This week baby is starting to build up some of the defenses it will need to survive out here in the real world through the development of white blood cells, as well as airways, blood vessels, air sacs and a substance called surfactant – all of which will help the baby breathe and the lungs process oxygen once born.
How you’re feeling
If your nipples haven’t already become sensitive, darker in colour and more prominent, then they likely will soon. While most women are prepared for their breasts to get bigger when they’re pregnant, many can be quite shocked at how much the appearance of your nipples and areola change. This is all the body’s way of preparing your breasts to feed your baby, if you decide to breastfeed.
Speaking of breastfeeding, now might be a good time to start thinking about it and getting familiar with what it involves. While it has been said, “breast is best”, the reality is not all women are able to breastfeed and when it comes down to it, the reality really is “fed is best”. Take some time to familiarise yourself with what is meant by breastfeeding exactly – and what the alternatives are too should you need them. You might like to think about enrolling in a breastfeeding class which will arm you with the information you need and to help you prepare yourself and your nipples for when baby arrives, but remember that the real deciding factor will be your baby and how your body responds when faced with it, so don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself.
Speaking of classes – now might be a good time to look at enrolling in any other classes you want to do too. Most first-time parents enroll in an antenatal birthing class which usually runs across a weekend or a few hours at night over the course of a few weeks. Check with your hospital or local council to see what is available in your area. Don’t forget to also look into how to care for your baby in those early days/weeks/months. We tend to get so caught up on the birth that we can forget to focus on how to care for a newborn when you leave the hospital.