So, if you were running a race in the 2012 Olympics this month would be the “homestretch” now.
You and your beautiful new baby are very soon going to be a lot better acquainted and these last few weeks can seem the longest in your life. We’ve talked about babies being early, however they can be late too. If this is the case for you, put your feet up and don’t think about normal daily activities.
You will probably go through different stages during the 8th month, one minute not wanting the pregnancy to end, the next wishing it would hurry up! The main thing is that as much as you may want it all to be over, the longer your bundle of joy stays inside your womb the better so try to enjoy the good days and on the not so good ones make sure you try to relax and allow yourself to get spoilt.
You will be acutely aware of your rib cage this month as the cramped conditions mean that your baby’s legs will be curled up in that area. This can also increase incidents of breathlessness as junior crowds your lungs and you may feel a little like Rocky’s punching bag as the baby’s kicks become less but more intense. Try changing the position you are in as this can give some relief.
If this is your first pregnancy or you have had a baby go full term before you will probably start to see the pregnancy guru more regularly from this time on. The midwife will probably see you every one to two weeks and will monitor the baby’s position to make sure it has turned.
However, if you have previously had a premature birth, these increased visits will probably start a couple of months before as research shows that many women who give birth early are more likely to do so again.
This month you will be tested for Group B Strep. This is a bacteria found in our bodies that in rare cases can cause harm to an unborn baby so it is best to get the test done. As the joys of backache and abdominal cramping continue some women will notice their belly button protruding out although this doesn’t happen in every case. By the end of this month your baby should drop down further into your pelvis and this gives a bittersweet relief.
On one hand it frees up space around your ribs for you to breathe easier but on the other it means that Junior is possibly one its way and this can be scary if it’s your first time. But don’t fret, keep your midwife informed and try to relax as much as you can before the birth and you will be fine.
Your little one weighs over 5 pounds now and has extra fat stores on its arms and legs. These fat layers will help to regulate its temperature as baby still doesn’t have enough fat stores to survive outside the womb.
At this stage there is very little development. All of the baby’s organs are fully formed and in working order apart from its lungs which still need to mature and they should be in the head down position ready for their birthday. Your baby is now sleeping through regular periods of REM and deep sleep in between periods of active wakefulness as he stretches his legs and practices grasping at things!