Your eighth month of pregnancy is extremely exciting. You are finally getting close to the end of your pregnancy, and your little bundle of joy will be in your arms before long. Your baby is kicking and moving constantly, and it finally starts to feel real. Before long, you will finally get to be a mother. Read on to learn what to expect from your eighth month of pregnancy.
8th Month Pregnancy Symptoms
Now that you are entering your eighth month of pregnancy, there are a number of new symptoms that you can start to expect. Many of these symptoms are perfectly normal, although are ways to alleviate them if they become too much of a problem.
Unfortunately, backaches are fairly common during pregnancy and there is not a lot that you can do about them. Your uterus is continuing to grow, so this pushes your lower back forward and downward. The result of this is that your center of gravity is pushed forward. Your lower back may start to ache constantly. Plus, the lower rib cage has to expand because of all of your baby’s growth, and this problem will only continue until after you give birth.
While there is little that you can do about this symptom, you can try to alleviate it. Avoid crossing your legs when you sit, and keep your feet up as much as possible. Making sure not to gain too much excess weight can help reduce the pressure on your body. Sleep on a firm surface and make sure to have good posture. Otherwise, a heating pad or a warm shower may help to relax the muscles.
Shortness of Breath
As your uterus expands and your baby grows, the rest of your organs have less room. This minimizes the space for your lungs to compress and expand. As a result, you may feel short of breath because your lungs do not have enough room to open up and breath. While you might be uncomfortable, your baby is probably perfectly fine. Her oxygen is supplied from the placenta, so she is protected from your breathlessness.
There are times when breathlessness is caused by anemia. If this is the case, then you should go to your doctor to make sure. If you have anemia, then you may also have blue fingertips or lips. Most of the time, the breathlessness is just caused by pregnancy and not anemia. If this is the case, your best bet is to avoid eating too fast or too much because this can worsen your breathing issue. Having the right posture will also ensure that you have a bit more room for breathing.
Constipation and other pregnancy changes can end up leading to hemorrhoids. As your uterus grows, it places immense pressure on the organs in your pelvis. Worse still, the increase in your blood flow makes the veins located around the rectum itch and swell. You may even notice rectal bleeding, especially if you have a difficult bowel movement. While hemorrhoids may happen, they are generally quite treatable. A laxative or a stool softener may be prescribed by your doctor. Green, leafy vegetables and fiber-filled foods can also help make your stools more comfortable. If you sit for a long time period, it makes hemorrhoids more likely. Walk frequently and do Kegel exercises to boost blood circulation.
Your breasts are rapidly preparing to feed your child, so you may notice some fluid leaking out of your breasts during the third trimester. Known as colostrum, it may be yellowish, thick and creamy. This is just a normal way that your body is preparing for birth. If the leakage embarrasses you, try wearing breast pads under your clothes to prevent staining. This symptom does not mean that you are starting preterm labor; it is just a normal pregnancy symptom. You may notice this symptom more if your nipples are stimulated or right after you have sex.
Braxton Hicks contractions may have started last month, or you may just start having them in your eighth month of pregnancy. At first, you may worry that you are in labor. In reality, your uterine muscles are just tightening. These fake contractions are often painless. They tend to be irregular and infrequent. They may last for 30 seconds to a minute. If you change positions during the contraction, it will help reduce the pain. The only time you should call your doctor and be worried is if you have four or more of these contractions in an hour or if they are unusually painful. You should also call your doctor if they occur with vaginal bleeding because that could be a sign of preterm labor.
Bodily Changes During Your Eighth Month of Pregnancy
During this month, your baby is continuing to grow rapidly. As a result, you may gain about half a kilogram or one pound every week. Your uterus is moving upwards, which can cause you to feel bloated and uncomfortable. Since your uterus is continuing to grow, it can cause stretch marks on your abdomen and frequent urination. You may feel constantly fatigued and stretch marks may develop on your thighs. Waking up constantly to empty your bladder may make your fatigue even worse.
Common Concerns During 8th Month Pregnancy
During your eighth month of pregnancy, one symptom to watch out for is high blood pressure. Because your baby requires extra nutrients, your blood flow is higher. Your blood pressure naturally increases, but you do not want it to be too high. If you suffered from high blood pressure before your pregnancy, you may find that it worsens. Some women also develop gestational hypertension just when they are pregnant. Women who have preeclampsia may have hypertension as well as high protein levels in their urine. Preeclampsia can be a serious condition that puts your life and your baby’s life in danger. It lowers your blood flow, and it can lead to a placental abruption. Because of this, your doctor may prescribe blood pressure medications or a low-sodium diet to help.
Another worry for mothers during the eighth month of pregnancy is preterm labor. Luckily, babies born during this month have a fairly good chance of surviving. While they could potentially survive birth at this point, they still need the extra month to grow. Their lungs are not quite mature enough to breathe on their own, so a baby born at this time would have to spend time in a neonatal intensive care unit. Some conditions that can trigger a premature birth include placenta previa, preeclampsia or placenta abruption. Sometimes, the baby gets in the birth position too early and starts to move into the cervical canal. If you are having a high-risk pregnancy, your doctor may prescribe total bed rest until after you give birth.
The Baby’s Development During the 8th Month of Pregnancy
Right now, your baby is about 2.5 kilograms heavy and 19 inches tall. Your baby is undergoing a major growth spurt. By the time you finish this month, all of her organs other than the lungs and brain will be matured. She continues to gain fat, and her fingernails develop. Her eyes and eyelids are developed, so she can open and close them. Her head is covered in hair. While she is more capable of movement, she is going to stop being as active right now. This is because she is running out of room to move around in your body, so her range of movement is quite limited.
Thoughts on Diet and Your Eighth Month of Pregnancy
Right now, you should definitely be consuming a healthy diet. Nutrition is important throughout your pregnancy. Leafy vegetables, beetroots and tomatoes can help provide iron for fetal development. For folic acid, eat fruits and vegetables. Omega-3 fatty acids can help your baby’s brain and nervous system to develop. You can find these fatty acids in walnuts, almonds and fatty fish.
Mentally, it is time to start thinking about giving birth. Many mothers become nervous in the eighth and ninth month as they wonder what giving birth will be like. Instead of wondering if birth will be like in the movies, join a prenatal class. The instructor will help you know what to expect and can give you pelvic exercises to help with lower back pain.
At home, it is time to get the baby’s nursery together. Set up an area or an entire room for your baby. Make sure to prepare all of the obvious things like burping clothes, wipes, diapers, towels and a crib. Preparing for a baby is quite expensive, so there is no harm in trying to cut a few corners. Instead of a burping cloth, you can use an old towel. Clothes can be bought cheaply at a thrift store since the baby will just outgrow them in a few months anyway.
Fathers-to-be can join in the fun of preparing the nursery. This is the time to become an active part of preparing for the baby’s future. Fathers can go to prenatal classes with their partner and help out around the home. If you are having your first baby together, this is a good time to reassure the mother-to-be that she will do a wonderful job with labor and motherhood.