THE EIGHTH MONTH (Weeks 29-32)
In the eighth month of pregnancy, bending over is challenging and tying your own shoes may be a distant memory. But you and your baby are in the home stretch. These last few weeks can seem like forever, but don’t worry, they will pass and soon you’ll be a mom!
What Happens with Your Baby in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy
Your baby’s body is pretty much completely formed now, though the lungs and brain are still developing. Your baby can now blink at will and his or her pupils dilate in response to light and dark.
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Your baby continues to grow and gain fat. He is gaining about a pound a week. By the end of this month he will be up to 19 inches long and weigh about five or six pounds.
Space is getting cramped and he is probably not moving around as much as he used to. By now, he has probably settled into the head-down position that he will stay in until birth.
What Happens with Your Body in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy
You’re probably feeling pretty big and tired of being pregnant. The fact that your hormones are relaxing the joints in your hips so that you seem to waddle when you walk probably isn’t helping. Try to remember that this relaxing of the joints will help to make labor and delivery easier.
As your body gets ready for birth, you’re probably also experiencing more Braxton Hicks contractions and colostrum leakage. You may also be feeling more heartburn because of your relaxed muscles. Another unfortunate effect of pregnancy can be varicose veins for about 40 percent of women.
In addition, as baby gets bigger, she may be putting pressure on your bladder again, so you will probably be taking more trips to the bathroom. If you are in public and there is a line, don’t be shy, most women, having been there, done that, are happy to let you and your huge belly cut in line.
What You Need to Know in Your Eighth Month of Pregnancy
Small, frequent meals can help to relieve indigestion and heartburn. Remember to take your prenatal supplement—your body needs all the nutrients it can get in these last few weeks.
If you’re preparing to breastfeed while pregnant, consider attending a La Leche League meeting or a breastfeeding class at your hospital. You’ll want to learn all you can about breastfeeding before your baby is born. You may also want to start applying nipple cream now to avoid sore and cracked nipples that are common in the first few weeks.
Your hospital or birth center bag should be packed by now and you should have your baby layette checklist crossed off and complete. Hopefully, you have postpartum support lined up and of course, a name for your little one.
You may be tired, but also be having trouble sleeping during pregnancy. Try sleeping with a pregnancy body pillow or a pillow between your knees. You may find that sleeping on one side works better than the other.
You don’t have much longer to wait now!
Read More About Each Month of Pregnancy:
- What Happens in the First Month of Pregnancy
- What Happens in the Second Month of Pregnancy
- What Happens in the Third Month of Pregnancy
- What Happens in the Fourth Month of Pregnancy
- What Happens in the Fifth Month of Pregnancy
- What Happens in the Sixth Month of Pregnancy
- What Happens in the Seventh Month of Pregancy
- What Happens in the Ninth Month