38 weeks and 6 days pregnant
The movements that you feel will usually be concentrated in a few areas as your baby cannot readily change position. Although the character of these movements will have changed, you should still experience many movements each day.
As you’re heading into the final week, you’re bound to feel a little anxious, but hopefully excited, too.
It’s normal to feel a little jittery about your impending labour, especially if it’s your first baby. Try not to keep your feelings bottled up: share anxieties with your partner, as you might find he’s in need of reassurance, too. If you have specific concerns, call your midwife. She’ll be used to handling these worries and will be able to put your mind at rest. Find ways to occupy your mind, even if it’s just doing crosswords, as this will stop you fretting.
You’re in it together and will need each other more than ever in these final two weeks.
There is so much variation in the time taken to complete the first stage of labour that for one pregnancy a woman might be in labour for days, whereas for a subsequent labour it might be a matter of hours.
As your partner’s primary support, you have the difficult job of trying to take charge, exude calm, and give emotional and practical support. Don’t hesitate to call the midwife for advice – a short discussion with her may help you to gauge how far through the first stage your partner has progressed. You must allow plenty of time to get to the hospital and you should be familiar with the route well beforehand.
There may be periods when your partner is not lucid, but you will know what she wants better than anyone else. It’s therefore your role to advocate for her and to engage with medical staff when she can’t do so herself. You’ll also know how to reassure and encourage your partner in the right way.
You’ll need to support her in whatever position she chooses to use during the second stage – when she’s delivering the baby – and provide lots of encouragement. In the third stage, once the baby is born, you may cut the cord and might be holding your new baby while the placenta is delivered.
What are the signs that it’s too late to go to the hospital?
Generally speaking, if you’re having an uncontrollable urge to push, then that’s the point where it may be too late to reach the hospital before your delivery. If you do find yourself in this situation, contact your local maternity unit who will arrange for paramedics to attend you for the delivery of the baby. They will also ask an on-call midwife to attend the birth (although the paramedics might get there first). Or you can contact the emergency ambulance services yourself.