Welcome to the next in the pregnancy month by month series. This article covers months eight and nine. If you missed out on the previous articles then please refer to the Pregnancy Month By Month category to the right of this page.
At this point, you should be seeing a health official every two weeks. This will ensure both the safety of you and your baby, so don’t miss these important appointments. You should also be tested for Group B Streptococcus. This bacterium is commonly found and is harmless to the mom. However, it can be a problem for the baby as it is being delivered. If discovered during these tests then your healthcare practitioner will arrange for intravenous antibiotics to be administered during the birth of your baby.
Also during this time, if you have not already experienced them, you will be feeling false contractions. These are also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. Many believe that they are the body’s way of preparing itself for the eventual childbirth. Whilst they shouldn’t be unduly painful (if they are, then consult your doctor immediately), there are some things you can do to help relieve any symptoms :
- Keep yourself hydrated as this will help prevent the symptoms in the first place
- Try moving about a bit to break the contraction
- Try laying on your left side
- Go to the toilet (urinate)
- Try rhythmic breathing
The baby’s lungs and brain are really taking shape this month, so continue to eat healthily.
You might really be tempted to stop with the exercising, now that you have a large ‘bump’ to carry about. However, this would be the wrong thing to do and remember that you need to have flexibility and lower abdominal strength to help with the birth of your child.
Sleeping might start to become a problem now (If you think this is bad, just wait until the baby is born). Try to take power naps throughout the day – to be honest you might not have any option and many moms find out that staying awake is not an option during the day, due to the constant ‘wake ups’ during the night. Also, whilst in bed, it might be an idea to prop yourself up as this will ease the symptoms of heartburn.
Here we go. You’re on the homeward stretch now. Emotions will be running high and you may even experience some moodiness. Fear not, this is perfectly normal and hopefully those around you will understand and will be fully supportive.
Your baby will now be pretty much developed and it will just be a case of the little one gaining a little more weight to help its strength and then waiting for labor to start.
You will notice a yellow substance emanating from your nipples at this time. This is concentrated milk (Colostrum) that will aid the baby in the first few days. It is much higher in proteins, but lower in carbohydrates than normal milk.
As for you, you would have gained as much as 30 pounds in total – although there will not be much of an increase in this final month.
If you go past 38 weeks of pregnancy, you might be asked to undertake a non-stress test. This will basically be to scan the baby and, in particular, check on its heart rate.
During this month, you must of course be prepared that the baby could arrive at any time. Do not travel far from home and make sure you have your hospital stay bag packed – which can be grabbed as you are leaving for the hospital at very short notice. Remember though, in addition to the toiletries and clothing that you are going to need, you need to have items for the newly born baby as well.
I hope you found the fifth of these six articles helpful. For the last article in the series, please click :
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