Your pregnancy: month 8
Feel that weight in your lower back, in your hips, pressing down on your pelvic floor?
Your baby is busy packing on the pounds!
Weeks 31 and 32
Your baby is the size of a: coconut
You might think your baby is heavy enough at three-plus pounds, but your baby is still stacking on the weight: be prepared for him to pack on three to five more pounds before birth! The brain is developing very quickly and your little one is now receiving signals from all five senses. Skills such as swallowing, sucking and breathing are also being perfected. Don’t panic if you feel out of breath, you experience Braxton Hicks (“practice”) contractions, and your breasts start leaking colostrum (a yellowish substance known as pre-milk) – these are all normal occurrences.
By week 32, your baby’s digestive system and skeleton are completely formed. The skin is becoming more opaque as fat accumulates underneath it. Other preparations your baby is making for his grand entrance include assuming the head-down position in your pelvis (unless yours is in the 5% who prefer bottom-down) and practicing sleep cycles of 20 to 40 minutes.
Weeks 33 and 34
Your baby is the size of a: honeydew melon
Weighing in at four and a half pounds and measuring between 17 and 19 inches, your baby is really getting big! There is less movement in your belly now that your little melon has started running out of room and is forced to curl up on himself. Your baby is starting to differentiate night from day and has developed his own immune system. The bones are beginning to harden, except for those in the skull which need to stay flexible for the delivery.
At week 34, the organs are almost all fully developed. If your baby was born now, he would have a good chance of surviving. Fingernails reach the ends of the fingers, and in some babies the hair is quite thick. Baby boys’ testicles descend from the abdomen to the scrotum
- Faintness and dizziness
- Bloating and gas
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Leg cramps
- Round ligament pain
- Frequent urination
- Shortness of breath
- Varicose veins
- Stretch marks
- Blurred vision
- Increased fetal movement
- Braxton Hicks contractions
Tips of the month: Time to pack your hospital bag – just to be on the safe side. It’s also a good time to write your birth plan if you want one. Include any pain-relief options you might wish to use and any other requests you have for your labor. Have you decided whether you want to try breastfeeding? Talk to your doctor and do your research to help you make a decision. And in case you’ve been wondering, it is safe to continue having sex until the end of your pregnancy unless your doctor has advised otherwise (whether you feel like it is another story!)