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The Ninth Month of Pregnancy

The Ninth Month of Pregnancy

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This month, your baby is getting plumper to prepare for life outside the womb. Antibodies are also traveling through the placenta to combat disease and infection once your baby is born. He or she is gaining up to half a pound each week, and the skin is becoming less wrinkled as fat accumulates under the skin. The baby is almost out of room, and will be tucked into the fetal position with the knees against the nose. Your baby is up to nine pounds now, and is about 20 inches long, although most babies are around 7 pounds at birth.

The baby has the same sleep schedule as a newborn, and is able to cry. As labor nears, your baby will move much lower in your abdomen – this is called lightening. This is a sure sign that your due date is very close. You will still feel plenty of movement, but your baby is no longer able to flip or turn comfortably.

In the ninth month you’ll see your doctor or midwife once a week, where he or she will check for swelling, cervix dilation, the fetal heartbeat and baby’s position. If your caregiver feels that your pregnancy has continued for long enough, he or she will suggest inducing labor. If you choose to have your labor induced, you will be given drugs to start labor in the hospital. However, if you are comfortable and there are no complications, your health care provider will probably leave things up to nature.

You’re breathing easier now, as the baby is no longer pressing on your diaphragm. You will be running to the bathroom more often, as the baby weight is against your bladder. You may have no appetite as your stomach is crowded by the baby, and can be full of energy or fatigued. Take as much time as you need to rest during your ninth month – you’ve been through a lot!

Braxton Hicks contractions are happening frequently now, and may happen more throughout the day and night. The signs of true labor contractions are painful movement across the abdomen, and pain no matter what position you are in. Some signs to watch for that could indicate you’re in labor:

your water breaks

you pass the the mucous plug

you begin having diarrhea

you are having painful, frequent contractions that don’t lessen in intensity when you change positions


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