Pregnancy – Pregnant in Singapore – Pregnancy for Singaporeans https://pregnant.sg Pregnant.sg is the best Singapore pregnancy and labour resource Mon, 28 May 2018 13:16:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cord blood banking: Your questions answered https://pregnant.sg/articles/cord-blood-banking-questions-answered/ Mon, 12 Dec 2016 02:00:30 +0000 http://pregnant.sg/?post_type=articles&p=225708 Today's generation of parents will do anything to ensure the health and wellbeing of their child. This includes the option of cord blood banking. Read on to learn more about why and how you should make this choice.
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We will do almost anything to protect our children.

That is a fact. As parents, it’s part of our job description: keeping our child out of harm’s way, ensuring that they remain in good health to enable them to achieve their full potential and ultimately, lead happy lives.

Every generation of parents have revolved their parenting styles around these basic parenting principles; however, each generation of parents face different issues and have different choices to make.

When it comes to keeping our children healthy and disease-free, scientific advancements and technological innovations, have given modern parents a plethora options. With these medical advancements, there is so much more that can be done today to ensure the health and well-being of their children throughout his/her lifetime.

One such procedure that many parents-to-be are now opting for is — cord blood banking.

In this article we share with you the reasons why you, as a parent-to-be, should consider cord blood banking and what you should consider while choosing a cord blood bank.

But before that, let us understand what cord blood banking is all about.

cordlife cord blood banking

An increasing number of parents are opting for cord blood banking.

What is cord blood banking?

Simply put, cord blood (or “placental blood”) is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following the birth of a baby and after the umbilical cord is cut post-delivery.

Cord blood banking is the process of storing this blood.

The process of cord blood banking is straightforward, safe, and painless for both mother and child. You can learn more about it here.

Parents are becoming more interested in cord blood banking and there are also many parents-to-be who are unclear on what cord blood banking entails. Some common questions include: why should I opt for cord blood banking? What is there to consider? What should I look for in a cord blood bank?

In this article we address some of the questions that parents-to-be might also have, while considering the different factors that will lead to the decision of whether or not to store your baby’s cord blood. We also spoke with Dr Lee Keen Whye, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Singapore O&G Ltd to help address some of your concerns.

Watch Dr Lee answer some of the questions about cord blood banking in the video below.

Cord blood can save lives

In 2001, three-year-old Ray Fu* was diagnosed with leukaemia. At that time, he was given a 10 per cent chance of recovery unless he received a bone marrow transplant.

After trying in vain to locate a matching bone marrow donor, Ray*’s parents decided to conceive another child to help him. Fortunately, the stem cells from his sister’s cord blood were a 100 per cent match, and these were infused into Ray*. The procedure was a success, and Ray*’s leukaemia was subsequently declared to be in remission.

In 2009, little Georgia Conn became the first person in Singapore to receive stem cell treatment for Cerebral Palsy using her own cord blood.

Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder caused by an injury to the brain before or at birth, and causes uncontrollable body movements or tremors. This condition caused Georgia to often scream in pain, and suffer up to 50 seizures a day. Her stem cell treatment proved successful. Following her treatment, Georgia gained muscle strength and was able to sit for more than an hour without pain.

In both cases, it was the parents’ decision to store their child’s cord blood which enabled the stem cell treatments, and helped the two young children fight against the odds.

Three reasons why you should bank your child’s cord blood

Stem cells are the building blocks of the human body. The umbilical cord, which serves as the lifeline between mother and baby for nine-months is a rich source of stem cells. The stem cells in cord blood are known as haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and are primarily responsible for replenishing blood and regenerating the immune system.

  1. Stem cell treatment can treat illnesses: Statistics show that 1 in every 217 persons1 may require stem cell treatment in their lifetime. Stem cells in the cord blood can be used to treat more than 85 types of diseases2 such as thalassaemia, lymphoma and leukaemia, to name a few, as well as certain metabolic and immune disorders. Clinical trials are also underway to use cord blood for the treatment of autism, diabetes type 1, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury and many more.
  2. Cost effective: According to Dr Lee, it is also possible to do a national or international search if and when a need for stem cells arises. But, he adds, “This process is both costly and time-consuming. The procurement of a cord blood sample in Singapore can cost up to $75,000, and that is provided that you first beat the 1 in 20,000 odds of finding a match within the same racial group.”
  3. More effective than the alternatives: There are other sources of deriving stem cells, such as from a matched bone marrow donor. However, the advantage of using cord blood stem cells is that they’re younger and more primitive, meaning these cells are faster in generating healthy cells, and are also more tolerant to tissue mismatches which may happen in transplants involving a donor.

Another thing for parents to note is that they should consider storing the cord blood for each of their children, as storing just one sibling’s cord blood is not enough. This is because, each of your child’s cord blood stem cells are genetically unique and according to Dr Lee, “storing the cord blood for each of your children ensures that an exact genetic match is available.”

Something else that parents should know is that in addition to storing their child’s cord blood, they can also consider store their child’s cord lining. Dr Lee explains that the main difference between the two is the type and function of stem cells present in both the cord blood and cord lining. Cord blood contains Haematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs), which are primarily “blood-forming” stem cells responsible for replenishing blood and regenerating the immune system.

In contrast, cord lining contains Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and Epithelial Stem Cells (EpSCs), which are the “muscle-forming” and “skin-forming” building blocks in the human body. While the medical use of cord lining stem cells are still under clinical trials, the list of potential treatments include Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injury, skeletal and tissue repairs, as well as wound healing.

Now that you know a little bit more about what cord blood banking is and why you should consider it, read next page to find out what you should consider before choosing a cord blood bank. 

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The power of your baby’s first 1000 days https://pregnant.sg/articles/babys-first-1000-days/ https://pregnant.sg/articles/babys-first-1000-days/#respond Fri, 02 Dec 2016 10:09:43 +0000 http://pregnant.sg/?post_type=articles&p=225698 Mums-to-be, do you know that what you eat and drink now can shape the health of your developing baby for his entire life? Read about your baby’s first 1000 days and find out just how significant good nutrition is. Presented …
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Mums-to-be, do you know that what you eat and drink now can shape the health of your developing baby for his entire life? Read about your baby’s first 1000 days and find out just how significant good nutrition is. Presented by Danone Dumex®

[See image gallery at pregnant.sg]

 

 

This article is brought to you by Danone Dumex®.

Danone Dumex® is part of Nutricia, #1 Baby Milk company in Europe^

We have been focusing our scientific and clinical expertise on gut health for the last 40 years. Danone Dumex® is committed to supporting little guts by continuous improvement, to help maintain the overall health and well-being of babies.

^Danone Nutricia ELN is the first Ranked Milk Formula manufacturer both in Sales Value and Sales Volume for these 9 countries (UK, DE, NL, IRL, PL, BEL, CZE/SLO and ROM) during the MAT period Dec 2015.

Republished with permission from: theAsianparent Singapore.

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10 great maternity & baby photography studios https://pregnant.sg/articles/singapores-best-maternity-baby-photography-studios/ https://pregnant.sg/articles/singapores-best-maternity-baby-photography-studios/#respond Mon, 18 Jul 2016 04:49:36 +0000 http://pregnant.sg/?post_type=articles&p=11504 Your baby won't stay tiny forever, and your baby bump will soon be but a memory once you've had your little bundle of joy. We round up Singapore's 10 great maternity & baby photography studios for your picking.
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As new mums or mamas-to-be, things begin to get exciting when your baby bump finally starts to emerge or when you deliver a beautiful newborn, you and your partner can call your own. Preserving those memories is important too — your baby won’t stay tiny forever, and your baby bump will soon be but a memory. We round up Singapore’s 10 popular infant and maternity photography studios for your picking.

[See image gallery at pregnant.sg]

Make sure you like us on Facebook and stay up-to-date on the latest from Pregnant.Sg!

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Cord blood and cord lining banking – what is it and why should you consider it? https://pregnant.sg/articles/cord-blood-banking-singapore/ https://pregnant.sg/articles/cord-blood-banking-singapore/#respond Tue, 22 Sep 2015 09:38:42 +0000 http://pregnant.sg/?post_type=articles&p=133201 Get informed about the benefits of cord blood and lining storage and where you can get it done in Singapore.
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cord blood banking

Parents-to-be often start thinking about their child’s health, safety, and happiness months before birth.

Congratulations on your pregnancy! As you prepare for this very exciting new phase in your life, you will definitely do anything to protect your little one and keep him healthy and happy after he is born.

This is why months before the birth of your baby, you child-proof your home and spend hours of research on the safest car seat, crib, and high chair.

Essentially, you will do all it takes to keep your child safe.

Now, some parents-to-be are choosing yet another procedure that they feel can keep their little ones safe and healthy for a lifetime — cord blood banking.

The collection of cord blood is neither harmful nor painful to your newborn or yourself. It is a very simple process that we will explain later in this article, and one that you can opt for whether you have a Caesarian section or vaginal birth.

You only get one chance to collect your baby’s cord blood at birth, so it is best to educate yourself about the process and its benefits. This way, you can make an informed decision about cord blood banking before you give birth.

We hope this article will help you in your decision-making process.

cord blood banking

What is cord blood and cord lining banking?

The umbilical cord is the connecting lifeline between you and your baby. It connects your developing baby to your placenta, providing nutrients and removing waste.

Cord blood (or “placental blood”) is blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following the birth of a baby and after the umbilical cord is cut after delivery.

Cord blood banking is the process of storing this blood, which provides a rich source of stem cells should the need ever arise for a stem cell transplant. The stem cells in cord blood are known as haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and are primarily responsible for replenishing blood and regenerating the immune system.

Some parents also opt to store the lining of their baby’s umbilical cord. This lining contains other forms of stem cells called Mesenchymal stem cells and Epithelial stem cells, which play a big role in the “infrastructure” formation in the human body, for instance, the formation of skin or muscle.

Your precious newborn's cord blood and lining have the potential to protect him for life.

Your precious newborn’s cord blood and lining have the potential to protect him for life.

Benefits of cord blood banking

  • Should stem cells become urgently required for a transplant, having your child’s cord blood readily available will be of such critical importance, compared to going on a national or international search, both being costly and time-consuming. Consider this: the cost of procuring a cord blood sample in Singapore can cost up to $75,000—and that is, if a match is found. The odds of finding a match in the same racial group is around one in 20,000.

To read about more benefits of cord blood banking, please follow this link.

At least 50% of childhood cancers can be treated with stem cell transplant therapy. Find out more on the next page. 

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Your pregnancy week by week: Week 42 https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-42/ https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-42/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:46:37 +0000 http://pregnant.sg/?post_type=articles&p=132929 Week 41 has passed and your baby is still in your belly. There is no reason worry; fewer than 5% of babies are actually born on their due date. This week you’re going to get more attention than usual as your physician …
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Week 41 has passed and your baby is still in your belly. There is no reason worry; fewer than 5% of babies are actually born on their due date. This week you’re going to get more attention than usual as your physician monitors your overdue baby more closely.

What’s happening to your body?

You may be concerned that the pregnancy is taking too long, but studies show than 70% of post-term pregnancies aren’t post-term at all. The confusion is usually caused by a miscalculation of the time of conception, commonly caused by irregular ovulation of a mom’s uncertainty about the exact date of her last period. If you are among the 2% of women who are truly overdue, take comfort in the knowledge that before this week is done, your baby will be born or your physician will induce labour. This time next week, your family will be one small bundle of joy larger.

How your foetus is developing week by week:

Upon arrival, your fashionably late baby will probably have dry, cracked, peeling, or wrinkled skin. This is a result of the shedding of the protective vernix weeks ago in anticipation for delivery and is completely temporary. Your tardy one might also have longer nails and hair, and be more alert.

What you can do:

Continue to watch for signs of impending labour or get ready for impending induction. One pre-labour sign to look for may be loose bowel movements, e.g. mild diarrhoea. This is nature’s way of clearing your intestines to make room for the baby’s passage through the birth canal.

If your contractions are strong—if they last at least 45 seconds and are coming more often than every 5 minutes — your baby is likely to be on the way within a few hours!

Minimise the ‘stinging’ of childbirth with perineal massage. Insert clean thumbs about 3 cm into your vagina and press down against the vaginal wall towards the anus. Continue sliding your thumbs down and back continuously for 5 minutes. Repeat daily.

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Your pregnancy week by week: Week 41 https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-41/ https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-41/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:46:35 +0000 http://pregnant.sg/?post_type=articles&p=132928 If your baby hasn’t checked out at Week 40, don’t be too worried. He or she is just one of the 50% of babies that opt to stay cozy in the womb a little bit past the due date. You, however, …
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If your baby hasn’t checked out at Week 40, don’t be too worried. He or she is just one of the 50% of babies that opt to stay cozy in the womb a little bit past the due date. You, however, probably feel overworked and exhausted.

What’s happening to your body?

By now, your body is ready for birth. You’ve probably been briefed about labour inductions already—but that doesn’t ensure that you won’t just end up going into labour on your own.

When you go into labour, you’ll probably know what’s happening. But in case you don’t, here are what you should look out for: Your water might break and you might notice blood-tinged mucus just before labour begins. After this come the labour contractions, which can come fast and suddenly for some women, or slow and gradually for others.

At the same time, symptoms that have been there throughout the third trimester will remain with you. This includes the frequent urination, pelvic pains, nesting instincts, haemorrhages, and diarrhoea.

How your foetus is developing week by week:

Your baby’s endocrine system, which is in charge of hormones, is getting ready for the birth. During his or her birth, the baby will produce the largest amount of stress hormones that he or she will ever produce. Don’t be frightened; these hormones will only help the baby adjust to life outside much more efficiently.

At this time, your baby is also getting prepared for his or her first breath!

A slowdown in foetal activity is usually an indication that your baby has reached full size and is now too cramped to move around.

What you can do:

Give your body a break and relax in a warm tub or pool! This counteracts gravity and will help you relax before your big day.

Stay near bathrooms—your baby’s big size means lots of pressure on your bladder!

Ask your health care provider about saving your placenta, if you plan on doing so.

Don’t be worried. You may have passed 40 weeks but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby is overdue. 70% of post-term pregnancies are caused by a miscalculation of the time of conception rather than an overdue baby!

What if baby decides to stay on until week 42?

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Your pregnancy week by week: Week 38 https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-38/ https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-38/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:46:33 +0000 http://pregnant.sg/?post_type=articles&p=132870 Your baby has grown another 2.5 cm in length and has gotten some 200g heavier since Week 37. Just about two more weeks until you get to see your little one! What’s happening to your body right now: With two weeks left to go, your …
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Your baby has grown another 2.5 cm in length and has gotten some 200g heavier since Week 37. Just about two more weeks until you get to see your little one!

What’s happening to your body right now:

With two weeks left to go, your body is getting ready for life with baby. One way this happens is with leaky breasts, which many pregnant women experience. Your breasts are actually leaking colostrum, a thin yellowish liquid that is the precursor to breast milk. Colostrum is packed with antibodies to protect your newborn from infections. It has more protein, less fat, and less sugar than the breast milk that arrives later. Get used to the leaking as your breasts will only become increasingly leaky.

Wearing nursing pads in your bra can protect your clothes. Do note that not all women experience colostrum leakage, even though it is being produced in the breasts. Even if you don’t experience leakage, your breasts are still producing the nutrition your baby needs if you plan to breastfeed.

How your foetus is developing during pregnancy week by week:

Your baby is shedding vernix (the white substance that coats the skin of newborn babies) and lanugo (the fine soft baby body hair) into the amniotic fluid. Your baby swallows that amniotic fluid and some of it winds up in his or her intestines, where it combines with other waste products to become your baby’s first bowel movement (meconium).

At the same time, your baby’s lungs continue to mature and produce more and more surfactant, which prevents the air sacs in his lungs from adhering to one another when he starts to breathe on his own.

This week, your baby also experiences other changes that, though small, are important. The little one gains fats and his brain and nervous system become fine-tuned to adapt to the stimulation that awaits his entry into the world.

What you can do right now:

Stock your freezer. When baby comes, you will definitely choose showers and bathroom breaks over the stove and washing the dishes.

Make sure the clothes you packed in your hospital bag still fit you and the snacks you packed still appeal to you.

Here’s one way to figure out whether or not you’re in labour: if the contractions are irregular and stop when you move around or change positions, you’re probably not.

What changes at Week 39?

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Your pregnancy week by week: Week 37 https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-37/ https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-37/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:46:30 +0000 http://pregnant.sg/?post_type=articles&p=132865 Similar to Week 36, your baby has put on about 200g over the last one week. At Week 37, the average foetus weighs about 3 kg. Growth continues to slow, but he’s not done growing yet. Until the end of Week …
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Similar to Week 36, your baby has put on about 200g over the last one week. At Week 37, the average foetus weighs about 3 kg. Growth continues to slow, but he’s not done growing yet. Until the end of Week 38, babies are still considered ‘early term’.

What’s happening to your body right now:

Your physician is probably going to start guessing when labour will begin. Signs of labour include dilation and effacement. Dilation refers to how far your cervix has opened and cervical ripeness. Your cervix needs to be dilated 10 cm for the baby to pass through into the birth canal. Cervical ripeness refers to the consistency of the cervix—it starts out firm (like the tip of your nose) and softens (to the same texture as the inside of your cheek) before labour.

Your physician will also check for effacement (how thin your cervix is), the position of your cervix (it moves from the back to the front as labour approaches), and the position of your baby in relation to your pelvis (the lower your baby is, the closer you are to delivery).

These processes can occur gradually over a period of weeks or they can happen overnight. While they definitely indicate the nearness of labour, they are not enough to be able to pinpoint the start of labour.

How your foetus is developing during pregnancy week by week:

As your uterus gets more crowded, your baby’s movement consists more of stretching, rolling, and wiggling. His attentions are now more focused on practicing for life outside your uterus. The baby is simulating breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking on his or her thumb, blinking, and pivoting from side to side.

Also, your baby’s head is definitely still growing. At birth, it will have the same circumference as his hips, abdomen, and shoulders. Your baby is also fattening, developing those adorable dimples in elbows, knees, shoulders, and hip, and the creases and folds in the neck and wrists.

What you can do right now:

Firstly, do whatever it takes to get sleep during this period.

Secondly, even if you feel bloated, don’t stop drinking water. The recommended daily intake of 8 glasses will help ease your fluid retention.

Lastly, you can also try perineal massage in preparation for the big day. Perineal massage may help to gently stretch your perineum (the area of skin between your vagina and rectum) and minimise the ‘stinging’ that occurs when a baby’s head crowns during childbirth. It might also help you avoid an episiotomy and tearing.

Make sure your hands (or your spouse’s) are clean and  your nails are trimmed. Next, lubricate your thumbs and put them inside your vagina. Press down towards your rectum and slide your thumbs across the bottom and side of your perineum, pulling gently outward and forward on the lower part of your vagina with your thumbs hooked inside. This helps to stretch the skin in the same way your baby’s head will during birth. This can be done daily until D-day and you can even continue doing so while in labour itself.

What are the signs of labour at Week 38?

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Your pregnancy week by week: Week 39 https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-39/ https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-39/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:46:27 +0000 http://pregnant.sg/?post_type=articles&p=132874 Continuing from Week 38, your baby’s brain development is still underway, even if you’ve already started feeling some of early signs of labour. What’s happening to your body right now: Congratulations are in order because, at 39 weeks, you are …
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Continuing from Week 38, your baby’s brain development is still underway, even if you’ve already started feeling some of early signs of labour.

What’s happening to your body right now:

Congratulations are in order because, at 39 weeks, you are considered to have carried your baby to its full term. Although, as your Braxton Hicks contractions increase in strength and frequency, you feel less like celebrating, remember that this is just your body getting ready for the big push.

Labour signs to keep in mind include the rupture of membranes that contain your amniotic fluid (e.g. water breaking), digestive disturbances such as diarrhoea or nausea, spurts of energy (nesting instinct), the loss of the mucous plug, and the bloody show (rupture of your capillaries caused by dilation and effacement of your cervix). Once you see the bloody show, labour is probably just a day or two away. Again, these signs are just such and pregnancy does not progress like clockwork, so don’t worry if yours varies.

If you feel pains that shoot from your vagina down your legs, no need to be alarmed; it’s just ‘lightning crotch’ caused by your baby pressing on pelvic nerves. Baby will be here soon!

How your foetus is developing during pregnancy week by week:

Your baby now weighs about 3 kg to 3.6 kg and measures 48 cm to 53 inches. While your baby will probably continue at this size, its little brain will still grow rapidly and continue to do so for the first three years of life.

Other than making your baby’s cheeks kissable and pinchable, the thicker layer of fat deposited over your baby’s blood vessels also causes your baby’s skin to turn from pink to white. This is regardless of how dark-skinned he or she will be eventually, and pigmentation occurs soon after birth.

Although babies do cry a lot after birth, their tear ducts aren’t fully developed yet. Though you’ll be consoling your baby from the beginning, it will be some time after the first month before you are dabbing the teardrops off those darling cheeks.

What you can do right now:

Make sure your car is packed and fuelled for the trip to the hospital.

Take it easy. You need to catch all the Zs you can because you’re napping for two. Your body is already working overtime to grow another human, so let others help you!

At 40 weeks, is my baby here yet?

Video on third trimester

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Your pregnancy week by week: Week 35 https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-35/ https://pregnant.sg/articles/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-week-35/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:46:25 +0000 http://pregnant.sg/?post_type=articles&p=132901 After Week 34, your baby is likely to have reached his or her maximum height already! But in the run up to homestretch, your baby will still be steadily gaining weight. What’s happening to your body? Frequent urination strikes again …
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After Week 34, your baby is likely to have reached his or her maximum height already! But in the run up to homestretch, your baby will still be steadily gaining weight.

What’s happening to your body?

Frequent urination strikes again at this point due to the position of the baby’s head against your bladder. This may cause some difficulty in controlling fluids when laughing, coughing, or sneezing!

‘Pregnancy brain’ and increasing clumsiness might also be troubling you. You may feel absentminded and uncoordinated or unbalanced. Don’t worry! This is completely normal and these symptoms are short-term.

Your varicose veins might have begun to ache under the pressure of the baby’s weight.

Headaches are also common at this stage and could be caused by a variety of things. Being overheated is a possible cause. Headaches may be accompanied by bleeding or tender gums, skin rashes and heartburn.

How your foetus is developing week by week:

Your baby’s brain power is now developing rapidly! But the skull remains soft to make it easier for the baby to be squeezed out of the birth canal. Also, at 35 weeks, the baby’s fat percentage has skyrocketed to 15% percent. This will continue to rise to about 30% by full term.

What you can do:

Learn all about pain relief options for childbirth. It’s important to be aware as the big day draws nearer.

Drink plenty of fluids! Don’t let frequent urination dissuade you from staying hydrated. Instead of cutting fluid intake, try staying close to bathrooms and when in a bathroom, empty your bladder fully by leaning forward! Also, continue practicing your Kegel exercises to increase control over your muscles. A pantyliner might help too.

To deal with heartburn and indigestion, refrain from eating while reclined or lying down.

Boost your vitamin C intake to strengthen your gums. Try taking in more orange juice, berries, and other foods with high vitamin C content.

If you feel stuffy, it could be a thickening of the mucous membranes in your nose caused by pregnancy hormones. You can try to open up your nostrils with nasal strips.

What are the symptoms of pregnancy in Week 36?

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