Sixt h Month
With only four months left to go most women start to feel a little relieved that pregnancy is almost over but also feel like they don't want it to end just yet. For the past few months you probably have been basking in the glow of feeling pregnant with very little added symptoms. Unfortunately I hate to say it but the "eye of the hurricane" that I talked about in the beginning of the fourth month has now passed and more uncomfortable symptoms start to build until baby is born. Don't worry, hopefully my pages on tips to make your pregnancy more comfortable help you and things won't seem as bad.
TThe best thing you can do is enjoy the positive things about the rest of your pregnancy such as feeling baby move and starting to play, "is that a foot I feel against my stomach or a fist?" You'll find that the good things outweigh the downsides.
As I side note I just wanted to say that because a symptom from last month's web page such as leg cramps, is not listed again on this page does not mean that that perticular symptom will not occur or will go away. I mainly have chosen not to list most symptoms twice or three times if they occur through the rest of the pregnancy due to the need for space to list new symptoms and comments plus it'll most likely bore people to read the same comments over and over again:-). Most symptoms during each trimester, after the first trimester, can carry on or start each month until baby is born.
For tips on how to cure or comfort any of these symptoms listed on this page check out :
Symptoms To Expect During The Second Trimester & Tips To Help Make This Trimester More Comfortable.
By now or sometime during this month you'll start to feel pretty much the same type of tiredness you felt during the first three months, if not more. Even the simplest things such as climbing stairs will start to feel like climbing Mount Everest. You'll feel little by little, more and more tired as the weeks and months go by until the baby is born. You'll even start to feel the need to sleep more and more as the weeks go by. Don't worry if you're use to getting eight hours of sleep and you end up getting ten or feeling very tired after only eight hours when you usually felt refreshed. This is basically your body adjusting to the growth of your baby, your baby's requirements, your requirements and also getting rested up for D-Day (Delivery Day).
You may have started to notice some great change in the way your breasts look and feel. By this month your breasts may feel larger and fuller than the first months of pregnancy. The areola and nipple should start turning a darker red or pink. If you feel your breast size has not changed do not be alarmed. It is common for some women not to have their breasts grow at all during pregnancy.
Just when you think starting to forget things was becoming a pain, you may start to notice you're becoming a little clumsy too. Unfortunately just like forgetfulness, clumsiness grows as your stomach grows and lasts until baby is born. Its just something you learn to live with as time passes, kind of like learning to live with a bad hair cut. Both will go away in due time:).
As your pregnancy progresses you need to still listen more and more to what your body is telling you and heed its warnings.
Each woman and each pregnancy are different when it comes to how much weight you gain and when you start gaining it. If you've found that you've gained a lot of weight during pregnancy and you are concerned, look at your diet and talk with your doctor. If you feel you haven't gained any weight don't be concerned as of yet. A lot of women don't start gaining pregnancy weight until the eighth month. I didn't start gaining the pounds until the middle of my seventh month, infact I had slowly lost weight up until my seventh month with both of my pregnancies and I was told it was both normal and still healthy.
Pins And Needles
Are you starting to feel like once in a while someone is sticking pins and needles in your legs or arms? This is a common feeling especially in first time pregnancies but they have as of yet to figure out what causes it. Don't worry its nothing harmful or threatening but its something that can occur from now until your due date.
Pain And Numbness In Your Side
At some point pass the sixth month of pregnancy you may wake up in the middle of the night with the side you were laying on feeling kind of numb. With my first pregnancy I would wake up constantly in the middle of the night and feel like my hip was numb and after a few months it felt like my sides were constantly numb. I believe this is mainly caused by constant pressure pushing on your side as you lay on your side. Its common and easily treatable.
Having a itchy stomach is a very common part of pregnancy just like having a growing appetite. Each person is different when it comes to itchy stomachs. You may have it once in a while, it may occur often or you may not get it at all. It's mainly caused by your skin slowly stretching while growing or can just be caused by dry air. This too is easily treatable.
It's a really good thing that no one feels like its fashionable for a pregnant woman to wear a bikini during swimming season. You may start to notice that taking prenatal vitamins not only increase your hair growth but also increases the hair on your stomach to grow.
Bending Or Stretching
With your expanding stomach you may start to notice its hard to bend over to pick something up. If you all of a sudden feel a twinge of pain in your lower stomach while stretching or trying to reach something, don't be concerned. The twinge of pain you felt was a stomach muscle being stretched in the wrong way. It's normal and nothing to be alarmed about.
Shortness Of Breath
As your baby grows space for some of your organs such as your stomach and lungs start to become limited. This in no way harms your organs or your baby but as your lungs are being pushed up it gets more and more difficult to breath. Your difficulties with breathing in no way effect the oxygen that gets to your baby.
You may start to notice soon that the urge you felt to go to the bathroom in the first three months of pregnancy is back. This time its not hormones that is causing you to feel this way. Just like with problems breathing, the constant need to urinate is now caused by baby growing and using your bladder as a cushion. Unfortunately the urge to go grows as your baby grows.
Even if you didn't suffer from constipation during the first three months of pregnancy, constipation may come to haunt you at some time during the next few months. This time instead of constipation being caused by hormones, it is caused by baby growing and pressing against your digestive tract causing solid waste to slow in movement. Luckily this can be cured in the same fashion as the constipation caused by hormones.
Heartburn & Indigestion
Just like frequent urination and constipation, heartburn and indigestion are now caused by growing baby taking up room instead of hormones.
Week by week your appetite should slowly grow along with your stomach. Just keep in mind that the old saying, "You're eating for two." Is technically not true. What you eat is not going directly to baby. If you eat a steak and potato for dinner, the nutrients from the food you eat is going to replenish your nutrients. Your baby is feeding off the nutrients that you already have in your body. So basically baby is feeding off the calcium, iron, and other nutrients in your body and what you eat is replenishing it because you need the nutrients too. If you go out and eat a lot of foods that are fatty, that fat will not pass on to baby, that fat will stick to you and there is a chance it will stay after baby is born so you do have to watch how much fatty foods you eat. Now when it comes to caffeine and sugar, that is one food that is quickly passed on to both you and baby. If you drink a caffeinated beverage or eat chocolate, half a hour later that will be passed onto baby and make baby hyper. When it comes to caffeine, I have been told by my doctor and have read in many pregnancy books that it is safe to drink caffeinated beverages and/or eat chocolate which has caffeine, as long as it is in moderation. It is safe to drink one of the following a day: one cup of coffee, one cup of tea, one cup of hot chocolate, one candy bar or three cans of soda. If you have not been keeping track of your caffeine intake do not worry but you need to start now. Studies by the medical community have proven that not keeping within your caffeine limits can cause your baby to go through serious caffeine withdrawal after he/she is born. I use to be a caffeine junky until I became pregnant but during pregnancy I stick with two regular sodas a day and the rest of the day I drink caffeine free soda. You wouldn't believe how many regular soda have caffeine free alternatives that taste the same. After a few weeks your body won't be able to tell the difference. This is coming from a woman who before pregnancy drank three regular Cokes a day and couldn't wake up without a cup of coffee but now while pregnant drinks mostly caffeine free soda and can't tell the difference:-)
Enjoy the moments when you can feel your baby move and kick inside of you, trust me you'll miss it after baby is born. As the weeks go by your baby will become more and more active. Baby has no concept between day and night so he/she may do his/her playing during bedtime.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
Braxton Hicks Contractions are also called false contractions. Its basically your body getting ready for when its time to deliver. With a false contraction you'll feel like your stomach is slowly hardening and the lower part of your back may or may not hurt. The hardening of your stomach muscles will last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. You'll know for sure it's a Braxton Hicks contraction when it is not followed by another contraction within a hour or the contractions aren't coming at a constant pace and coming at a shorter amount of time than the previous contraction. As your pregnancy progresses you may have more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions that may start to hurt a little instead of just be uncomfortable. If this is not your first pregnancy chances are braxton hicks contractions will start early and will feel more intense then the ones you had with your first pregnancy.
Possible Leaking Colostrom
If this is your first pregnancy then chances are your breasts won't start leaking colostrom until the ninth month if not then after the baby is born. Colostrom is the fatty breast milk produced before or shortly after birth. Its considered the premilk before the real breast milk is produced after baby is born. To check to see if you are producing colostrom yet place your thumb ontop of your breast and place your first and second fingers below your breast as if you were holding your breast with these three fingers. Gently and slowly slide all three fingers towards the nipple pressing ever so lightly as you go as if you were squeezing but just gently squeezing. What you are doing is called expressing milk. If colostrom is being produce then a clear, whitish, possibly yellowish drops will start to form on the outside of your nipple in different places. Don't be concerned about "expressing" too much. Colostrom will be produced to replace what is "expressed" and a few days after baby is born breast milk will replace the colostrom. Don't be concerned if you aren't producing colostrom yet. With most first pregnancies you usually don't produce until after baby is born and it may be the same for some second pregnancies as well.
A Few F.A.Q.
Wow Am I Growing!
Right now every two to three weeks your stomach should be slowly growing inch by inch. Isn't it great to actually feel and start to look pregnant now?
What Do I Do About Unwanted Advice?
One of the unfortunate side effects of being pregnant is having family members, friends and even strangers give you advice about pregnancy and childbirth that you may not really want to hear. Some of this advice may even be frightening for a pregnant woman to hear. The best thing to do is politely listen to what the advice giver has to say but let it go in one ear and out the other if its something you don't agree with or just didn't want to hear. If the advice concerns you bring it up with your doctor. If you are more daring than others you could also tell friends and family members that even though you value what they have to say, this is your pregnancy and pregnancy is just one of life's lessons you want to learn on your own or else half the joy and surprises of pregnancy would be lost.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO THIS MONTH?
Now is the best time to call the hospital
you plan on delivering at and find out if they offer classes.
Most hospitals offer classes such as Lamaze, childbirth, infant
care classes and even classes for dads to be. To learn more about
these classes and what they often have to offer, check out What
Classes Are Available for Pregnancy. Hospitals also offer classes
for women who have had more than one pregnancy. These classes are
usually free or cost less than $20.00 and trust me they are worth
it. Lamaze childbirth class explained how to know when you really
are in labor, comforting techniques to get you through labor,
Lamaze, and it also explained each step of labor, and how baby is
born. Most of the information I got from these classes were more
than I could have gotten from a any book and the classes were
each well worth the time. They ask you not to go to some of these
classes until you are a certain month along but you need to find
out what is out there and sign up for it now because they only
allow so many people to a class and they fill up fast. If your
local hospital can't give you any information then ask your
doctor about them.
You also need to find out from your doctor if you are required to attend a Anesthesia class. Most hospitals came up with a rule that expecting patients need to attend a anesthesia class sometime within the eighth month and before birth so that the patient can learn what pain medication is offered during labor, when it can be administered, how the pain medication works, and what its side effects are. This class is suppose to give patients a better idea of what options are out there even though most women prefer a epidural because it is safe and more effective then the others. Hospitals came up with this rule mainly because they've found it difficult to explain medication options and how it works to a woman in immense pain who may become irrational. If this is not your first pregnancy the hospital may require that you call the anesthesia department of the hospital you plan on deliver at and notify them that you have taken the class before, what medication you went with and they will send you a form to send back just verifying all of the information so you need not have to take the anesthesia class again.
What You Should Expect This Prenatal Visit
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.
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. He/she should discuss what
the results of your glucose test was and if you tested positive
he/she should go over what kind of diet you should be on to treat
gestational diabetes. 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. You may have noticed
that your visit with your doctor doesn't take very long and
almost feels like waiting to see your doctor took longer than the
visit which is very normal. These visits are basically there so
your doctor can check to see how you are doing, see how the
pregnancy is progressing, and to make sure both you and baby are
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?
This month your baby will weigh between a
pound to two pounds. He/she should measure between a foot (the
size of a 1lb box of Honey Nut Cheerios) to 14 inches long.
Her/his hearing and vision is getting more clear and sudden loud
noises may startle him/her. He/she is now practicing a sleep
schedule for when he/she is born by having sleeping and waking
periods. If by some medical emergency your baby was born this
month he/she has a good chance of survival but even though
he/she's essential organs are formed by the end of the sixth
month Your baby would be hooked up to machines in the Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit and would not be able to leave for many
months because the lungs are not fully developed. If you did by
chance go into premature labor this month but your water had not
broken the hospital would give you drugs to stop labor. The
longer baby stays inside and develops the better chances he/she
will have of survival and growing up without medical problems.
One hot April afternoon in 1975 my six month pregnant mother in-law accidentally over exerted herself while picking cotton and she went into premature labor. My husband was born three months premature and weighed in at 3lbs. He had to stay in the NICU on a respirator for three months because his lungs were underdeveloped. By the time my bother in-law was able to take him home his butt fit in the palm of her hand and she had to cut his cloth diapers into quarters to fit him because he was still so tiny. Today he is a healthy 26 year old but still suffers from chronic respiratory problems because his lungs were underdeveloped when he was born. The moral of this story is as long as you take care of yourself, know your limits and don't overexert yourself you will have a happy and healthy baby by the end of the ninth month:-)
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