You should know that every pregnancy is different. Your experiences may not be like those described here, but may still be perfectly normal. Talk to your doctor or midwife about any questions or concerns you have.
I’m not a doctor or midwife, so I can’t tell if your pregnancy is developing normally or not. I hope the things I discuss here will help you know what to expect during your pregnancy, but don’t consider this to be medical advice. Get your medical advice from a qualified doctor or midwife.
Your baby will be putting a lot of pressure on your bladder, so you’ll have to pee even more often.
You’re carrying around a heavy baby now, so your back might ache sometimes. Try to stand, walk, and sit with your back straight, not arched backwards with your belly sticking way out. Good posture will go a long way toward easing backaches. Changing position often can help, too.
It’s weird, but as your baby grows, your bellybutton may begin to stick out. It’ll probably go back to normal after your baby’s born.
The mucous plug
When you are pregnant, there is a plug of mucous that blocks the cervix or opening to the womb. When the cervix begins to open or dilate a bit, which can happen several days before you actually go into labor, the mucous plug comes out. You may or may not notice it when it does.
The bloody show
At the beginning of labor or just before labor begins, you’ll have some vaginal bleeding. This is because as the cervix opens, small blood vessels are broken. If it is more than a few days before your due date, if the bleeding is heavy enough that you soak a maxi-pad in one hour or less, or if anything about the bleeding concerns you, call your doctor or midwife.
As your due date approaches, your uterus will start practicing for labor. You’ll experience occasional contractions, which will probably feel similar to menstrual cramps. These practice contractions are called Braxton-Hicks contractions. Some people call it false labor. You might have just one, or you might have several in a row.
If you have a few contractions relatively close together, you should time them. Use a watch with a second hand, and time them from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next. That’s how far apart they are. If it’s real labor, they will be regular. For instance, they will come every ten minutes. Braxton-Hicks contractions, on the other hand, will not be regular. One might come three minutes after the first, another come fifteen minutes after that, and another nine minutes after that.
At the beginning of labor, contractions are generally about 10 minutes apart. By the end of labor, they are three minutes or less apart.
Also time how long a single contraction lasts. At the beginning of labor, contractions will usually last for one minute or less. By the end of labor, contractions usually last for a minute and a half or longer. Braxton-Hicks contractions, on the other hand, will vary in length from one contraction to the next.
Braxton-Hicks contractions will often stop if you lie down and rest for a bit, so if you start having contractions, get your watch out and lie down to time them. If the contractions are regular, if you continue to have them, or for any other reason you think it might be real labor, call your doctor or midwife. If you’re not sure if it’s really labor, that’s OK. It can be hard to tell at the beginning.