Eight h Month

32-36 weeks

By now you're probably constantly looking at the calendar and counting down the days until your due date.

Feelings

Even though pregnancy is a beautiful thing, by the time you hit the eighth month most women just can't wait for it to be over. Don't worry this feeling doesn't make you any less of a person or any less of a mother. It's a normal feeling every pregnant woman gets. Kind of like waiting in line for something wonderful and after a while getting a little tired of waiting. Its normal to start feeling nervous, preoccupied and impatient for the day to come when you can finally meet your baby.

For tips on how to cure or comfort any of these symptoms listed on this page check out :

Symptoms To Expect During The Third Trimester & Tips To Help Make This Trimester More Comfortable.


Constant Baby Hiccups

At this time the baby is getting more and more use to the concept of breathing by practicing taking in amniotic fluid into his/her lungs. Unfortunately with all this practice he/she may run into a problem with his/her diaphragm raising causing hiccups. Even though this is harmless to baby, it may cause a little aggravation after a while for you especially after baby has started to engage.

Achy Joints

During pregnancy there is nothing more that I hated than waking up in the middle of the night or in the morning with achy joints. Most times I'd wake up and my hip joints would feel sore. This is basically due to the muscles in your joints starting to stretch and position themselves for delivery day.

More And Intense Braxton Hicks Contractions

Sometime during the eighth month is usually the time when braxton hicks become frequent and more profound. They shouldn't hurt but just feel like your stomach is tightening up more.

Feeling Like Your Body Is Going To Explode

The eighth month is a big time for baby's growth. Its normal to feel at some point this month like there is no other possible way you could grow anymore and you physically feel like you're about ready to explode. This feeling usually subsides as baby engages and drops giving you more breathing room.

Baby's Growing Lack Of Space

By now baby has grown quit a bit and is still growing even more. He/she is rapidly running out of room to move and so every punch and kick can be felt very strongly. At some time this month when he/she gets active it may feel like you're literally being jabbed in the ribs only this is happening inside with a little foot or hand. You may also start to feel pressure on your pelvis like someone is pressing on them. All of this is baby's way of telling you "Hey mom I'm running out of space." These feeling should subside as baby engages into your pelvis and moves down.

Weight Gain

This month is the one time when your weight will start to jump up rapidly. We're mainly talking a few pounds here and there every two weeks but this is mainly baby growth. The eighth month is when baby starts to really grow and gain his/her pounds and that is why your weight is growing even though your appetite hasn't changed.

A More Constant Urge To Urinate

Of course as baby grows and runs out of more and more space, that is also the time when he/she presses on your bladder and you feel like you have to go more often then before. Unfortunately from now on it gets worse and by the time baby engages in your pelvis you'll feel like you have to go every half hour but this doesn't mean you should cut down on your fluid intake. By all means you should be drinking more especially if you are pregnant during the spring and summer months.

Bathing

I have been told by my doctor that it is safe to take a bath instead of a shower up until your water breaks. If you are one who likes to relax in the bath, talk to your doctor and see what he/she feels would be best. As usual showers are safe up until your water breaks.

Possition Of The Baby

Just like many months before its like one big guessing game trying to figure out what the position baby is in. Now is one of those times when its really something to want to find out about. With a lot of pregnancies the eighth month is the time when baby starts to turn his/her head down and is getting ready to engage into your pelvis. Ask your doctor if he/she could give you a idea if baby is making that decent yet. Also some books may indicate that if your stomach is low and not right below your breasts then good chances are you're carrying a boy and if you're stomach sets below your breasts then you are carrying a girl. From personal experience I wouldn't count on what the books tell you about that information. With my son I was carrying below my breasts up until the beginning of the ninth month when he started to drop down and engage. I still have yet to figure out where they got that information from.

Worried About Safety During Delivery

It is all too common that with first pregnancies that you worry about whether you and your baby will be safe during the delivery. Its only natural human instinct to be afraid of something you haven't gone through before. I can tell you honestly as a person who has had experience and has known many others who have given birth multiple times, that you have absolutely nothing to worry about. I believe at least 95% of all deliveries are safe and successful. Most hospitals these days will have everything they need incase of an emergency in the delivery room with you.

Baby Shopping

If this is not your first pregnancy, you've already had your baby showers or there are none planned for you, now is the best time to start baby shopping. Here is a list of the things you will need for baby: Getting Ready For Baby, What Do I Need?

Increase In Urge To Have The Baby

As I said above by now you probably can't wait until baby comes. Trust me as the eighth and ninth month go by and your due date gets closer that feeling will grow and grow. Its perfectly normal and common for pregnant women to feel this way. I mean at the beginning the thought of pregnancy was wonderful and magical but after the pains, aches, constipation, hemorrhoids, and other not so fun side effects, its only natural to want it to end so you can have your body back and be able to spend time with your new arrival. After baby is born all the bad side effects of pregnancy some how seem to slip away from memory and pregnancy becomes a magical experience yet again.

Using Your Stomach As A Desk

I've found one of the cute little things about having a growing stomach is by the eight and ninth month you may actually be able to place objects such as a cup or a plate on your stomach and have it stay there. I've often found out of force of habit if I don't have something flat to write on I'll use the top of my stomach as a substitute.

Baby Dropping

By the middle, maybe even the end of this month your baby should be turning himself/herself around facing head down and dropping into your pelvis. I have read that it is common with first pregnancies for this to happen sometime within the middle of the eighth month, maybe a few weeks later. Oddly enough I found stated in "What To Expect When You're Expecting" that its rare for second time pregnancies to have the baby drop and engage until a week before birth or during labor. I may end up writing a letter to the ladies who wrote the book asking them if they could do more research on the subject mainly because with my second pregnancy my son started dropping by the end of the eighth month and was fully engaged by my 38th week. My doctor and others that I have talked to have said that its not uncommon to them to be engaged that early in the second pregnancy. I'm mainly concerned with women being told the wrong information and being concerned when they find out they are in the 37th week of their second pregnancy and find that the baby is already dropping but reading in What To Expect that its not suppose to start until the last week or labor. That happened to me and I was very concerned because it sounded like my pregnancy was abnormal. I was worried for weeks until I talked to friends and my doctor and found out its very common.

Mucus Plug

Sometime this month you may notice either a light green mucus on your toilet paper when you wipe or a small amount of mucus laying at the bottom of your toilet after going to the bathroom. This is nothing to be alarmed at and is very normal. Usually by the middle or end of the eighth month your cervix is starting to soften and loosen up preparing for birth many weeks ahead. There is what is called a mucus plug in the opening of your cervix that has been there all pregnancy to keep your water from breaking. Now that your cervix is loosening up the mucus plug is slowly wearing away and is released when you use the bathroom.

Vaginal Or C-Section Birth

Hopefully by the end of this month your doctor will have a good idea of how big your baby might be and whether it is safe to have a vaginal birth or whether you should prepare for a c-section birth. Since a c-section birth is considered surgery, most doctors will not be in a hurry to do one unless necessary. Usually a c-section is only done when the baby is to large for a vaginal birth (usually 9-10lbs or higher) or there are complications with labor and a emergency c-section is the only option. Both of my children have been vaginal births and I can honestly say that a vaginal birth seems easier and less intimidating than a c-section birth. With a vaginal birth you are given fluid through a I.V.(which is normal with any birth), you are given anesthetics once your cervix has dilated to four centimeters, when your cervix has dilated to ten centimeters the nurse will call your doctor, the bed you are in will be prepared, your legs will be put elevated and put in leg harnesses and with every contraction you have you will be told to push to the count of ten and start over again with taking a deep breath and pushing until the count of ten until the contraction is over. It only took me three to four pushes with my kids. I will explain this in better detail in the labor delivery section of the web pages.

As far as a c-section goes. I have known a few people who have had them and they haven't had a vaginal birth so they say the c-section is the easiest. From what I understand with a c-section they are usually scheduled by your doctor and so you miss out on labor. When you go in for a c-section you are given anesthetics (a epidural), your bed is wheeled into the surgery section of the labor delivery floor. Only one person in your family is allowed with you. Once the epidural has kicked in and you can't feel the lower part of your body, a small incision is made in the lower part of your stomach called the bikini area. Your baby is then taken out, the cord is cut and you are sown up. There are tents around that area so you and your husband don't have to see the surgery part. They say a c-section is the easiest because you can have sex earlier than you can with a vaginal. Usually with a vaginal birth you have to wait four to six weeks until your vaginal area heals. This is pretty much all I know about c-sections though.

 

A Few F.A.Q.

 

Wow Am I Growing!

By the end of this month you'll feel like you've grown twice the size that you were during the sixth month. I personally would not buy anymore maternity clothes at this point mainly because you have so little time left. If you are in the mood for an affordable buying spree its best to spend the money on baby things.

Does It Make Me A Bad Person Because I Keep Thinking I Can't Wait For This Pregnancy To Be Over With?

No not at all, infact its normal to feel that way. You've been pregnant for seven, almost eight months and by now the growing, kicking and uncomfortableness is loosing its charm. After at least four months of growing, not being able to see your feet and feeling like you're a beached whale, any woman would want their body back. Not to mention by now you're probably very anxious to finally meet the little body that's been growing inside you.



WHAT DO I NEED TO DO THIS MONTH?

If you haven't figured out a birthing plan with your doctor and your husband, now is the best time to talk with them about it. Also if you haven't packed your hospital bag the next few weeks is the best time to start packing one and putting it aside. Here is a page to help you pack for your hospital stay and gives a list of what you need

Its Almost Time! What To Pack For Your Hospital Stay

What You Should Expect This Prenatal Visit

 

Urinalysis screening: You basically get this every time you go in for a appointment. All you need to do is pee in a cup provided by the office. If you're like me and have trouble going to the bathroom in public places, I find the easiest way to provide a specimen is to take a pee cup with a top home with me and pee at home in the cup a hour or less before my appointment.

Weight and Blood Pressure:Your weight and blood pressure will be taken at every appointment.

Fetal Heartbeat: You will be asked to lay on your back on the exam table, pull your pants down to your hips and raise your shirt. The nurse will squirt a gel like substance on your stomach and what looks like a little microphone hooked up to a box over your lower stomach. This device picks up the baby's heart beat kind of like a ultrasonic microphone.

Checking The Size Of The Uterus :A lot of doctors like to start checking the size of the uterus and how it is growing by the third month. The doctor will ask you to lower your pants to your hips and he/she will do a external palpitation and just lightly push around your lower abdomen a little to feel the size of the uterus is.

Checking The Height Of The Uterus: By now your doctor should pull out what looks like a measuring tape and measure you from your pelvic bone to the top of your stomach. Instead of numbers on the measuring tape, this tape has weeks and the tape will measure how many weeks along you are showing.

Checking Your Cervix: Depending on how your doctor practices he/she may start doing a internal exam to check on how your cervix is progressing. Once your weight and blood pressure have been taken by the nurse you will be asked to get undressed waist down and put a paper blanket over your lap and hips while you sit on the exam table. After your doctor checks fetal heartbeat and size of the uterus he/she will ask you to scoot down to the end of the exam table, place your feet in the stirrups at the end of the table and lay on your back. Your doctor will put on a rubber glove with some gel(same gel used on your stomach for fetal heartbeat and ultrasound). He/she will place two fingers into your birth canal and press to see how your cervix is progressing. It may sound kind of weird and a little scary but it's a common routine procedure done to every pregnant woman nearing the end of the pregnancy. This procedure will be done at each of your doctor appointments up until you deliver. This procedure will be able to tell your doctor how close you are to delivering. Nearing the end of your pregnancy your doctor will be able to tell if your baby has dropped by being able to feel the baby's head during the exam and it will also be able to tell your doctor if you have dilated, how far along you have dilated and if your water is ready to break. It is done this early mainly to tell how far along the cervix is and to prevent premature birth.

Checking Hands And Feet For Swelling: Most pregnant women at some point in their pregnancy tend to retain water which can cause the swelling of hands and feed known as Edema. This is quit normal especially in warm weather but doctors like to check mainly because if it happens too often it maybe a sign of preeclampsia which from what I understand doesn't happen to often. Preeclampsia can cause problems with the pregnancy but is something that can be easily caught early and treated.

 

What To Bring With You To Your Appointment

If you have any questions or concerns about your pregnancy, I find it best to write them down on a piece of paper as soon as you think of one and bring the paper in with you at your next appointment so you can talk them over with your doctor. Don't be concerned if you feel like you are asking too many questions or you feel your questions are embarrassing or odd. Your doctor has had many patients and I'm sure has heard them all. Besides your doctor is there to help you as much as possible and make you feel as comfortable as possible about your pregnancy. That's a big part of their job.

What Should Be Covered At This Appointment

When your doctor comes in to see you he/she should ask you how you feel. During your appointment your should also discuss any previous problems you have encountered. This is also a good time to discuss any new problems or concerns about your pregnancy and find out what can help you. Before you leave your doctor will want you to start making appointments to see him/her every two weeks until the end of the eighth month.



If you feel you have run into a major problem with your pregnancy, do not wait until your next appointment to address that problem, call your doctor's office as soon as possible. Your doctor's office should have a exchange number you can call when your doctor's office is not open.

 

 

What Does My Baby Look Like Now?

 

As the weeks go by your baby is still growing and will put on a few more pounds before birth maybe even grow a pound a week. He/she now weighs from three to five pounds and is about 16 inches. Gradually this month you'll feel your baby squirm and become less active more and more instead of kick and punch and do backflips. This is all due to your baby growing and having less and less space to move. As long as you feel your baby move from time to time things should be just fine. Right now he/she is passing fluid through his/her bladder and is practicing for all those wet diapers he/she will make when he/she is born. From now until he/she is born, he/she is gaining fat layers to maintain temperature. Even though his/her organs are still maturing, if born now his/her lungs will be mature enough to breathe unaided and he/she will have a very good chance of survival. His/her hearing is also developed so now is the best time to start talking to him/her. Medical studies have shown that if you talk to baby while in the womb, he/she will recognize both your and hubby's voice as soon as he/she is born. Right after my son was born my husband was talking and my son kept turning his head in my husband's direction even while others were talking. Sometime this month, especially if this is your first pregnancy, you baby should start turning around and positioning his/her head into your pelvis getting ready for birth called engaging. With second or more pregnancies your baby can engage sometime between this month and when labor starts so don't be concerned if its your 39th week and he/she still has yet to engage.

 

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