Even though you are three weeks from your due date, according to the WHO definition your baby is considered a term baby now, as most babies born now survive unless some mishap happens. Until this time, your health care provider would try everything possible to continue your pregnancy and avoid premature delivery.
He may now measure around 50-52 cms and weigh about 2800-3000 grams. He would continue to gain weight before birth.
All the organs of the baby are fully developed and functional to survive outside.
The baby’s lungs are mature enough to breath in atmospheric pressure. However, if delivered now, few of them may still experience Transient Tachypnoea of Newborn (TTN) that usually subsides within couple of days without causing any harm. For the same reasons, if you are due for elective Cesarean delivery now, your Doctor may still offer you Steroid Injections to aid baby’s lung maturity.
They may still have patches of fine Lanugo hair and Vernix caseosa, the waxy white substance that protect their skin from the maceration by amniotic fluid.
The gastro-intestinal tract is filled with green colored sticky meconium made up of gastro-intestinal secretions mixed with swallowed amniotic fluid, lanugo hairs and sloughed dead cells. During the process of birthing or for any reason, if the baby is at risk, the anal opening relaxes and the meconium is released into the amniotic cavity. Hence, the presence of green colored amniotic fluid indicates fetal distress and may warrant emergency caesarean delivery to save the child.
Henceforth, the baby would further move down in the pelvis to get ‘Engage’, a stage when the maximum biparital diameter of baby’s head has entered the pelvic brim. It would further restrict the baby’s movement.
As discussed earlier, intensify your pelvic floor exercises to facilitate normal vaginal delivery.
You may now experience frequent uterine contractions, variable degree of pain in lower abdomen, back and around vagina, along with sticky mucus like vaginal discharge.
Plan weekly visits with your caretaker to ensure your and baby’s wellbeing.
Visit immediately in case,
The purpose to share this information is to sensitize you to enhance the bondage between you & baby. This broad information is purely based on the scientific data collected. However, every child may grow at a variable pace.