Congratulations! It has been 7 complete months of carrying your little baby in your tummy. By the 8th month, the realization completely seeps in—you are going to be a mother! You think a lot these days, don’t you? Probably, fear the day of delivery and the get anxious when somebody mentions labor and childbirth.
There are pieces of advice and words pouring from all direction—your baby bump gets all the attention. Everyone you meet is asking about your pregnancy—your due date or whether you did your 4D ultrasound scan. Somewhere, you are still not sure with the baby’s name you and your partner have decided—it’s okay there is still time.
Sometimes, things get really annoying. If you accidentally drop something, you would rather let it remain there than go down and pick it up. Your belly is huge—you realize it more when people give you second glances. Sleeping is another task, so is getting up to pee at night, so is having control over your emotions, and so on your woes go into an endless list. However, you just mellow down, thinking your bundle of joy is going to arrive soon.
At this stage, there are things a mom should be knowing. Some of these could be familiar while other points might help you understand this stage of pregnancy better.
Changes Happening In Your Body
1. Digestive Issues
Constipation is likely to strike again in the third trimester. Heartburn may also follow. Include fiber-rich foods like legumes, sweet potatoes, berries, whole grains, dry fruits and nuts in your diet. Heartburns can be dealt with by having light snacks every two-three hours.
2. Urine Leaks
Urine incontinence is another annoying thing that moms have to deal with at this time. You will notice slight leakage when you cough or sneeze—this is because your baby’s weight puts pressure on your bladder. Practicing Kegel exercises can help. Find out about Kegel exercises.
3. Breathlessness And Fatigue
By this time, your baby is putting pressure on your diaphragm and lungs, which will make you breathless at times. You may feel exhausted at the end of the day—probably, dizzy at times.
Make sure you are taking the right amount of nutrients through diet and supplements.
4. False Contractions
You might feel your uterus tighten and relax—fret not, these aren’t real contractions but your body rehearsing for the delivery day. Braxton Hicks contractions are normal in the later part of the third trimester.
5. Fluid Retention
Swelling is common during pregnancy—it is caused due to water retention and usually starts from the lower body. Your shoes might start feeling tight, followed by swelling in ankles and legs. Drink lots of water—yes, to prevent water retention. Avoid foods high in sodium. Try to keep your feet elevated from the ground—possibly on a stool. Light exercising can also help.
6. Colostrum Leak
Your nipples will get darker and your breasts will start producing colostrum, which will be the food for your newborn baby. Leaking colostrum is common as the mother’s body starts preparing for nursing in the days after birth.
How Your Baby Is Doing
1. Position Of The Baby
By this time, your baby will have moved in the optimal position for the birth that is head down or cephalic position. Your doctor will now closely monitor the position of your baby until 40 weeks.
The baby now has less space to move around as it grows— the womb feels constricted.
2. Physical Changes
In the case of a baby boy, the testicles will move down the abdomen, while in a baby girl, vulva will be formed completely. The scrotum in males and vulva in females may appear swollen at birth due to pregnancy hormones, which is normal and goes away with time.
Your baby is covered in soft little hair inside the womb, which will start disappearing. By the 8th month, they weigh 4.5 to 5.5 pounds and is about 40-46 centimeters in length.
3. Brain Development
Your baby’s brain is developing at a fast rate—the motor control region of the brain, cerebellum increases 30 times in its surface area in the last 16 weeks of gestation. The smooth surface of brain gains its typical folds—it now looks more like the brain we usually see in books.
Here are some tips for moms in their 8th month of pregnancy.
1. Practice Kegal Exercises
Kegal exercises can help deal with urine incontinence. It will also help you strengthen the pelvic muscles—the muscles that assist in childbirth. Know more about Kegel exercises.
2. Stay Hydrated
Keeping yourself hydrated will reduce the risk of edema or swelling during pregnancy. It will also help with constipation, heartburn and ensure that your blood sugar levels remain normal.
3. Maintain Right Posture
The weight of your belly puts pressure on your back. Remember to maintain a right posture while standing, sitting, walking or lying down. Sit straight—support your back with cushions. Doctors recommend moms to sleep on their left side. Take support of as many pillows, keeping one at the back and one to support your belly. Try pregnancy pillows if you aren’t comfortable.
4. Try Breathing Exercises
Breathlessness can leave you tired and anxious—practicing the right breathing techniques such as breathing through the stomach and deep breathing can make things easy.
5. Practice Yoga And Meditation
In the third trimester, you will find yourself at the center of the hormonal vortex. Doing meditation will help you stay calm. Yoga stretches will keep your body fit and relieve you from aches and pains common during pregnancy.
6. Eat Healthy
It is never enough to emphasize the importance of a healthy diet for an expectant mother. Always eat in short intervals and avoid binge eating.
7. Give Yourself Enough Rest
Narrow down the list of everyday chores—avoid taking the load of work—physically or mentally. You are going to be a mother and the going will get tougher hereon—give yourself enough rest and necessary break.
8. Avoid Stress
Stay away from the negative things around you—even surfing unnecessarily on the internet about disorders and conditions associated with birth and babies can give you chills and leave you in stress. Put away negative thoughts and stay calm and positive.
Talk to your partner about your fears and expectations—how you feel about your baby who is soon going to arrive. The journey to motherhood is full of excitement and experiences that the mother will remember for long. Keep calm and enjoy your pregnancy.