Week 33: Reviewing Your Birth Choices
What makes a good birth experience [depends on] how we discover that energy and enthusiasm that carry us through any challenging situation in life.
-Suzanne Arms, Immaculate Deception
What's Happening in Your Body?
You may be able to feel the baby's limbs by pressing gently on your abdomen. Some women can tell where the baby's head is this way, or even identify a little foot or a knee!
What's Happening with Your Baby?
Your baby's liver is beginning to create stores of iron. Her lungs, digestive, and heat control systems have not yet fully matured.
Reviewing Your Birth Choices
You've already spent a great deal of time making decisions about your pregnancy and upcoming delivery. You have chosen a health care provider and a childbirth education class, and decided whether or not you're opting for a doula. You have made decisions about what foods to eat and where to give birth.
The fabric of our lives changes constantly, however, and many women find themselves questioning some of these decisions later in their pregnancies. Take some time to review the decisions you've made up until now.
Ask your partner to treat you to a breakfast in bed. Have some Sesame French Toast with maple syrup or fresh fruit and a Fresh Fig Orange Smoothie. How about a soothing foot massage for dessert? You deserve it.
Roll, roll, roll your neck! In late pregnancy, tension can settle in your neck. To relieve neck pain, stand or sit comfortably. Let your arms hang easily at your sides. Relax your shoulders and imagine that a string holds up your head.
Begin by lowering your head slightly to the front and bend forward from the neck until you feel a stretch. Slowly move your head to the left in a circle. Breathe slowly as you roll your head. Slowly roll your head to the back with control. Do not drop your head back completely. Continue all the way around until you come back to the front. Repeat on the right side. Roll your neck each way three times.
For relief from swollen ankles, massage the legs and thighs in an upwards-sweeping movement, with a one percent dilution of essential oils mixed into grapeseed or jojoba oil. A few oils to try are geranium, lemon and rosemary (use rosemary only after the fifth month).
Dandelion tea is a natural diuretic (The French word "pissenlit" means "wet the bed"), and has the additional benefit of being high in potassium.
Although mild fluid retention is common in pregnancy, it's a good idea to check with your care practitioner if this is an ongoing problem, or if it becomes acute.
As pregnancy draws to an end, you will be full of thoughts-this is a great time to take stock. Find a time and place where you will be able to relax and let your mind travel freely.
Image by Durga Yael Bernhard