In the last few weeks of pregnancy you will be making final preparations for the birth. By now you should have established good communication, understanding and trust with the doctor or other health professional whom you have chosen to deliver your baby. If circumstances have in any way impeded this, now is the time to strengthen that communication. As well, you should have a support network in place, with more than one person on whom you can call if you need to get to the hospital in a hurry. If possible, it may be helpful to visit the hospital in advance of going into labour, so that you have a clearer idea of just where you will be during that time.
At home you will have a safe, secure place where you can bring your baby after birth. Most recent recommendations are that the baby has his or her own separate bed rather than sleep with the mother. You will need a safe place for nursing, bathing and changing your baby, and a facility for secure nappy disposal.
Your doctor will have given you the estimated due date, however each baby arrives in its own time. Some arrive early and some later, with most pregnancies lasting from 37 to 42 weeks. Meanwhile, you'll probably want to keep a bag packed and ready for a sudden hospital trip.
There are two different kinds of contractions. Braxton-Hicks contractions, also called false labour, prepare your body for labour and delivery. Labour contractions signal the beginning of childbirth.