Kate Middleton's maternity leave: Five things that are probably happening right now

The Duchess of Cambridge is beginning her well-earned maternity leave, but just what is happening in the final stages of her pregnancy?

Kate Middleton begins her well-earned royal maternity leave today, after completing her last solo public engagement in serious style.

Pregnant Kate Middleton finished her last engagements in style yesterday [Rex]The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was bang-on-trend as she turned out in a Dalmation coat by Hobbs for the naming of a cruise liner yesterday, teaming her animal-print coat with a chic fascinator.

Despite the royal baby due date being just one month away, Kate, 31, showed no signs of discomfort or tiredness as she christened the liner - even completing the tradition of smashing a bottle of champagne into the hull.

Today we're hoping Kate, who is due to give birth on July 13, is enjoying some down-time after all the pomp of yesterday's events - hopefully being given the chance to put her feet up.


The royal baby is around the size of a honeydew melon at this stage [Rex]But with the countdown on, just what is happening in the last few stages of her pregnancy?

Here, we speak to BabyCentre to find out the five things that happen in the baby's development in the last trimester - and how Kate and Wills will be preparing...

1. Kate is 35 weeks pregnant, which means the royal baby is about the size of a honeydew melon right now - weighing in about 2.4kg and more than 46 centimetres long.

2. A growing baby means there is less room to manoeuvre, so he or she probably isn’t doing somersaults anymore - although the kick-count will stay the same. The little prince or princess is mostly developed, physically, and will spend the next few weeks putting on weight.
 
3. Kate and William will be finalising their name options for the new prince or princess. Whatever name they choose will undoubtedly become more popular as a result.

Kate Middleton and Prince William are probably finalising the royal baby names Royal names already have a significant impact on naming trends; in BabyCentre’s 2012 baby name chart, five out of the top 10 most popular boys names had a royal connection (Harry, George, William, Charlie and James). Royal favourites Henry, Edward, Arthur, Andrew, Zara and Elizabeth also featured in 2012’s top 100.
 
4. This is also the time that expecting women start to make a birth plan, ironing out details about who will be present in the delivery room, pain management techniques, and where the baby will stay after delivery. (Reported to be at the Middleton residence.)

5. While Carole Middleton will be there to help Kate, some new mums don’t have an extra set of hands available to them. It's recommended expecting parents at 35 weeks start to think about meals for themselves to eat after the baby arrives, since they’ll most likely be too exhausted to cook. They can double recipes made now and freeze half. Got that, Kate?

Got any pregnancy stories you want to share - perhaps some tips for Kate for the last few weeks? Then head over to Twitter, now.
 
The Duchess chose a white linen Zimmermann dress for her trip to Manly beach in Sydney, worn with tan Russell & Bromley wedges [Rex]
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Fri, Apr 18, 2014 12:00 BST