Picture and Explanation of How Your Baby is Growing and Developing at 40 Weeks Pregnant (at term)
The elongated and enlarged round ligament is shown in this picture with its uterine attachment far below the fundus and separated from the broad ligament by the expansion of the uterine wall. It is also farther forward because of the twisting of the uterus. The enlarged uterosacral ligament is shown stretched taut by the enlarged uterus. Backaches in late pregnancy may be due to the stress of the weight of the uterus on the uterosacral ligaments attached to the spine.
The descent of the uterus explains the easier breathing during the latter weeks of pregnancy, the comparative comfort after eating, and partial relief from the smothered feeling.
The uterine ligaments undergo prolonged stretching during pregnancy. After delivery, adequate rest is essential to permit the ligaments to regain the elasticity and tone, which they must have to hold the uterus in good position.
Most recent page update: 6/4/2013
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Check out our resource, "Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care"
Childbirth Connection has joined forces with and become a core program of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
We want all women and babies receive the best possible maternity care.