At a glance:
- The hair surprise
- The mucus plug
- The nesting Instinct
What’s happening to your baby
Her vital stats? She weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel. But, if she’s born now and has different colour hair to both of you don’t freak. It’s perfectly normal for dark haired couples to have a baby emerge with blonde or red hair, or fair-haired parents to have a little one with a dark mop to rival Harry Styles’. Alternatively, your baby could be a baldy and just have a fine peachy down.
What’s happening to you
If you go into labour now, you might feel crampy – a bit like you’re getting your period. You’ll also pass your mucus plug – it’ll either come out all at once in a lump, or you’ll get increased vaginal discharge over a few days. It might have brown, pink or red blood in it, especially if you’ve had sex, which is still perfectly safe at this stage. It’s because your cervix is softening in readiness for labour. If you’re worried at all about any discharge or bleeding that doesn’t seem normal, speak to your doctor urgently. And if your waters break before your contractions have started, then you’ll be induced if they don’t start soon after to reduce the risk of infection. So whether your waters come out in out in a trickle or full flow, you must call your doctor or midwife.
The nesting instinct
From scrubbing the grouting in your bathroom with a toothbrush, to rearranging every item in your kitchen cupboard in size order, or even dismantling door handles so you can disinfect the screws – when this instinct hits you, nothing will stand in your way. Not even a bewildered partner. Essentially, it’s a primal need to prepare a ‘nest’ for the new baby, and organise your world.
Although of course it’s not harmful to spend your days cleaning (if you must!) there’s some things you should be aware of first. If you’ve got the urge to redecorate, then stay away from oil based paints, old paint that may contain lead and some latex paints that contain mercury. Most water-based ones can be used but always check the label and wear protective clothes/gloves. Fancy disinfecting your house top to bottom? Check the safety of the products you’re using eg: avoid oven cleaners and dry cleaning products, and never mix ammonia with chlorine-based products i.e. bleach or cleanser – the combination produces toxic fumes.
Wear rubber gloves when cleaning and try not to breathe strong fumes. And if you have a cat then use gloves to clean the litter box, or get someone else to do it while you’re pregnant. Cat faeces can cause toxoplasmosis (a rare, very serious blood infection that can cause birth defects). And it might be a good idea to stay away from gardening if your cat goes to the loo outside, or you know neighbourhood moggies use it as a poo-stop. Read more tips here.
Image courtesy of Your Pregnancy Day-By-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell, published by Carroll & Brown, £9.99