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Week 28

Jul29

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Week by Week Pregnancy Calendar on Alphamom.comYour Baby:

  • Continues to get a longer and fatter by the day. Shocking, I know. His or her weight has actually doubled in the past month alone, which is why you’ve probably gotten comments about “popping” recently.
  • Weight is around 2.5 pounds right now, which (if you’re like me, gazing in horror and your inside-out belly button and spidery stretch marks) might sound a little frightening, since the baby clearly needs to gain a LOT MORE WEIGHT before he or she is fully cooked, and oh my God, how in the world is anything bigger going to fit in there?

You:

  • Are either feeling like this pregnancy will NEVER end, or that 12 more weeks is simply not nearly enough time to prepare. Or you might feel both ways, changing your mind one minute to the next.
  • Must move furniture and fold clothes and organize the linen closet and replace the bathroom vanity and finally get rid of that sooty stain on the marble fireplace and yes, DARLING, these are all essential tasks that MUST be completed before the baby gets here, DO NOT ARGUE WITH ME, NOW GO HANG UP SOME SHELVES.

What is Colostrum?
So I was all set to include some excited-sounding instructions that y’all go squeeze your boobs this week, in order to witness the crazy whoa-ness that is leaking colostrum, but then I decided to double-check the statistics on that one. And I’m glad I did. Turns out some of y’all have probably been able to perform that trick since your 12th week. And some don’t even have to squeeze — you just LEAK. And others won’t see a drop of breastmilk until some point after giving birth.

And you’re all totally normal. Last time I fretted that the fairly subtle changes in my boob size were a terrible harbinger of breastfeeding failure. And then when I started noticing the leaking watery colostrum (the very earliest fluid that your breasts produce for your baby’s first few days before your “real” calorie-rich milk comes in) at some point in the early third trimester, I worried that it was a sign that my body was preparing to give birth prematurely.

(My LANDS, was there anything I didn’t worry about last time?)

I didn’t give birth early, but I did have an uphill struggle with breastfeeding, but it was nothing I could have predicted based on my pregnancy boob observations. Colostrum or no, dramatic growth or very little at all, I don’t think anyone can really predict who is going to effortlessly pop the baby on the boob from day one and who is going to struggle and need help. (Although women who have had breast surgery — augmentation, reduction, or other — and those with PCOS often have more troubles than other women, and may need extra helpful support in the early weeks.)

Interview a Lactation Consultant
That’s why I encourage you to add “lactation consultant” to your list of Third Trimester Folks to Interview.

By now you should have your OB or midwife set (although, frankly, it’s NEVER too late to switch practices or change your mind if you don’t like how you’re being treated or if other circumstances change). If you plan to use a doula (either for birth or postpartum), you should start meeting and interviewing candidates now. (Check out DONA International for more information and a directory.)

Interview a Pediatrician
You’ll also need to start looking for a pediatrician, if you don’t have one in mind already. Most hospitals won’t discharge you unless you have your first Well Baby visit scheduled, so you’ll want to have your practice chosen and the number programmed into your cell phone to call once the baby is born. I found the whole pediatrician thing to be Very Stressful (surprise!), especially since all the local practices that got the best word-of-mouth and recommendations from my friends did not accept our insurance. We ended up making our choice after attending several orientations/New Parents Nights that a few local practices offered. We were able to meet doctors and tour the offices, ask questions and take home lots of information about the practice (hours, how emergencies are handled, policies on vaccines, etc.)

We also ended up selecting our pediatrician because the practice offered…ta-da…two full-time lactation consultants on staff who were available to see all newborn patients. They also offered breast pump rentals and other breastfeeding supplies at cost. Both LCs were available by phone round-the-clock for all breastfeeding mothers, with no answering service or cell phone billing hoops to jump through. I was sold.

Picking the Right Lactation Consultant for You
It turned out, in the end, that I loved ONE of the lactation consultants, but had a lot of problems with the other. Bad bedside manner, mostly, and a tendency to send mixed messages (YOUR BABY IS STARVING WE MUST GIVE HIM FORMULA FAILURE TO THRIVE OMG one visit, and WE MUST GET YOUR BABY OFF THAT EVIL FORMULA GARBAGE RIGHT NOW OMG the next). So if I could do it all over again, I would have insisted on meeting BOTH lactation consultants at the practice, and then made my appointments with the kinder, less-militant woman whose personality was a little more up my tender, postpartum alley.

Oh Yeah, THIS: Stealth urinary tract infections. I FEEL perfectly fine, but my most recent test revealed that I’ve actually got a doozy of a UTI. Since frequent peeing and pressing oh-dayum urgency are par for the pregnancy course, UTIs are easy to miss. So don’t skip your prenatal appointments and drink plenty of water and cranberry juice. (Cue “The More You Know” rainbow and theme song.)

New This Time Around: I cannot believe I’m having a baby in two months and change. My last pregnancy seemed to go on FOREVER, and this time I really feel like I just peed on that stick a few weeks ago. And I’m surprised at how completely unprepared and SO NOT READY I feel this time. I know what I’m getting into, I guess, and the overwhelming emotion going on right now is something along the lines of OH MY EFFING CRAP.

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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14 Responses to “Week 28”

  1. Tiffany Jul 30 at 3:01 pm Reply Reply

    Changing practices at 28 weeks is TOUGH ladies, tough. I don’t recommend it unless it’s absolutely necessary. My OB was arrested for child molestation (yes, you’re reading that right) on Sunday, and it took me calling 14(!!!) doctor offices before one finally took pity on my 30-week pregnant self to see me.

  2. Ann Jul 30 at 4:03 pm Reply Reply

    I don’t remember the nesting urge taking over so early last time. I’m 29 weeks tomorrow, and I have spent the last couple weeks sorting my attic and preparing to have a garage sale.
    This morning may take the cake though. While folding laundry, I decided that enough was enough and that I would not spend another moment of my adult life with inadequately folded fitted sheets. A quick search of marthastewart.com did the trick, and soon I was beaming at my neatly folded sheet… and just as fast I had pulled out every other sheet set from my closet and refolded every single one.
    It’s crazy, but I have never felt so satisfied with domestic chores!

  3. hydrogeek Jul 31 at 5:05 pm Reply Reply

    I’m just here to second the OH MY EFFING CRAP.
    Carry on.

  4. Islandy Aug 17 at 4:44 pm Reply Reply

    Just want to add my experience, now that I’m officially 28 weeks (a late addition, I know: is anyone reading this post anymore, now that the author is well on her way to #31?).
    Anyway, I’m that freak who started leaking what I can only assume was colostrum BEFORE I EVEN KNEW I WAS PREGNANT. 2 weeks before, actually- does that mean I can pinpoint the day of conception?

  5. christine Aug 28 at 1:55 pm Reply Reply

    And some of us are still nursing the last one… I was waiting and hoping for the milk to dry up or something, but nope, he still guzzles on and claims there’s something coming out. I’m just waiting for a surprised expression and to be told that it’s turned into ice-cream or something. Ain’t the human body amazing?

  6. Erin Sep 12 at 9:51 pm Reply Reply

    Um, I’m almost 28 weeks with twins and my dreams of 6 pound newborns in tiny little outfits was just smashed to pieces by my ultrasound today- Baby A is 2 pounds 10 ounces, Baby B is 2 pounds 15 ounces. Me? I’ve gained six pounds. They also have giant heads…I think by the time they come out they will be the size of your average toddler.

  7. Danielle Sep 22 at 11:52 am Reply Reply

    I moved to a new city and had to switch practices when I was about 24 weeks and it was a NIGHTMARE. If you’re over twenty weeks, finding a new OB is virtually a no-go. For a while it looked like I was going to have to ride over an hour (barring traffic) in labor through the Louisiana swamps to get to my old OB to deliver. I called between 10 and 15 doctors’ offices before I found one that would even consent to see me and consider taking me on. I can’t imagine going though what you did, Tiffany, and at 30 weeks! Best of luck!

  8. Erin Sep 22 at 8:20 pm Reply Reply

    Wow, I had the same thing happen as Danielle! Most offices gave me a lecture about being “too far” without care for them to take me. I patiently explained to all of them that I have been receiving care the whole time, it was just a job transfer that resulted in me calling them. I finally got one, which I don’t like as much as my doctor in our old city, but was panicking about going without any kind of doctor this long. Took me a month and a half to get a doctor.

  9. ecakes Oct 06 at 6:41 pm Reply Reply

    My recommendation for anyone having to find a new doctor is to switch to a midwife. I’m born and raised American, but currently live in New Zealand. Where I live, midwives are the primary source for antenatal care and labor for pregnant women. Since this is my first child, I’m not sure how it works in the US, but it might be worth a try. I LOVE my midwife and feel that it’s the best thing to happen to have ended up with a midwife. At first I was apprehensive to have one, coming from the US, but hearing my girlfriend’s stories about not knowing who will deliver their baby, not being able to get appointments, etc. I feel very lucky. My midwife comes to my HOME for checkups, we’ve had 28 weeks to connect with her so far, and I feel very confident to have her in the room with me when I go into labor. Perhaps switching to a midwife this late in the game would still be beneficial, as you would still have over 2 months become familiar. Plus, many midwives specialize in lactation (like mine).
    If all else fails, move to New Zealand. Good luck ladies!

  10. Lindsey Oct 24 at 7:50 pm Reply Reply

    I didn’t have a problem at all finding a new OB (insurance switch) at 25 weeks. Everyone I called would take me, provided they accepted my HMO, which was the only issue I faced.

  11. Julie Mar 02 at 12:07 pm Reply Reply

    I changed OBs and hospitals at 35! weeks (my back gave out and as I no longer was in danger of delivering early, I chose a county hospital that was 10 minutes away). If the new practice is a good one, the practice manager will work with you to make the switch as seamless as possible. In the end, from the time I made the decision to switch to being in the new practice: less than 24 hours. Also: if you have a fairly long commute to work and you get set home for either “limited activity” or bed rest. Make sure your OB & hospital are near your home rather than work! Even if that means changing OB and/or hospital. I wish I had done this 2 months ago!

  12. Della Jun 09 at 12:44 pm Reply Reply

    The first time around I never even got nest-y even when I went into labor.
    But Oh my gosh. The nesting, the nesting this time! This weekend while my husband was out of town, I rearranged the furniture in my son’s room THREE TIMES. (and good lord, monkey-see-monkey-do was in the room watching me and now thinks it’s cool/fun to push his crib around the room. what was I THINKING.)
    If I hadn’t completely exhausted myself from doing that, I had also been contemplating scrubbing out the microwave, scrubbing the floors, I’ve been organizing and rearranging things like crazy…
    Also I’m SO glad I’m not leaking (yet) this time. I have to keep myself looking at that bright side instead of fretting that once I have this baby, I won’t be able to shoot milk 18-24 inches across the room without touching my boob, like I could in the first weeks after having the first one.

  13. Suzy May 01 at 1:57 pm Reply Reply

    I love hearing how everyone’s nesting at this point. I’ve been sort-of-nesting: building a 9ft bench/storage in the kitchen, fixing ceiling fans, painting chevrons on Baby’s wall, learning to sew. Wayyy more crazy than with Baby #1, who did get an elaborately painted nursery, but practically nothing else. I guess last time I had a different outlet for my nervous energy, since I was still running up to 20 miles a week. Now I haven’t run since Thanksgiving and have to vacuum to get my exercise in.. 

  14. Amy Jun 23 at 3:42 pm Reply Reply

    I just tried squeezing my boob at your suggestion and I don’t know what I was expecting, but you were right! I had no idea that the girls would activate this early on…I guess I just sort of assumed that’s for women “much more pregnant than me!” I actually screamed in shock! Human bodies are weird, man.

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