By Month 8 of pregnancy, you’re on the home stretch. As you’re well aware, moving is much more difficult for both you and baby. Abdominal organs are squished to the sidelines as your bundle of joy continues to put on weight and adds the finishing touches to her internal development.
Daddies and house occupants need to share more of the household chore burden, and everyone has butterflies knowing the baby will be here sooner rather than later.
Month 8: What’s Going on For Mommy and Baby?
The baby is around 18-inches long and she weighs five or so pounds, so it’s like having a curled up sack of flour hanging out in your belly. While it may seem like she moves around a lot, she’s actually sleeping up to 95% of the day, but that might not stop her from occasional stretching (is that a heel sticking out of your ribs?).
The good news is that if you go into labor today, your little one will probably be just fine. Unless there are other complications, a “premature” birth at this stage in the game rarely requires more than a little oxygen and a brief stay in the nursery to make sure baby is breathing and eating well on her own.
As for you, your pelvis is very aware of the baby’s migration into the vertex (head down) position. If your care provider senses the baby is breech, there are things you can do to try to turn the baby before you go into labor, but there are no guarantees.
At this point, the baby’s lungs and organs continue to mature, she continues to put on weight and she – like you – gets to hang out until it’s time for her to emerge.
What’s Happening For Daddy?
On one hand, your partner probably can’t wait for labor to arrive so all this can be over. On the other, since “when all this is over” it means you have a new baby in the house, it may make him wish for pregnancy to be permanent. Month 8 has everyone on needles and pins, and first-time dads probably suffer the worst.
The more clear you can be about what your needs are (it’s not fair to expect him to be a mind/body reader) the better off your relationship will be. He wants to feel useful and needed, but may not be sure what you do and don’t want. So make a list or tell him how it would help to have a little company or pillow plumping when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep.
Read up on information about Braxton-Hicks contractions from the American Pregnancy Association, especially if this is your very first baby. Braxton-Hicks contractions are your body’s way of practicing and are not the “real” thing. However, they can sure seem like it at first. Knowing the difference can save you a lot of anxiety, nerves and a wasted trip to the hospital. You don’t want to go to the hospital until you are sure your in bona—fide labor.
What’s Happening For Sister and Brother?
Your other children will love to watch your belly heave and roll – with baby motions and with Braxton-Hicks (practice) contractions. They might want some things to do to keep busy or to help you out. Put them to work putting the finishing touches on the baby’s room. You can also give them the “Labor Packing List” and have them fetch the items you want to bring with you to the hospital or birthing center when that magical time finally arrives.
Are you new to the area and looking for caring team of OB/GYNs to facilitate the healthy delivery of your baby? Are you having second thoughts about your current OB? Contact Women’s Health Associates and schedule an appointment. It’s our passion to bring mothers and babies safely through the pregnancy and labor journey.