Everything you need to know
You are getting ever closer to the final day of your pregnancy: giving birth. Now is a good time to make sure you have a birthing plan. You should know things like who want to be in the delivery room and how you want to manage your pain. It’s a good idea to research medical procedures like caesarians and epidurals so you know what to expect. While doing this research and preparation, also make time for yourself to relax. The big moment is around the corner at 8 months pregnant. Even the penultimate month of pregnancy brings new changes for you and your baby.
Your baby’s growth
- Skin – Your baby’s skin becomes less and less transparent and wrinkled, instead becoming more pink and soft. Your baby continues to grow and accumulates more layers of fat under the skin that give a chubby appearance. This fat is very important, because after birthit will allow your baby to regulate the body temperature in an environment colder than your uterus.
- Weight – During the last two months of intra-uterine life, your baby gains half of the weight he or she will have at birth. Therefore, your diet is of paramount importance when you are 8 months pregnant. Eat small meals and often to help prevent constipation, bloating and gas.
- Bones – Your baby‘s legs elongate, and the bones continue to strengthen. The skeleton is formed, although the bones are still pliable and soft. This is normal as it eases the transitory process through your vagina during birth. The skull will continue to have soft spots so that it is flexible enough to pass through the birth canal during labour.
- Lungs – The lungs are continuously maturing and getting ready for the outside life. Their maturation will be completed only in the 9th month of pregnancy.
What happens inside your body?
- Intense Braxton-Hicks contractions – Do not be surprised if this month these types ofcontractions happen more frequently, perhaps every hour. Their frequency might cause you to question whether the time has come. Most likely, the answer is no. Your uteruscontinues to practice for the labor. If the contractions are accompanied by pain and become increasingly intense, call your obstetrician.
- Even more frequent urination – As your baby grows, your uterus will continue to press down on your bladder. You will likely have to urinate even more than before, perhaps even every half an hour. But keep drinking lots of water – it’s key to staying healthy.
- Joint Pain – Some women suffer joint pain. Luckily, it has no pathological significance and you will not end up getting a joint disease. The joint pain is caused by the extra effort carrying the increased weight of pregnancy.
- Vaginal discharge – While you might have gotten used to the increased vaginal discharge, this month another type of secretion may appear: pale green mucus. This mucus has been protecting your uterus by sealing your cervix. Preparing for the birth, your cervix becomes more elastic this month and that is why the mucus is leaking.
How different will you look?
As you continue to gain weight, you may feel huge and swollen. Try not to get discouraged; it’s all healthy. Your breasts will likely be ever tender and every touch might generate the leakage of colostrum, the first milk.
How can you care for both of your loved ones?
Try to continue making this month a time of serenity and support. Your long awaited time of waiting is about to end. On one hand you may feel relieved but you may also feel nervous and uncertain about what comes next. Communication is key. Try to enjoy the last quiet moments with your partner before birth.
Tips for mothers – To help you go through trimester
- More vitamins: Your iron deposits might run low this month. It is important to consume food rich in iron such as green vegetables, fresh fruits, dried fruits, cereals and red meat. You also need vitamin C to help with the iron absorption. Calcium can also be ingested through dairy or supplements.
- Drink plenty of fluids: You might be sick of hearing this but being 8 months pregnantrequires hydration. Water is the best option but you can also consume fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Try and avoid or cut down on caffeinated drinks because they will dehydrate you with their diuretic effect.
- Rest and relax: If you are relaxed and stress free, your labor will be easier. Being tense will probably make it longer. A healthy and well-rested body, full of vitamins and hydrated will likely lead to fewer complications.
- Prepare a birthing plan: Just in case your baby is early, it’s a good idea to have prepared a birthing plan. Talk to your partner or the person who will help you during the birth about what medical procedures you feel comfortable. Figure out who you want with you in the delivery room. Prepare a hospital overnight kit with things like a comfortable change of clothes, reading material, music to help you relax and a camera!
You have come through some challenging changes. You have survived morning sickness and the moodiness caused by hormonal changes. You have felt your weight balloon and your breasts become tender. You have adjusted your diet, and your exercise regime. You have mentally prepared, and discussed your birth plan with your partner. You may not feel ready, but you have almost made it. Bringing life into the world is the reason we all are here and at 8 months pregnant you are almost there.