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Quiet, Brain! I’ve Got Some Chillaxing to Do WEEK 31

Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board

Baby is over 16 inches long — the length of your average throw pillow — and is filling out and now weighs about 3 ⅓ lbs. Lanugo, that thin coat of fine hair that’s been covering her body, is now disappearing, while the hair on the head continues to grow and thicken. BUT just to manage your expectations… some babies are born with a mane of Fabio-like tresses, others with barely a dusting of whisper-thin peach fuzz, and the latter will frustrate you only because you’re dying to learn your little one’s hair color (though that can keep changing throughout the first year, so all outcomes will keep you guessing). Meanwhile, baby’s five senses are now fully developed, but at birth, eyesight will only be 20/400, which means if you want her to memorize your face you gotta get right up in her mug.

As for you, you’re keeping your eye out for signs of preterm labor — i.e. contractions that intensify in strength and frequency or come with pain, vaginal bleeding, or pelvic pressure. A contraction here or there can be normal but more than a couple in an hour warrants checking in. Also, premature rupture of membranes (PROM), which is basically when your your water breaks (the amniotic sac) early, before your body is ready for labor. So note any leakage from your vagina – it could be other things like cervical mucus or an infection, but always good to run it by your doc.

Since it’s getting harder to sleep, knock some items off your to-do list so they don’t stress you. Make a list of what you want to bring to the hospital. (BTW include a playlist to listen to in labor – bonus is it’s fun and relaxing to make). Draw up a plan of action with whichever friend or family member will be on-call while you’re at the hospital (for an older child or a pet or driving help or whatever). Call your health insurance to add baby to your family’s plan and high-five yourself after. WHO’S A DO-ER?!

Working through some of these unknowns will put your mind at ease. Give it a go – it may just be more effective than any pregnancy pillow out there.