Congratulations! You've made it to the third trimester. By now, you're probably counting down the days until your due date and putting the final touches on the nursery. For the past few months, you've gotten to know your little baby and you're eager to welcome her into the world. Although you may be ready for your pregnancy to be over, you are about to enter into the hardest part of it. Here's a little glimpse of what you can expect in the final months of pregnancy.
The Seven Month
It's natural to feel exhausted in the seventh month of your pregnancy, especially if you are juggling the demands of a job and a family. As your baby continues to grow and move inside of you, you may find it difficult to get a good night's sleep. Your baby is getting bigger and real estate in your uterus is becoming scarce. At this time, you may experience heartburn, constipation and even shortness of breath as your expanding uterus begins to press against your other organs. It's also common to deal with mild swelling in your ankles and feet due to the accumulation of fluids in the tissues.
The reality of childbirth and motherhood has hit you by the seventh month. It is likely at this time that you will be finalizing your birth plan with your healthcare provider. You may experience excitement, anticipation or anxiety as your due date approaches. It is also common in this stage of pregnancy to have dreams--both good and bad--about your new arrival.
The Eighth Month
Sleeping is difficult in the seven month, and by the eighth month, it's practically impossible. You may feel an increase in the frequency and intensity of your baby's movements. You may also experience pressure in the pelvic area as your baby gets into position for the delivery. The mounting pressure may cause mild incontinence. Braxton Hicks contractions are common at this point in the pregnancy. These contractions act as a warm up for actual labor.
At this point, you are getting tired of pregnancy and the discomfort that comes with it. However, though you may be eager to reach the finish line, you are also probably feeling a little apprehensive about the delivery and the health of your baby. Most expectant mothers also find it difficult to focus and experience an increase in absentmindedness.
The Ninth Month
You're in the home stretch! You can go into labor at anytime during the ninth month. However, your body takes a beating before your baby makes her entrance into the world. You can expect a change in fetal movement. As your uterus becomes more cramped, your baby will stop kicking and start swimming. Also, your Braxton Hicks contractions will get stronger as labor approaches. Don't confuse these practice contractions with real labor pains which occur more frequently and last longer.
You may notice you are able to breathe easier during this time. This is because your baby has "dropped" into the position she will be in during your labor and delivery. Lightening can relieve indigestion and shortness of breath, but it increases pelvic pressure and causes frequent urination. You may also experience increased backache and heaviness, buttock discomfort and increased difficulty getting around.
It's normal for moms-to-be to grow impatient in the final days of pregnancy. You may feel as though the third trimester has dragged on forever. It is important to remember that although the final months may be intense, the pain and discomfort you experience is temporary. The joy of motherhood, on the other hand, lasts a lifetime!