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Month 8

What’s happening with you

Your nights seem longer due to the lack of comfortable sleep- but keep a bag packed just in case one of those nights is interrupted by labor! Occasionally, women will notice their breasts begin to leak during this time. Don’t worry – this fluid is called colostrum. Small amounts of this liquid have created a film or residue on your nipples since mid pregnancy. Your breasts are responding to the hormones that prepare you for nursing your baby.

Are you feeling breathless? This growing baby is taking up a lot of space that you used to use to breathe. By the end of the ninth month, the baby will have dropped down into the pelvis, but until then you might find yourself huffing and puffing a little. Slow down a bit, and rest more often. You may find that an assortment of pillows is helpful in propping you up and supporting your tummy as you lay on your side.

Laying flat on your back should be avoided because of the weight that it applies to the arteries and veins that supply your pelvis and lower extremities. The increasing weight of the uterus does affect the circulation to the lower extremities – as well as putting more demand on them in carrying additional cargo. Your calves, thighs or feet may cramp up and leave your leg feeling achy. Massage those tired legs, and put them up when you get the chance.

Watch that baby move!

As you approach the end of pregnancy, it is important that you continue to feel active periods of fetal movement. This is especially true if you’ve had any complication of pregnancy like hypertension or diabetes, etc. Many clinicians have different formulas for what they consider a “normal” amount of movement.

Certainly every baby will not be the same in terms of the amount or quality of movements, but most healthy babies will move frequently. To do a fetal movement count, choose the baby’s most active time of day, and do it at the same time every day. Start the clock and see how long it takes you to record 10 movements – twists, pokes, kicks and turns.

If the fetal activity is slower than normal, have something to eat or drink, walk around for 10 –15 minutes, and then lay down on your left side and see if the movement has picked up. Your baby should move a minimum of 10 times in 4 hours – your particular clinician may have even stricter guidelines. If you have any concerns regarding fetal movements, especially a decrease in the quantity or quality of fetal movements, consult your physician right away. You can also learn more about baby’s well being here.

How you may feel

Some women get a little tired of being pregnant during month eight! This is a normal feeling because it’s getting to be a more uncomfortable time. You may experience backaches, hurting feet, and sleep that is not the best. Here are some other common occurrences.

Anemia

You may have a low hemoglobin count at this point in your pregnancy. Anemia is very common — especially during later pregnancy. Getting the right nutrients from your diet may help reduce your chances of anemia.

Try some of the following tips:

  • Include good sources of iron in your diet – these include the leafy green vegetables and beets, organ meats, and oysters.
  • Avoid caffeine (chocolate, tea, coffee, soda) because it prevents absorption of iron.
  • Take your iron supplements with a glass of orange juice. Vitamin C helps your body get the maximum benefit of the iron supplement.
  • Cooking with a cast iron pan may actually help deliver extra iron/minerals to the food.
Breathlessness

This growing baby is taking up a lot of space that you used to use to breathe. By the end of the ninth month, the baby will have dropped down into the pelvis, but until then you might find yourself huffing and puffing a little. Slow down a bit, and rest more often. You may find that an assortment of pillows is helpful in propping you up and supporting your tummy as you lay on your side.

Tired legs

Your calves, thighs or feet may cramp up and leave your leg feeling achy. Massage those tired legs, and put them up when you get the chance.

It's almost time! Your baby will soon be here — a thought that is both exciting and nerve-wracking. There are lots of feelings to sort out as the big day approaches. Your physician or clinician is ready to help, feel free to share any concerns or questions you may have.

How baby is growing

It’s getting close to the time you’ve been waiting for – the birth of the baby that has been growing these many months. To prepare for this, the fetus turns to a head down position and snuggles into the pelvis. The space is getting a little cramped and rapid fluttery movements are fewer, it’s now big thumps and kicks.

It is important to continue to feel daily periods of active movement – check with your doctor if you notice any change in the quality or quantity of fetal movements.

The baby is certainly ready for life outside the mother now – and, if born, most babies would be able to breathe air without any problem. The lungs have become stronger. The fetus is almost fully-grown, weighing about 5 pounds and measuring 18 inches in length.

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