“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
At this final stage, the growth of the baby is in serious mode with the baby putting on half a pound or more each week. These final weeks are so critical to better equip the baby for life outside of the womb. The baby’s movements during these last few weeks are important to take note of. A change can signify that something might be not quite right. The baby and mother are carefully watched for signs that birth is approaching or that the baby is in distress.
Babies never arrive perfectly on time, so the due date is rarely the birth date. To prepare for birth, the baby might “engage” by week 36, which is when the baby moves the head down into the mother’s pelvis. Although, some babies do not “engage” until it is time for birth.
By week 37, the baby is considered full term now and usually is about 6.5 pounds or the size of a honeydew melon. The weight of a full-term baby at birth can be between 6 and 10 pounds. The length of a full-term baby typically ranges anywhere from 17.75 inches to 22 inches long. God’s handiwork is present in that each baby is born with such unique length and weight that many mothers have these stats for their children forever in their minds.
During these weeks, the baby’s organs are working in the amazing rhythm God designed. The baby’s brain is controlling the functions of the baby from breathing to heart rate. The necessary reflexes are active and ready to assist the helpless newborn with life outside of the womb. As the baby has been swallowing the vernix within the amniotic fluid, the baby is forming the blackish-green meconium or first bowel movements of a newborn.
The baby’s immune system is gearing up. If the mom breastfeeds the newborn, the baby has an even higher boost to their immune system with the incredible design of the early milk that the baby receives from the mother. This early breastmilk, called colostrum, (also called liquid gold due to it being nutrient dense) is high in vitamins, minerals, antibiotics, and antioxidants which are just what the newborn needs first thing outside of the womb. It also coats and prepares the baby’s stomach for breast milk as well as giving time to learn how to suck, swallow and feed. Typical breast milk will come within 2 to 4 days when the baby’s system is ready to process, and the stomach has expanded enough for more frequent feedings.
The baby is as ready as their body can be for the transition to life outside of the womb. Every baby’s birth story is unique, but nothing can ever prepare any mother for the moment she meets the precious life she has carried with care for so many months. Whatever method of birth, be it natural or Caesarean delivery, nothing can compare to the moment of seeing the miracle of life now held in your arms. It is truly a divine and miraculous moment thanks to God’s incredible gift of life and astonishing detailed design of life within a mother’s womb. Two became one flesh and brought forth a soul that will live for all eternity. The real work of love and commitment to the child that God has blessed begins now. The parents continue to love and raise this gift of life to know and love the Creator and Giver of life.
When they placed you in my arms, you fell straight into my heart and there will always be a place for you there forever. (Baby Love Quotes)
Baby Love Quotes retrieved from https://www.paperheartfamily.com/quotes-about-babies-love/
Author: Laura Stephens