Your body

Your belly button may push out now if it hasn't already. If it becomes itchy or sensitive, protect it with a plaster or bandage.

Water works

Late pregnancy is prime time for water retention, which can make your hands, face, feet and ankles feel uncomfortably swollen. It might sound implausible, but the best way to avoid it is to drink more water – this helps your body dispose of excess fluid.

Top tip

Beat water retention by eating more garlic, onions and parsley – sounds wacky, but it can work!

High or low kicks?

In late pregnancy, if you feel your baby kicking high up your body, she is probably head down, but hasn't yet dropped into the pelvis ready for labour. If you feel kicks much lower down in your abdomen or pelvis, your baby may be breech, but she'll probably turn around before labour begins.

Your baby

Your baby weighs about 2.25kg. Her crown to rump length is about 32cm and she's 44cm from head to toe.

Down and out

You may notice a gradual or sudden change in weight distribution in your abdomen: this occurs when the baby 'drops' down and her head becomes engaged in the birth canal, in preparation for labour: this is the most common position before birth. This 'dropping down' is called 'lightening'. Not all women experience this sensation, and it's common for the baby not to drop until labour begins.

This change brings pros and cons: once your baby is lower down, you may find breathing becomes easier because there's less pressure on your diaphragm and therefore more room for your lungs to expand. However, your baby's head will put more pressure on your pelvis, bladder and rectum, which may be even more unpleasant than having difficulty breathing!

A tingling sensation

Once your baby's head is engaged, don't be alarmed if you experience a tingling sensation, similar to pins and needles, in your pelvis. This is caused by the pressure of the baby on the nerves in your legs and pelvis and is nothing to worry about. Try lying on your side to take the weight off the pelvis.