What’s happening inside
Besides piling on more fats, your baby is busy practicing all the skills he’ll need for life outside the womb, including swallowing, sucking, kicking and breathing. Thankfully there’s one thing he can’t exercise just yet, and that’s his vocal cords!
Your body is also busy preparing for birth! You might experience the uncomfortable sensation of your stomach hardening and ‘bunching up’ every now and then. These are known as Braxton Hicks contractions, and are part and parcel of your body’s preparations for real labour. These rehearsal contractions typically feel like your uterus is tightening and hardening, and can last up to a few minutes.
A Matter of Fact
Your Braxton Hicks contractions can masquerade as the real thing, but here’s how you can tell the difference. During actual labour, your contractions shouldn’t subside with time, and should get more intense and regular. That said, if you’re experiencing a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, do contact your gynae just in case it’s the real deal, even if they aren’t coming in at regular intervals yet.
Tips for daddy
Familiarize yourself with the criteria for distinguishing a real contraction from a false one to ensure you don’t act on every false alarm. That way, you can feel more assured about when to wait it out and when to head for the hospital.
A quote for mummy-to-be
A mother’s love is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking, it never fails or falters, even though the heart is breaking.
– Helen Rice