What to Expect In the Nine Months of Pregnancy (Part 3 of 3)


What to Expect In the Nine Months of Pregnancy Part 3

In this post, we discuss the last trimester of pregnancy. There are many challenges during this last stretch before giving birth, but knowing what to expect will definitely make it easier to manage your situation.

 

MONTH SEVEN

Your body is…

…Continuously adjusting to the size of both your baby and uterus. At this time, the bulk of the uterus has gone back down to your pelvis, so that it is pressing again on your bladder.

You can expect…

…Frequent Urination to recur because your uterus is again compressed against your bladder. Thankfully, this will accord some protection from bladder infection because you will be able to empty your bladder.

…Back pains as your spine adjusts to the weight of your baby and uterus. You can minimize the pain by wearing low heels, maintaining good posture, and pelvic rocking.

…Sleeping difficulties due to your increased size and weight. Try to find a position that is comfortable for you. You can try using extra pillows or choose to sleep on a sturdy couch.

…Nosebleeds and bleeding gums will still persist due to the larger blood volume.

…Your breasts will become more enlarged because of the increased colostrum production. You may experience leaks at certain times.

…Your constipation and hemorrhoids to become more problematic. You should increase your intake of veggies and other fiber rich foods to promote faster elimination of wastes. It may be necessary to use a low stool to put your feet over as you move your bowels in order to correct your body’s alignment as you sit on the toilet.

You need to watch out for…

…Gestational Diabetes. Because of the major hormonal changes that are taking place inside the body, insulin may not be utilized effectively. As a result, blood glucose levels are very high. If left uncontrolled, your baby may grow very big (macrosomia), which may result in birth injuries or would require cesarean section upon delivery. Tests of gestational diabetes and glucose tolerance need to be done between the 24th and 28th weeks. In additional, dietary modifications (particularly reduction in carbohydrates and increase in fruits and vegetables) need to be made as well as regular blood glucose monitoring.

…Preterm Labor, especially in women who previously have had multiple pregnancies, have developed an infection such as amnionitis (infection of the uterus and the amniotic sac), and polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid).

…Preterm  Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM) results from an infection, thus causing preterm delivery. Labor may be halted with Terbutaline and other medications.

… Preeclampsia. Particularly watch out for its symptoms, namely severe, persistent headache, “floaters” in the eyes, loss of vision, and severe pain in the abdominal area or the right side.

…Placenta Previa or Placental Abruption. Both conditions will require delivery of the baby by Cesarean section.

…Intrauterine Growth Restriction, a condition wherein the baby doesn’t grow as expected at a certain stage of pregnancy. Some babies may present with asymmetrical grown (with a normal sized head and a small body). This condition may be due to the presence of anemia, severe diabetes, severe malnutrition and chronic renal disease in the mother.

You might start seeing…

…More swelling due to the increased blood volume and accumulation of fluids in the legs. As a result, you may also experience leg cramps.

…More varicose veins.

…More stretch marks as your belly grows bigger.

…Greater fatigability, breathlessness and faintness because of the growing bulk of both your baby and your uterus which presses upon your diaphragm and rib cage.

 

MONTH EIGHT

Your body is…

…Now big as you are getting close to the home stretch. By this time, your pregnant belly is about the size of a large cabbage.

You can expect…

…Braxton Hicks contractions occurring regularly. These are not labor contractions, but they help keep the uterine muscle in good condition as a preparation for actual labor.

…Lightening, or your baby descending into your pelvis as it gets ready to be born. The sudden expansion of the pelvis because of the bulk of the baby and your uterus will elicit the sensation of pelvic pressure. You will need to perform Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor. There may also be some pressure on your rib cage where the baby pushes up, so you can also expect some soreness in this area.

…Estrogen levels to increase. This will increase the uterus’ sensitivity to oxytocin (the hormone that will induce contractions. Fluctuations between the levels of progesterone and estrogen will lead to an increased release of prostaglandins, which act by softening the cervix in preparation for birth.

…Your breasts will are larger and tender because of the increased colostrum production. You may experience leaks at certain times.

…Constipation and hemorrhoids to be problematic during this month. Continue with larger intake of fruits and veggies as well as using a low stool to realign your body when you are in the toilet.

You need to watch out for…

…Gestational Diabetes. If blood glucose levels remain high and are not monitored and controlled, you may deliver a large baby through cesarean section. You may also have additional birth injuries because of the baby’s size.

…Preterm Labor. Women at risk are those with a history of multiple pregnancies, have an infection such as amnionitis (infection of the uterus and the amniotic sac), and polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid).

…Preterm  Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM) results from an infection, thus causing preterm delivery. Terbutaline and other drugs are given to stop labor.

… Preeclampsia. Particularly watch out for its symptoms, namely severe, persistent headache, “floaters” in the eyes, loss of vision, and severe pain in the abdominal area or the right side. If left untreated it may lead to eclampsia, characterized by seizures and kidney failure, which may prove fatal to both the mother and the baby.

…Placenta Previa or Placental Abruption. Both conditions will require delivery of the baby by cesarean section.

…Malpresentation. If the baby presents as breech or tranverse lie, the doctor may need to manipulate it so that it will present correctly with the head down.

You might start seeing…

…Greater pressure in your pelvic area.

…Prominent varicose veins and stretch marks.

…Continued leaking of colostrums from your breasts.

…Leg swelling and cramps

…Increased moodiness because of the discomforts of your condition.

 

MONTH NINE

Your body is…

…Now feeling a bit uncomfortable for you because of the way you are carrying. You may find that mobility is a bit difficult with a tendency to clumsiness, so be very careful.

…Getting ready for labor by stretching your pelvis. The hormones that are promoting the loosening and relaxing pelvis are also acting upon every joint in your body.

You can expect…

…Sleeping difficulties because of your large belly. Try to experiment using various positions or use pillows.

…Your baby to have fully descended into your pelvis so that you will be relieved of symptoms of breathlessness and fainting.

…Your breasts to be swollen as they fill up with milk. However, full expression of milk will only occur after birth. In the meantime, you can still expect some leaks.

…Leg swelling and cramps to continue until you give birth.

…Back pain. Make sure that you observe proper posture and other vital body mechanics.

…Constipation and hemorrhoids will still persist. Increase your intake of fiber rich foods so that it will be easy for you to move your bowels and not end up straining yourself into labor.

You need to watch out for…

…Gestational Diabetes. High blood glucose levels may cause you to deliver a large baby (macrosomia) by cesarean section.

… Preeclampsia. This condition should be treated immediately or else it may progress to eclampsia, with symptoms of seizures and kidney failure.

…Placenta Previa or Placental Abruption. Both conditions will require delivery of the baby by cesarean section.

…Malpresentation. If the baby presents as breech or tranverse lie, the doctor may need to manipulate it in the labor room or during delivery. If the baby still doesn’t present with the head down, forceps, suction or cesarean section are the options for delivery.

You might start seeing…

…Contractions that go stronger and more frequent as your delivery date draws near.

…Your water breaking, which is actually more of a trickle than a gush. When this happens, don’t panic. You have sufficient time to gather what you need before going to the hospital.

 

TIPS

If you are worried about your appearance after birth, don’t worry. Here are tips to get you through…

  • Ask your doctor how soon you can begin exercising again. Originally, it is advised that you wait 6 weeks after childbirth before exercising. However, if you have had a normal and uncomplicated delivery, you can start your regular physical fitness regimen as soon as you feel you are able.
  • Always observe good nutrition. While you are supposedly eating for two, since you are breastfeeding your child, you can always burn off any excess pounds through exercise.
  • Because you have been carrying a baby inside your belly for nine months, there is a tendency for you to slouch and have bad posture. Remember to keep your back straight and observe proper body mechanisms. In doing so, you will prevent back aches from developing.
  • Varicose veins usually disappear after birth. If you want to hasten their disappearance, do exercises, such as a brisk walk. Wear support stockings. Elevate your legs when you are sitting down.
  • Stretch marks take a much longer time to disappear. There are some over the counter collagen creams that reportedly get rid of stretch marks. However, avoid using creams that contain Vitamin A as they can be harmful to your baby, especially if you are breastfeeding.

 


All material provided on this website is for your information only and should not substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.