The ninth month of pregnancy is the last leg. It is a time of great excitement as the baby is almost on the way. But, this is also a sensitive stage as the changes are rapid as the body gets ready to go into labor. This is what you need to know about how your body is going to change, how the baby develops in the last month and to take best care of yourself.
Ninth Month Of Pregnancy: Bodily Changes in the Mother
These are the changes that take place in the last month of the pregnancy:
- Weight: The weight change is rapid and is about 1 kilo a week. By the end of the pregnancy, you would have gained a total of 12-18 kgs depending upon your BMI.
- The mucus plug: Just a few days before you deliver the baby, the shield to the vagina, called the mucus plug is ejected.
- The vaginal wall softens: Vaginal discharge increases and the vagina and cervix becomes soft as the body prepares for delivery.
- Hair fall reduces: The hormonal changes make your hair look fuller and hair loss reduces too.
- Electrical Buzz: You will feel an electrical buzz running down the vagina and the legs because the baby may hit your nerves as he or she descends into the pelvis.
- Breathing becomes easier: As the baby descends into the pelvic region and the head settles downwards, the pressure from the lungs releases. This makes it easier to breathe.
- Sleep: Sleep is most disturbed at this stage as you feel heavy and uncomfortable.
- Kick counts: The kicks become more evident as the baby is pressed up against your skin more. You need to feel 10 distinct movements every two hours.
- Braxton Hicks Contractions increase: Braxton Hicks contractions increase as the body prepares for delivery.
Read Also: Tips for Healthy Pregnancy
Ninth Month Of Pregnancy: Developmental Changes in the Baby
The last set of developmental changes within the womb are as follows:
- Size: The baby is between 1.9- 2.6 kgs in weight and is about 17- 19 inches long by the ninth month.
- Position: The baby assumes the head down position and is fixed in the pelvis perfectly. The baby may assume a breech position. However, this may change by the time you are ready for delivery.
- Hair and Skin: The skin smoothens out and looks pinkish in color. The protective layer of hair called lanugo is shed completely. The head is covered with hair.
- Genitals: The testes move to the scrotum in case of boys. For the girls, the labia begin to cover the clitoris.
- Musculoskeletal system: The bones are fully developed. The muscles are toned and the baby is able to lift and turns the head.
- Lungs: The lungs are almost fully developed.
- Other changes: The earlobes are fully developed. The eyes begin to open and close and the baby may even blink.
Ninth Month Of Pregnancy: Pregnancy Symptoms
- Pelvic pain
- Cramps in the leg
- Water retention
- Frequent urination
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Mood swings
- Anxiety pangs
- Abdominal cramps
- Varicose veins
Ninth Month Of Pregnancy: Things to Take Care of
Take good care of yourself in the ninth month of pregnancy with these simple tips:
- The daily calorie consumption should be between 2200-2500 calories. Your diet must include calcium, folic acid, iron vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C, and Protein.
- Don’t sit and stand up too suddenly as it may cause dizziness.
- A warm bath is recommended to relieve cramps.
- Lying on your back is not recommended.
- Stay physically active.
- Have smaller and more frequent meals to avoid flatulence and discomfort.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Avoid standing for long hours
- You will visit your doctor more often, making one appointment each week.
- A weight check is important.
- Blood pressure is checked.
- The fetal heartbeat is monitored
- Cervix dilation and ripening are checked.
- A Group B streptococcus test is recommended to ensure that there is no infection.
- The position of the baby and the condition of the placenta is checked.
Ninth Month Of Pregnancy: FAQs
What are the signs of labor?
The amniotic fluid will leak, you will have a mucous-like discharge along with the passage of some blood and you will feel more frequent contractions.
What if the baby is breech?
If the breach is confirmed, there are two options. An External Cephalic Version is used to turn the baby into a normal position. The second option is a Cesarean delivery if the baby cannot be turned.
When should I go to the hospital?
Whenever you suspect being in labor, you must call your doctor. Typically, having at least 6 contractions every hour means that you are ready for delivery.
How to figure out when your Water Breaks during pregnancy
Many pregnant women confuse mucus with amniotic fluid. Sometimes women lose their mucus plug as they are near the end of the pregnancy but this doesn’t indicate the start of labor. This happens because the cervix gets softened. Mucus is a thick liquid which is whiter and may contain a little blood here and there. Amniotic fluid, on the other hand, is clear and odorless.
Read Also: Water Break During Pregnancy
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