Give advice on women's health concerns.

9 Months Pregnant

9 Months Pregnant

You are 9 months pregnant and your baby is fully formed by now. In this HerHaleness article, we will discuss all the things that are happening to you in this month, along with what the baby is doing inside.
Aastha Dogra
In this final month of your pregnancy, your baby will gain about 1 oz. each day. As he/she is getting ready for birth, your baby will start to settle in the fetal position. What happens here is that the legs will be tucked up to the chest while the knees are placed against the nose.

As for you, the mother, after your 36th week, you will have to visit your health care provider more often. This is the time he/she will monitor your weight, blood pressure, urine, edema, varicose veins, and fundal height. Apart from this, he/she will also keep a close watch on the baby's heartbeats, size, position (facing front of back), descent, and presentation (head or buttocks first).

So much is happening during this last month that, at times, it can be a bit overwhelming for a mother-to-be. Which is why, you should have complete knowledge about all the things that are happening to, inside, and around you in this month.
What is Going on with the Baby
During this month, your baby will start developing sleeping patterns and you will be able to feel him/her move or roll around inside. This happens because he/she is all grown up and there is very little space left inside; it's rather cramped in your uterus for proper movement. Along with rolling around, you can also feel him/her kick and punch as he/she moves down your abdomen to get closer to the pelvis. This process is known as lightening.

It is important to note that every baby is unique and what you experience during the final month will differ from other expectant mothers. However, what's sure is that your baby's lungs are mature and he/she will be able to breathe properly and survive if happened to be born before the 40th week. So, if you happen to go into labor after the 37th week, your health care provider will not try to stop it.
Discomforts Experienced by the Mother
After your 38th week, your health care provider will examine your cervix to make sure it is preparing itself for delivery. The processes are known as effacement and dilation. Apart from the points we discussed earlier, here are some things you can expect in your 9th month of pregnancy.
Difficulty in Breathing
As you are nearing the end of your pregnancy, the uterus, which by now has increased considerably in size, exerts immense pressure on the diaphragm and the lungs. This causes shortness of breath, making you breathless even while doing regular day-to-day activities, such as cooking or walking.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
These are nothing but sporadic uterine contractions that can occur during the 2nd or 3rd trimester. You will feel mild cramping that may make you think that you're experiencing real labor pains. These contractions are very useful for a pregnant woman as they help in softening the cervix, thus making the childbirth smooth and easier. They are usually experienced as cramping and pain which is typically felt around the abdomen and the back.
Body Aches
You might experience lots of pain in various parts of her body. This is because your body has been bearing the weight of the uterus for almost 9 months. So, even a little extra pressure, such as standing, walking, or engaging in any physical activities, can cause pain and discomfort.
Increased Urination
You could also experience lots of pressure being exerted in your pelvic region. In addition to this, when the baby brushes his/her head along the pelvic muscles, or takes the position in which he/she will be delivered, the pelvic muscles might get even more pressurized. This increased pressure on the pelvic muscles can make you urinate frequently.
Constipation and Indigestion
During pregnancy, a hormone known as progesterone is secreted in excess which helps in loosening the muscles of the intestines to prepare the body for delivery. But the same hormone can cause constipation as well, because feces, which are eliminated due to the contractions in the intestines, are not that easily eliminated when the muscles of the intestine become soft, resulting in them being unable to cause contractions that frequently. This results in indigestion, gas, and nausea.
Along with the physical changes occurring in and to your body, you are going through tremendous amount of emotional and mental changes as well. You might feel stressed about what's to come next. But remember that all this is happening because you are tired and gone through a lot in these past 9 months. Which is why, you should try to take some rest as much as possible and do things that will keep you calm. Ask your partner to do breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga with you. His/her support in this will make a world of difference to how you are feeling and what you are experiencing.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.
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