Your Baby’s Development:
Your due date has arrived! Most women give birth within one week of their due dates. Very few actually give birth on the exact date given to them by their obstetricians. Your baby may weigh up to nine or more pounds by now and some babies even exceed 10 pounds at birth. He or she should be head-down in your pelvis, preparing for the big event. His or her skull bones are not yet fused, which allows them to shift and overlap during birth to fit through the birth canal. Because of the shifting and overlapping, some babies appear to have a cone-shaped head when they are born. Never fear, this is perfectly normal and is only temporary.
What You Should Expect:
Pack your bags, Mom! It is time to head to the hospital! If you start noticing contractions, time them. There is some debate over when you should actually head to the hospital, but here are a couple of good rules to remember. If you are close to the hospital, many doctors recommend the “411” method. This is easy to remember, too; wait until your contractions are “4” minutes apart, last “1” minute each, and continue for “1” hour. If you live far away from a hospital, give yourself some extra time.
Related Content: Cord Blood Donation: An Option Post-Labor
Most of us are familiar with bone marrow and blood donations. Cord blood donations are along the same lines as these when it comes to their use. The blood found in the umbilical cord and placenta shortly after childbirth contains stem cells that are useful for treating many diseases, as the cells are able to grow into healthy blood cells and immune system cells, among others.