Pregnancy
39 weeks and 5 days pregnant

This great image of the hands even shows the fine folds that have formed in the palms. Every baby has a unique pattern of folds on the palms and on the soles of the feet that you’ll see when your baby finally arrives.

You’ll be in labour very soon and it’s normal to be anxious about what you need to go through to meet your baby.

You’re bound to have mixed emotions about going into labour.While you’ll want your baby to be born, you may be apprehensive about going through childbirth. Most women are understandably concerned about the pain, and may worry about their health and that of the baby. Remember that the majority of deliveries are normal and without complications and the majority of babies are fit and healthy.

Even though you’ve spent the past nine months preparing for the birth, you may still feel that you’re not ready for the baby and that you won’t be able to manage. Some of this will be the fear of the unknown – you have not yet met your baby and it’s impossible to predict what the labour – and the weeks that follow it – will be like.

Although you may not feel fully prepared, be confident that you’ll know how to care for your newborn. In fact, you’ll have probably already started the process of becoming a mother, wanting to nurture and protect your baby even before she’s born, and this natural instinct will continue.

What’s the difference between an emergency and elective Caesarean?

An elective Caesarean is when a pre-planned decision is made during pregnancy to deliver the baby by Caesarean section before the onset of labour. This is usually decided upon for medical reasons, although some women may decide to have an elective Caesarean for practical reasons or to avoid having to go through labour.

An emergency Caesarean is when a situation arises, usually in labour, that means the safest route for delivery is by Caesarean section.

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There’s a great deal of media coverage of “superbugs”, such as MRSA. This is a bacterium that can live harmlessly on the skin of healthy people, but can lead to infection in vulnerable individuals. Good hygiene, particularly in the form of precautions such as hand-washing, is an effective method in the prevention of MRSA and your chances of acquiring the infection in hospital are low. Healthcare workers use antiseptic solutions and more recently many hospitals have alcohol gels for hand cleaning on all wards.

As well as general hygiene measures, hospitals prevent the spread of MRSA by treating those infected with antibiotics, and by detecting cases early so that they can isolate affected patients. Infected patients are moved to a single room or to a room with others who have MRSA.

Many hospitals now screen women before admission for MRSA, particularly if they are having a Caesarean, with the aim of treating those who carry MRSA before they are admitted for surgery.

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The final details of your baby’s appearance – including eyebrows, eyelashes, and nails – are now in place and all her internal organs are sufficiently developed for life outside the uterus.

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