In the last stage of your pregnancy, your baby gets ready for childbirth too. It goes through dramatic changes, growing longer and heavier. Here are some of the things that are happening to your baby as you prepare to give birth:
- Underneath your baby’s skin, a layer of fat builds up to help maintain body temperature outside your womb.
- You’re providing your baby with important last minute supplies of nutrients, including fatty acids called DHA and ARA. You’re also providing protection by passing infection-fighting proteins called antibodies through the placenta. If you breastfeed, your milk will continue providing more antibodies after your baby is born.
- Many of your baby’s organs and systems are fully developed now. But some, including the brain and digestive tract, will keep developing even after birth.
- Meanwhile your baby’s sucking muscles are already primed for action. In fact, most babies suck on their fingers or arms while still in the womb. By the time your baby is born, it will have a powerful sucking instinct that helps feeding get off to a strong start.
If you could see inside your womb as you get ready to give birth, this is what you’d see:
- Every day, your baby’s nervous system is working better.
- Lungs continue to develop and your baby practises the motions of breathing.
- Your baby puts on more weight and shifts head-down in your uterus.
- Your body begins providing your baby with antibodies to help ward off infection after birth.
As the big day nears, your baby drops lower in your pelvis to prepare for birth.
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