As the baby is maturing and gaining weight very fast, 8 months pregnant mom may find it difficult to remain calm and relaxed.
The belly gets larger day after day, muscle cramps and aches become more intense and the entire body looks swollen and heavy.
But the great news is that, in less than 8 weeks, the amazing journey will be over and the expecting parents will finally have their long awaited baby in their arms.
The baby measures about 20 inches and weighs close to 6 pounds in this month. As it continues to store fats on the bones, its figure becomes fuller and skin looks less wrinkled and transparent.
Although the rapid weight gain especially in the weeks of pregnancy month 8 may not be very pleasant, the baby needs to store fats not only for avoiding injuries at birth but also for regulating its body’s temperature once out of the uterus.
The baby may be less active than before but there’s no cause to worry; it does happen because of less room for moving around anymore.
The legs are now fully developed, bones are stronger and the entire skeleton is formed. Also, the skull is completely formed although it still has soft spots, to allow it easy passage through the vaginal opening during labor.
In pregnancy month 8, the baby’s lungs continue to mature although not yet fully functional; a premature childbirth wouldn’t be fatal for the baby at this stage. The little baby now experiences regular periods of deep sleep and REM sleep.
In case your baby has not turned to the head down position yet, by the end of the month it’ll surely adopt such position for labor.
As the baby’s position is changed now, the pregnant mom may experience painful pokes and kicks in the ribs and increased pressure in the lower abdomen.
Feet are swollen and feel heavy, breasts are more tender and sore than they were, colostrums leakage continues and nipples become darker and larger. Bloating, indigestion, heart burn and constipation are still present in pregnancy month eight and appetite may increase.
Braxton Hicks contractions become more frequent and it’s possible to experience them on an hourly basis. As long as they’re not accompanied by pain there’s no need to call the doctor but if these contractions become increasingly intense, contacting the obstetrician is a must as the baby may want to meet its parents earlier!
Joint pain continues to be experienced as a result of the increasing belly weight and frequent urination persists. However, reducing the water intake is not the best solution for this issue as staying properly hydrated is essential for both the baby and mom.
Vaginal discharge is common at pregnancy month 8 but it slightly changes its appearance, becoming pale green and less slippery than before. This discharge is nothing but the mucus that sealed the cervix during the gestational period and is now removed as the cervix becomes more elastic and dilates, preparing for birth.
Despite the disturbing urine leakage occurring when coughing, sneezing or laughing, pregnant women should continue to drink plenty of fluids as it not only helps the baby but also protects the skin’s health, maintains normal blood sugar levels and prevents digestive and blood clotting problems.
In 8 months pregnant moms additional calories are needed for sustaining the baby’s growth but these calories should come from a balanced diet, healthy snacks and 5-6 meals a day.
As the baby’s brain continues to mature, proteins, dairy products and carbohydrates should be included in larger amounts, in the daily menu. The vitamins intake should also be increased by adding more leafy vegetables, dried and fresh fruits, fortified cereals and red meat to the daily eating plan.
Warm showers taken daily, easy prenatal exercises and restful naps relieve the tension and stress, relaxing muscles and making it easier to cope with all the physical and emotional changes.
During the penultimate pregnancy month, mom should take the following tests:
8 months pregnant moms should also start monitoring the baby’s kicks as counting less than 10 movements of any kind in one to two hours is not normal and the doctor should be contacted immediately. In this month 8, ensure your maternity package for hospital stay is ready.