take a couple more weeks. If baby doesn’t come this week, don’t worry, he or she will come when ready. However, most doctors don’t want the pregnancy to go beyond 42 weeks. If your partner is still pregnant in two weeks, chances are her doctor will suggest inducing labor.
If baby doesn’t come this week, your partner’s doctor may order a biophysical profile – a non-stress test and ultrasound – to see how baby is doing.
If your partner hasn’t gone into labor yet, here are the symptoms she may feel this week: leg cramps, trouble sleeping, fatigue, contractions, and anxiety.
What do I do?
Be patient and be ready. Baby is going to be here soon. Make sure your gas tank is topped off, you always know where the car keys are, and make sure your cell phone is fully charged.
Many parents also put a waterproof pad on the bed in case your partner’s water breaks at night. If either of you haven’t done this yet, now would be a good time to do it since the water breaking is a short term inevitability now.
For information about what to expect in the next couple weeks, if your partner hasn’t gone into labor yet, consult her doctor.