Week 28: Decide on your birth plan
Work out the nitty-gritty details, including pain management options. Think about what you don’t want (for instance, an episiotomy) and list what you do want (say, skin-to-skin contact with Baby immediately after birth), Dr Law advises. Next, outline your plan in the following order: labour, delivery and immediate postpartum. Keep it simple and within one typed page so it is easy for the doctor and midwives to read.
Bear in mind, though, that this is just a wish list; your doctor has to do what’s best for you on the day of delivery, especially in an emergency.
Week 30: Consider cord blood banking
If both you and your baby are in good health, the late second trimester or early third trimester is a good time to think about cord blood banking, says Dr Tan of SGH.
This procedure saves and stores a newborn’s blood from the umbilical cord, which contains precious stem cells that could be used to treat medical conditions in future.
There are three private cord blood banks here; the latest to offer the service is Cryoviva.
“Some parents see it as a form of insurance for their unborn child,” Dr Tan says, adding that you need to be mindful of the significant cost of banking. “The probability that your child will develop a disease that is treatable by her own cord blood is also very low.”
Alternatively, consider donating your baby’s cord blood to the non-profit, public Singapore Cord Blood Bank (www.scbb.com.sg). Your act of kindness may save someone who requires a haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Speak to your gynae to find out more.
Week 34: Schedule a maternity photo shoot
A photo of your blossoming baby bump makes a lovely keepsake. The best time for a maternity photoshoot is between Week 34 and 36, says photographer Fatilyn Cho from Bambini Photography.
By then, your belly would be more pronounced, giving you a curvier silhouette. But, don’t wait too long; Baby may arrive earlier than expected!
Week 37: Pack your hospital bag
Besides toiletries and other essentials, your bag should also contain important documents. Yasa of Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital advises you to pack your antenatal records, blood tests results, identification documents, as well as your marriage certificate for birth registration and to process claims from CPF.
You may also want to take along health supplements and nipple cream. Consider packing your breast pump, as well, so the nurses or lactation consultants can help you with latch-on problems, says Yasa.
Week 39: Count down to D-day
Your bub will arrive anytime now! Have you:
• stocked up on baby essentials such as the cot, clothing, diapers and feeding equipment?
• prepared breastfeeding gear like a breast pump, nursing bras, nursing pads and nipple cream?
• firmed up your confinement plans?
• found alternative childcare arrangements for your older children?
• packed your hospital bag?
• planned your route to the hospital?
While you wait, look out for signs of labour, including painful contractions, clear fluid gushing down the leg (a classic sign of your water bag breaking) or a bloody show (red, sticky mucus), says Dr Law. If in doubt, contact your midwife or doctor.
(Photo: 123RF.com/Oleh Panasenko)