Month Eight of Your Pregnancy
You are a pregnancy pro now, deftly handling all the aches and pains that come with the territory. You've learned to adjust to the fashion hardships, the lifestyle changes, and the logistical challenges that your baby and belly have brought to the forefront. It's not much longer now.
Month Eight Checklist
- Take five and de-stress; it's good for you and baby.
- Lay out your baby's essentials.
- Compare and decide on cloth versus disposal diapers.
- Discuss circumcision with your pediatrician and your partner.
- Start wrapping up projects at work.
- Finalize your child care plans for after maternity leave.
- Preregister at your hospital or birthing center.
Gradually shifting to the same position in which 95 percent of all babies are born, your baby starts to move into a head down pose, known as the vertex position.
Your little one is now up to eighteen inches long and as heavy as a five-pound sack of flour. The rest of her body is finally catching up to the size of her head. Although it may feel like your baby is constantly up and about, she's actually sleeping 90 to 95 percent of the day, a figure that will drop only slightly when she is born.
If your child were born today, she'd have an excellent chance of surviving and eventually thriving outside the womb. However, she'd still be considered preterm or premature, just as any birth before thirty-seven weeks of gestation.
Your Body's Changes
Weight gain should start to slow down this month. If it doesn't, however, don't cut your calorie intake below 2,600 to try and stop it. You need the extra energy for both of you.
As your baby settles firmly on your bladder, bathroom stops step up once again. You may even experience some stress incontinence, which is minor dribbling or leakage of urine when you sneeze, cough, laugh, or make other sudden movements. This should clear up postpartum.
Other symptoms that may begin or continue this month include:
- Frequent urination
- Tender and/or swollen breasts
- Colostrum discharge from nipples
- Bleeding gums
- Excess mucus and saliva
- Increase in vaginal discharge
- Mild shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Skin and hair changes
- Round ligament pain or soreness
- Lower back aches
- Mild swelling of legs, feet, and hands
- Leg cramps
- Painless, irregular Braxton Hicks contractions
- Minor vision changes (fluid retention can slightly change the shape of your eyes and estrogen can cause your eyes to be drier than normal)
On Your Mind
As labor looms closer, your thoughts turn to the task at hand. Going into labor and delivery with as much knowledge of the process as possible can make the difference between a positive childbirth experience and a long and arduous one, so continue to read and ask questions.
At the Doctor's or Midwife's Office
You'll see your provider twice this month as you continue your every-other-week routine. He or she will check the position of your baby to determine if she has turned head down in preparation for birth.