28 weeks

This is the perfect time to plan a little babymoon break with your hubby, to give you a bit of time to relax before you start to feel too uncomfortable.

At 28 weeks, you'll also have another scan, to check baby's growth and make sure everything is on track. If you're interested in relatively new ideas like placenta encapsulation, this is also a good time to talk to an expert.

Elizabeth Bain, who is certified in this area, advises: "Placenta Encapsulation is a relatively new concept to many birthing women in the UAE. There are many benefits, including reducing post-birth bleeding, encouraging a quick and healthy milk supply and helping to balance hormones.

"If you are considering placenta encapsulation I advise women to contact me from around 28 weeks onwards to discuss. This gives time to fill in forms, explain the benefits and advantages, ensure that you know about how to safely store your placenta and to give you the opportunity to ask as many questions on the subject as possible."

Read more Why you might want to eat your placenta

30 weeks

Now is a good time to take a tour of the hospital where you intend to give birth, and it's a great opportunity to ask staff any questions, as well as help you plan for, and visualise, the big day.

Dr Arva says: "Most hospitals in Dubai offer a tour of the maternity wards. It is best to do this around 28 to 34 weeks of pregnancy. This helps you familiarise yourself with the hospital and where to report to when you arrive in labour, the procedures to expect, on admission etc.

"This is also a good time to finalise a birth birth preferences plan, which can be an important tool to help you on the day."

Read more The Birth Plan: What is it and why do you need it?

Jasmine Collin, a Dubai-based hypnotherapist and hypnobirthing specialist, says: "I prefer to not call it a plan, as couples need to remain flexible and open to adapting their preferences if medically necessary. When it doesn't 'go to plan' this can leave women with negative feelings about the birth, which is the last thing we want.

"The birth preferences list should be a real expression of what is important to you"

"I do however feel the writing of a birth preferences list is an important part of a couple's birth preparation. If you don't have any idea about what you want and why, then you will probably get what you are given - which unfortunately is not always the most positive experience for a couple."

Elizabeth Bain agrees: "Try to have your birth preferences list written out by at least 30 weeks. It should be a real expression of what is important to you during labour and birthing. By using birth preferences, the people in the birthing space are then aware of what you want and in turn this may make you feel safer and more supported during your birth. Remember this is your birth, it is your baby and it is your body. Be bold and find your voice to make sure you are heard.

"If your husband, mum, sister, doula are going to be present make sure they also know what is on your birth preferences. Other areas to consider include pain-relief options, methods of relaxation and breathing, whether delayed cord clamping is important to you, whether you wish to use water during labour, whether you want to wear your own clothes or whether you would like music playing."

Read more 10 things to cover on your birth plan

Week 32

At this time baby is plumping up nicely as she gains a third to half of her birth weight during the next seven weeks.

A big question for many Dubai mums-to-be is the cut-off time for flying, and by 28 to 32 weeks, many airlines will require that you have a doctor's certificate - by week 37 most will outright refuse as the risk of a mid-air labour is too high.

If you haven't packed your hospital bag yet, do it now. Cecile de Scally says: "Pack as if you are going on a long weekend with a new baby. The hospital will have a lot of the needed extras like sanitary towels and diapers, however it's always good to have a few of your own."

As well as essentials such as food to power you through the labour, cosy PJs and plenty of nappies, don't forget to pack the relevant paperwork. It's illegal to have a child outside of marriage in the UAE, so have your paperwork in order with copies of your marriage certificate tucked away.

Read our ultimate hospital bag checklist for mums-to-be

Bonding with baby

You can start to make a connection with your baby at any time during your pregnancy, and it's a lovely way to prepare for the months ahead. Hypnobirthing expert Jasmine Collin says: "It's never too late or too early to bond with your baby. I would encourage both parents to spend time with their unborn baby as much as they can, not just for the baby but to get used to the idea that they are already parents to a new human being.

"Most parents do a lot of things quite naturally like talking, singing or massaging their babies through the mother's tummy. In fact touch is one of baby's first senses to develop and experiments have demonstrated that fetal sensitivity to touch begins as early as week eight of pregnancy.

"Studies have also shown that babies remember the sounds that they hear in the womb so playing your favourite music or reading stories are lovely ways that you can connect with your baby pre and post birth."

Read next: Your guide to weeks 34 up to your birth date