You made it to the third and final trimester!
You are on the home stretch of your pregnancy. During these final few months before your baby arrives, make sure you have the essential items you will need when he or she comes home from the birthing center, and do as much as you can to prepare for your labor.
In the seventh month, expectant mothers may experience a slight increase in blood pressure, rib pain, consistent weight gain, increased fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms are typical due to the healthy growth of your baby. Be sure to contact your healthcare professional if you are having any trouble with your blood pressure.
Increased edema (swelling), a belly button that “pops out,” increased dizziness, and Restless Leg Syndrome are commonly experienced in the seventh month. Expectant mothers may also experience increased sciatica (a sharp tingling sensation in your back and bottom) and frequent back aches because of where your baby is resting. Talk with your healthcare professional to see if they recommend stretching or yoga exercises that could help relieve some discomfort.
Many women also experience increased appetite, varicose veins, and increased urination due to the position of the baby.
At this point, you may be experiencing thicker/fuller hair, constipation, hemorrhoids, and/or dehydration. Be sure to keep drinking plenty of water. This is due to an increase in the hormone progesterone and the pressure from your growing uterus. This pressure may also increase your chances of getting heartburn. Contact your healthcare professional with any concerns about your new symptoms.
To help develop the lungs, your baby is now inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. This is practice for that first breath of air at birth. Your baby may also be able to hear your voice when you talk now.
Greek yogurt and traditional yogurt help build your muscles and nerve function while building strong bones for your baby. Make sure to eat yogurt with active cultures and probiotics, which help keep your stomach healthy and can help prevent yeast infections, which are more common in pregnancy.
Take a walk- it’s a cardiovascular exercise, and benefits are amplified when you’re expecting. Join a low impact yoga class, if you prefer something slower and relaxing.
Have you joined Centering Pregnancy Yet?
Centering Pregnancy is a group approach for expectant mothers where you will receive your prenatal care, along with learning more about pregnancy and building relationships with other women at the same stage of pregnancy as you are. Also, get a chance to pick up some free baby items when you attend! Multiple locations around Montgomery County offer Centering Pregnancy.
Some earlier symptoms, including an increase in mood swings and a loss of sense of balance, may revisit you in your eighth month. Don’t worry, these symptoms are typical. Your breasts may be tender as they get ready to feed your baby. If you have any questions or concerns about them, be sure to contact your healthcare professional. At thirty-one weeks, many pregnant women start to experience symptoms that could include Braxton Hicks contractions and lower back pain. Other symptoms that may emerge are shortness of breath and overall discomfort, including heartburn.
At the end of the eighth month, many pregnant women experience a loss of energy, feeling incredibly warm, and insomnia.
You are likely gaining close to a pound a week. Half of that goes straight to your baby, who will gain one-third to half his or her birth weight in the next seven weeks in preparation for life outside the womb. You may have trouble catching your breath until the baby ‘drops’ into the pelvic area, because your baby is getting larger and may press against your lungs. This is normal, but if it becomes excessive, contact your healthcare professional immediately.
Baby is just a few weeks away and starting to descend into the pelvic area with its head down. You may experience frequent urination at this stage due to the baby’s new position and daily weight gain.
Foods loaded with nutrients such as iron are essential for you and your baby since you both are sharing what you eat. Lean meat, spinach, eggs, and figs are all great sources and can be combined to make a delicious salad.
Make sure to familiarize yourself with the ABC’s of safe sleeping:
A: Alone-your baby should never sleep with other people, blankets, or pillows.
B: Back-place your baby on their back to sleep every time.
C: Crib- your baby should always sleep in a safe, empty crib with a firm mattress.
In the ninth month, pregnant women often experience increased swelling and tired eyes. A lack of sleep and hormonal changes can cause you to feel a little off, which is normal.
Dry and brittle hair, headaches and pelvic pain are also typical in the ninth month. The pelvic pain is a sign that your body is getting ready to deliver your baby.
Pregnancy waddle and pressure on the pelvic cavity due to the baby dropping (the stomach dropping a little) are signs that your baby is getting ready for birth. However, as the baby drops, breathing becomes more comfortable since they are no longer pushing on your lungs. At the end of month nine, vaginal discharge or bloody mucus can occur as your cervix prepares for birth, as well as a slight dilation of the cervix, abnormal swelling and cramping, and anxiety. While you are in bed at night, there may be intense dreams and trouble sleeping.
As you close in on the delivery date, you will also find it more difficult to sleep because of all the excitement of having a baby!
You may experience Braxton Hicks Contractions even more in your last month. Always time them and take note of their consistency. If they are 5 minutes apart for 30 minutes, call your healthcare professional right away.
Foods loaded with nutrients will give you energy for your big days. Sweet potatoes have healthy carbs that provide lots of energy. Research shows that increasing consumption of sweet potatoes can decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality.
Make sure you learn how to install your car seat. If you need assistance, your local fire department can help you install it. Read the instructions and learn about all of the features.
Are you or someone you know pregnant?
Do you live in Montgomery County? Could you use assistance accessing resources like help with utilities, rent, diapers, a crib, legal services, mental health resources, doula services, transportation to your prenatal appointments?