The eighth month of pregnancy: you’re almost there! At this point, you’re eagerly anticipating having your baby in your arms. Not only that, you’re probably beginning to feel pretty tired of pregnancy in general. As your eighth month progresses, there are several symptoms that you should be prepared for. Here are just eight things to expect when you are 8 months pregnant.
1. Breathing will get difficult.
Your baby is compressing the space that would normally be occupied by your internal organs, so they’re all getting squished out of position. That includes your lungs, which are also working harder in the effort to bring in enough oxygen for you and your baby. If climbing a flight of stairs didn’t leave you a little out of breath before, it certainly will as you progress into your eighth month of pregnancy. This is the point where you should sit back, relax, and not be too hard on yourself. Some sources even recommend doing as little as possible, though that’s not a realistic recommendation for every woman.
2. Your baby will probably turn head down.
This is the optimal delivery position. It also brings baby’s head into your bladder, where you’ll probably feel like baby is sitting all the time. Don’t worry: feeling as though you need to visit the bathroom every 15 minutes is perfectly normal. So is thinking that you’ve emptied your bladder only to stand up and realize that baby has shifted and it’s full again. Don’t use this as a reason to skip your water consumption, however! You and baby both need to stay hydrated.
3. Weight gain will slow down.
Many women discover that weight gain slows down in the eighth month of pregnancy. However, this isn’t true for everyone! If you’re gaining more than you’d like, try to look away from the scale, take deep breaths, and remember that this isn’t the time in your life to be worried about weight gain. It’s all for the baby in the end!
4. You will experience heartburn.
As your stomach has increasingly less room, you might discover that small, frequent meals are the best way to keep heartburn to a minimum while still supplying the calories that you need. It’s likely that you won’t be able to eat as much as you usually can, and even your favorite foods will likely have to be consumed in moderation.
5. Your baby will begin growing much faster now.
This month, your baby weighs around four pounds. Within the next four to six weeks, baby will put on around half of its final birth weight. That means that you’re going to be growing, too–and growing increasingly more uncomfortable. Don’t be surprised when you need to slow down a lot more than you have previously throughout your pregnancy. Also, around this stage, you may find yourself refusing to take off your yoga pants, which is okay. They’re much more comfortable than any other piece of clothing you own and able to stretch to accommodate your growing belly–which at this stage of pregnancy is exactly what you need.
6. Your breasts might leak.
If you haven’t already experienced yellowish fluid leaking from your breasts, this month may be when it starts. Your body is gearing up to produce milk for your baby. Colostrum will sustain your baby for the first few days after birth, until your milk comes in completely. If it happens to you earlier or later, don’t worry! When your milk starts to come in is no indication of whether or not you’re going to be able to feed your baby. Also, keep in mind that women experiencing their second, third, or later pregnancies are more likely to produce colostrum earlier.
7. Pillows are your best friend.
As your abdomen stretches, you may experience steadily more discomfort in your rib cage, pelvis, and abdomen. Toward the end of this month, you’ll feel like you’re running out of room in there! To help give yourself some relief, try propping up with several pillows. Lay on your side with one pillow under your head and neck, one pillow supporting your belly, and one between your knees. This will help take some of the strain off your body and make you feel more like yourself.
8. You will experience mommy brain.
Have you had your first case of “mommy brain” yet? If you’re feeling generally fuzzy-brained and having trouble remembering things that you once took for granted, you’re not alone! Many moms-to-be experience difficulty focusing, concentrating, or remembering throughout their pregnancy and after the birth of the baby. What does this mean for you? Use the “notes” program on your smartphone or get used to writing things down.
The eighth month of pregnancy is often one of the most exciting. You’re getting close to the end, but you’re not yet so close that you’re counting down the days and wondering whether or not your baby will come on your due date. Many times friends and family will throw your baby shower close to the end of your eighth month so that you’ll have time to finish preparing for baby’s arrival. Enjoy this month of pregnancy as much as you can! Baby will be here before you know it.
Featured photo credit: La Curva de la Felicidad/Niklas Montelius via flic.kr