Most 9 months pregnant moms are prone to feel tired, bloated, unattractive and impatient, particularly in build-up towards childbirth.
Even though being moody, exhausted and insecure is normal, pregnant moms should be proud for all they endured over the past months and should only concentrate on the wonderful upcoming event.
Taking relaxing baths and walks, learning breathing techniques for labor, finishing the nursery, taking childbirth classes and choosing the baby’s name should be top priorities in pregnancy month 9. Starting with week 36, it’s only a matter of days before the little baby exits the womb.
The baby is considered full term at 38 weeks but most moms give birth at 40 weeks, in which the little boy or girl measures between 17 and 20 inches and weighs 6-9 pounds.
Its muscles are stronger than before, the waxy substance covering the baby’s skin starts shedding off and its kidneys are now more active than preceding months, producing more urine.
Baby’s hair is thicker during pregnancy month 9, nails are longer and lungs are completely developed and filled with enough surfactant for ensuring a proper breathing after delivery. Although the baby’s bones are stronger and more developed, those forming the skull are still not completely fused.
By the end of the month, the baby will drop more into the pelvis, getting ready for the big event. This may possibly cause extra pressure on the mom’s bladder, and discomfort while sitting or walking.
Although the baby continues to gain, a typical 9 months pregnant mom’s weight remains quite constant and some women even report losing up to 2 pounds during the last weeks.
The symptoms usually experienced in pregnancy month 9 vary from one woman to another; while some expecting moms feel tired and nervous, others are somehow restless and energetic - spending their time cleaning, tidying, cooking and preparing the home for the little one.
This symptom is called nesting and it does not mean the mom is not concerned about the baby’s health – she simply directs her energy in a positive and useful way.
Other symptoms in pregnancy month 9, usually experienced by moms during their last gestational weeks include; increased urination, body aches and pains, tingly hands due to the increased pressure exerted by the baby on nerves and veins, swollen legs and hands, hemorrhoids and skin blotches.
Finding a comfortable position for sleep is still difficult and breasts continue to leak colostrum. Also, Braxton Hicks contractions are more frequent and more intense but usually not painful until they turn into real contractions towards labor.
But there is some good news for 9 months pregnant moms as well; breathing becomes easier during the last weeks as the baby’s body doesn’t press the lungs anymore thus creating more room in the thoracic cavity.
Practicing breathing and pain-management techniques is useful for reducing childbirth anxiety. Doing Yoga or other stretching exercises relaxes the muscles, reduces pains and aches, and calms down your spirit.
Reading about the baby’s first days is helpful for developing an action plan that will help the mom avoid fatigue, nervousness and depression right after childbirth. Drinking warm teas and listening to relaxing music is beneficial for both the mother and the baby.
If you’re a 9 months pregnant mom, continue to take your vitamins, do your prenatal exercises regularly, and count Braxton Hicks during this pregnancy month 9.
In addition, pay attention to any new symptom and physical changes, especially signs that could indicate the beginning of labor when due.
During this last month, every expecting mom should see her doctor on a weekly basis for regular antenatal checkups, taking her usual blood pressure, weight, fetal heart rate, fundal height , urine test etcetera.
Importantly, internal exams are necessary to evaluate the cervix for dilation and thinning, effacement and softening towards the end of pregnancy month 9. A few centimeters dilated cervix does not necessary mean the baby will be born right away but it surely indicates the big event is closer than ever.
It is therefore imperative for a 9 months pregnant mom to have her bags for the hospital stay ready and her doctor’s number at hand.
Excitement will increase with every passing day but so will anxiety. In order to reduce stress and have a positive attitude when the big moment arises, visualization and relaxation techniques should be practiced daily.