Your Baby’s Development
Umbilical cords, which carry nutrients from the placenta to the baby, vary in size but average about 22 inches (55 cm) long and half an inch (1-2 cm) thick. Sometimes the umbilical cord can become wrapped around a baby’s neck. Generally, this doesn’t cause problems, although a cesarean delivery could be required if it causes pressure on the umbilical cord during labor or delivery. A true knot in the umbilical cord is much less common, occurring in only about 1% of pregnancies.
Most of the vernix that covered your baby’s skin has disappeared, as has the lanugo. Your body has been supplying the baby with antibodies through the placenta that will help the baby’s immune system fight infection for the first 6-12 months of life.
Braxton Hicks contractions may become more pronounced. Also called “false labor,” these contractions may be as painful and strong as true labor contractions but do not become regular and do not increase in frequency as true contractions do.
Another sign of labor, the rupture of your amniotic sac, could happen any day now. When their water breaks, some women experience a large gush of water and some feel a steady trickle. Many women don’t experience their water breaking until they’re well into labor. Others need to have their water broken by their health care providers to get their labor started or to speed it up. If you think your water has broken or you are experiencing regular contractions, contact your health care provider.