Mother and newborn baby
These are irregular, painless contractions which feel like a squeezing sensation near the top of the uterus. If contractions become painful or occur four times an hour or more, the woman should call a doctor as she may be in early labour.
By week 31 the foetus can see now and tell light from dark. The mother's breasts start to produce colostrum about now
This high calorie milk is produced by the mother to feed the baby for the first few days after birth before normal milk starts.
Week 32 - another antenatal appointment. The foetus is about 42cm and weighs 2.2kg. A baby born now has a good chance of survival.
From week 33 the baby should become settled in a head downwards position. A midwife can help to move it if necessary.
The mother may find it more difficult to eat full meals as the expanded uterus presses on her stomach.
If the mother has been told she may need a planned caesarean, week 35 is probably a good time to discuss it further.
From about week 36 the baby´s head may engage in the pelvis any time now.
Any baby born after week 37 is considered to be full term.
The baby´s lungs are practically mature now and it can survive unaided. The final weeks in the womb are to put on weight.
Another ante-natal appointment. By week 39 the mother has reached her full size and weight by now.
In theory the baby should be born in week 40. The mother´s cervix prepares for the birth by softening.
First babies are often up to a week late but if there are signs of distress to mother or child the birth will be induced.