Eighth month is the right time for you to start preparing for your baby?s birth. The baby?s weight tires you easily and you need to rest which in turn gives you a lot of time. Start working on your breathing exercises that can be used during contractions. Kegel exercises prove effective against incontinence. It helps even after delivery, as it tightens the pelvic floor muscles. Below is the week by week changes that happen to you and your baby during the eighth month.
Developments in your baby:
Week 31: Your baby?s kidney starts working, reducing the level of amniotic fluid. Languo, hair on the baby?s skin sheds but not completely. If a girl, vulva is formed in this month.
Week 32: With few weeks to go before delivery, your baby is gaining weight fast and is cramped in your uterus. Still, your baby will be very active and should measure about 19 inches. Weight should be approximately 1.8 kgs and your baby is learning to breathe on its own.
Week 33: Your baby is gaining weight at a good rate and will tend to move less. The baby?s legs and arms are crossed and may change to the head-down position, likely staying in the same position till birth.
Week 34: The baby develops a layer of fat under the skin and most of the organs are fully developed. Fingernails are fully grown whereas the toe nails have still not. This week, your baby should weigh approximately 19.8 inches.
Changes in you:
Week 31: By this month, you should have gained 10 to 12 kgs. You might notice swelling in your fingers and toes. You may
Week 32: Learn to put your feet up to relieve the pressure. You may experience back pain and observe liquid discharge (colostrums) from your nipples. Your bi-weekly visits to the doctor may become weekly. Drink lot of fluids and try to sleep on your left.
Week 33: You should be gaining about 500 grams a week though half of it is that of the baby?s. Heartburn and frequent urination will continue till birth due to your stomach being cramped and pressure on the uterus. You will carry low when your baby settles head down in the uterus.
Week 34: You might experience Braxton-Hicks contractions to prepare you for the labour. Some can be felt and sometimes it goes unnoticed.
Things to watch out for:
- It is recommended to keep track of the ?kick counts? ? Minimum of 10 kicks, flutters or movements should be felt within 2 hours.
- In case of bleeding, rush to the emergency. It could be because of a low lying placenta (placenta previa) or when the placenta detaches from the uterus wall (placenta abruption). Bleeding can also be due to a tear in the uterus.
- In case you experience any of these symptoms, you could be undergoing premature labour. The symptoms are: bleeding, pain while urination, pain in the abdomen, incessant vomiting, sudden water discharge, pressure in the pelvic area, severe back pain or above 5 contractions within an hour.
- Prepare yourself mentally and physically for labour. Prepare a Birth plan and discuss with your doctor.