You might have heard that it’s not a good idea to lie flat on your back. This is because your uterus can press on a big vein called the vena cava, which runs down the right side of your back. Pressure on this vein from your uterus can reduce blood flow through the vein and can cause light-headedness or pain down one side of your body. Lying on your back while pregnant can also increase the risk for stillbirth.
If you’re uncomfortable, sit up slightly, lie on your side, and put a pillow under your stomach.
Although you might be feeling slower and less energetic, physical activity is still important. It will help you prepare for and recover from birth.
Some women find swimming or aqua exercise is good, because it takes the weight off their legs and feet. Check with the instructor about suitable movements and swimming styles. You might also like to try pregnancy yoga or Pilates.
Before you start anything new, or if you have any concerns about staying active, check with your midwife or doctor.
If you haven’t already had your immunisation against whooping cough or the flu, talk to your GP or midwife. In Australia these immunisations are free to all pregnant women.
- is about 26 cm from head to bottom, and weighs about 1.15 kg
- will put on lots of weight between now and about 38 weeks
- has organs that are almost all functioning well
- has started to produce red blood cells in the bone marrow
- is practising breathing more consistently now – in and out in a regular rhythm.