The focus of each women in this stage is upcoming labor, and excitement for meeting their child “outside of the womb”. There is a lot of physical discomfort at this point of the pregnancy, including heartburn, hemorrhoids, increased body temperature and fatigue. One of the most often complaint is swelling of the legs, ankles, fingers. If that swelling is extreme, or rapid, or if a woman experiences a sudden weight gain it may indicate a very serious condition called preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension, which often indicates also the presence of proteins in their urine. Preeclampsia is a complex syndrome, bringing many symptoms and having various causes – one reason given by medical perspective is that tertian substances from the placenta cause a dysfunction in the blood vessels (of a pregnant woman). So high blood pressure is just the visible side of the disorder, but it can cause serious damages in the body, including vessels, liver and kidneys damages. Some doctors suggest that preeclampsia is a syndrome caused by a poor diet, gum disease, immune response to a “foreign intruder”, or genes. Preeclampsia usually develops between 20 and 32 week of pregnancy, but it can actually appear even up to 28 days of the postpartum period. Women diagnosed with preeclampsia are prescribed to stay usually in bed till the due date, as there is no good and safe medication known for preeclampsia. The only cure can be a delivery of the baby (which sometimes is prescribed by a doctor after 36th week). Preeclampsia affects around 8 % of pregnant women, and is considered very dangerous for both – mother and the baby.
Another body’s reaction during the last period of pregnancy can be Braxton- Hicks contractions. They are signals that the body gets ready for a labor. Braxton-Hicks contraction can be confused with the contractions in labor, but usually they painless, occur less frequently and with less intensity.
A baby should arrive around the 40th week (known as a due date), but it differs from case to case, and statistically happen mostly between 38 and 42 week. In the most developed countries if a woman didn’t gave the birth after 41st week she will be monitored by her caregivers, and might be
prescribed with inducement. It has been found that after the 42 weeks the placenta degenerates and may stop providing essential nourishment for the baby.