29 weeks and 7 days pregnant
Does your baby start to feel tired? Certainly on some scans it can look as if she is. In fact, your baby actually spends most of the time in a state of sleep rather than full wakefulness: it seems that during pregnancy your baby does need to spend most of the time asleep.
You probably won’t want to stop working just yet, but you may need to make some adjustments if you’re feeling very tired.
Later on in the third trimester you may begin to feel more tired than usual. The strain on your body may begin to show itself – you may find yourself uncomfortable and easily fatigued. Things that never bothered you previously, such as standing for long periods of time or walking a lot, may get increasingly difficult. For example, your journey to and from work may tire you much more than it did previously. If that is the case, find out whether you can alter your hours to avoid travelling at the busiest times of the day and, if you find yourself travelling in the rush hours, don’t be shy about asking someone to give up their seat for you. If there is a room in which you can rest at work, you may be able to take a short nap in the middle of the day or early afternoon, which might help to alleviate your tiredness a little.
You may want to discuss with your employer ways to make your job less physically demanding, or ask for help, for example if you need to carry heavy files or your job involves walking long distances. With a few adjustments you should be able to keep going until the start of your maternity leave, but above all, listen to your body: if you’re tired, rest; if your feet and legs hurt, sit down.
Labouring and giving birth in water can not only relieve much of the pain, discomfort, and stress of childbirth, it can also induce relaxation and reduce blood pressure. Research shows that warm water on the lower back (the area of the spinal cord that receives the nerves from the lower abdominal region) can reduce labour pain, while the level of endorphins, or natural painkillers, rises in the same environment. Whether you choose a birthing pool or a warm bath, water is a great way to deal with contractions. If you give birth in water, your baby’s umbilical cord will continue to provide her with the oxygen she needs, but she will have to be brought to the surface quickly to encourage her to breathe on her own.
You will be able to arrange to hire a pool for your own home, or may be allowed to use one in some hospitals. Make sure you include these details on your birth plan. Using a birthing pool will not be recommended if your birth is considered to be high risk.
It’s relatively easy to hire a birthing pool if you’re planning a home birth, and you can check the availability of a pool at your hospital when you tour the facility.
Over half of all twins are delivered by Caesarean. Many of these are elective: the decision is made in advance, and the mother doesn’t go into labour. A Caesarean is major surgery, but for the babies it’s often the best way to arrive and a small price to pay for the mother.
Vaginal birth can be complicated for twins, especially the second twin who goes through two lots of uterine contractions. It’s considered to be high-risk if the babies are premature.