Weeks 26 to 30 of Your Pregnancy: Care Instructions

Fetus in uterus, with detail of development at 28 weeks pregnant

Overview

You are now entering your last trimester of pregnancy. Your baby is growing quickly. You'll probably feel your baby moving around more often. Your doctor may ask you to count your baby's kicks.

Your back may ache as your body gets used to your baby's size and length.

If you haven't already had the Tdap shot during this pregnancy, talk to your doctor about getting it. It will help protect your newborn against pertussis infection.

During this time, it's important to take care of yourself and pay attention to what your body needs. If you feel sexual, you can explore ways to be close with your partner that match your comfort and desire.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Take it easy at work

  • Take frequent breaks. If possible, stop working when you are tired, and rest during your lunch hour.
  • Take bathroom breaks every 2 hours.
  • Change positions often. If you sit for long periods, stand up and walk around.
  • When you stand for a long time, keep one foot on a low stool with your knee bent. After standing a lot, sit with your feet up.
  • Avoid fumes, chemicals, and tobacco smoke.

Be sexual in your own way

  • Having sex during pregnancy is okay, unless your doctor tells you not to.
  • You may be very interested in sex, or you may have no interest at all.
  • Your growing belly can make it hard to find a good position during intercourse. Experiment and explore.
  • You may get cramps in your uterus when your partner touches your breasts.
  • A back rub may relieve the backache or cramps that sometimes follow orgasm.

Learn about preterm labor

  • Watch for signs of preterm labor. You may be going into labor if:
    • You have menstrual-like cramps, with or without nausea.
    • You have about 6 or more contractions in 1 hour, even after you have had a glass of water and are resting.
    • You have a low, dull backache that does not go away when you change your position.
    • You have pain or pressure in your pelvis that comes and goes in a pattern.
    • You have intestinal cramping or flu-like symptoms, with or without diarrhea.
    • You notice an increase or change in your vaginal discharge. Discharge may be heavy, mucus-like, watery, or streaked with blood.
    • Your water breaks.
  • If you think you have preterm labor:
    • Drink 2 or 3 glasses of water or juice. Not drinking enough fluids can cause contractions.
    • Stop what you are doing, and empty your bladder. Then lie down on your left side for at least 1 hour.
    • While lying on your side, find your breast bone. Put your fingers in the soft spot just below it. Move your fingers down toward your belly button to find the top of your uterus. Check to see if it is tight.
    • Contractions can be weak or strong. Record your contractions for an hour. Time a contraction from the start of one contraction to the start of the next one.
    • Single or several strong contractions without a pattern are called Braxton-Hicks contractions. They are practice contractions but not the start of labor. They often stop if you change what you are doing.
    • Call your doctor if you have regular contractions.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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