Finally the wait is coming to an end. You are anxiously waiting for the moment you will meet your little one. You can’t help but feel a bit impatient. That’s what Richa Joshi (27) felt in her 9 month pregnancy.
As much as she was excited, Richa knew that she could go into labour anytime and so wanted to be prepared with as much information as possible.
In one of her consultations, she came prepared with a list of doubts she wanted to clear about 9th month pregnancy.
Bodily changes in the mother-to-be in 9 month pregnancy
Richa wanted to know what apart from a growing tummy, were other physical changes she should expect during this time.
Increased pelvic pressure: In the 9th month of pregnancy, the baby ‘drops’ into the pelvic region to prepare for birth. This is also known as the baby’s head being engaged. Due to this development, you may experience pressure in your pelvic region.
Richa asked her doctor about her increased tendency to urinate.
Frequent urination: “Although you tend to urinate often during pregnancy, its frequency increases as you enter your 9th month. As the baby moves to your pelvic region, it takes away pressure from your lungs making it easier to breathe but instead puts pressure on your bladder causing frequent urination,” explained Dr Payal Chaudhary, Consultant Obstetrician at Sitaram Bhartia Hospital.
False contractions also known as Braxton Hicks contractions, may start off in the 8th month but their intensity usually increases in the last month of pregnancy.
“You might experience false contractions as tightening sensations lasting for one or two minutes. But as your due date comes closer, the intensity and frequency of these cramps might increase,” said Dr. Payal.
Expulsion of mucus plug: A plug of mucus covers the mouth of your cervix during pregnancy. When you are in early labour or about to go into labour, the mucus plug comes out of your vagina. This is known as a ‘bloody show’.
“It is perfectly normal but it’s always good to be informed about it,” remarked Dr. Payal.
Baby’s development in 9 month pregnancy
Richa was excited when she saw her baby’s full form in the ultrasound. She wanted to learn more about her baby’s growth this month.
Your baby is full term now and can come out any time. She’ll weigh between 2 to 4 kgs and would be about 50 cm long from head to toe.
All her organs are fully developed by now including her lungs. She also starts breathing in this month.
Change in baby’s position: “The baby has now dropped into your pelvic region with her head downwards,” said Dr. Payal.
9 month pregnancy care
As it was the last month of her pregnancy, Richa asked her doctor about any precautions she should take for a safe delivery.
Look out for signs of labour: “Watch out for these signs so that you can identify them when labour starts,” advised Dr. Payal.
Some of the signs of labour are:
- Bloody show: The mucus plug gets expelled from your vagina. This can happen at the time of labour or earlier.
- Painful and irregular contractions
- Breaking of waters: Your baby develops in a bag of fluid called amniotic sac. When labour is about to start, the sac may break and a gush of amniotic fluid may come out of your vagina. This is usually known as your waters breaking.
“Let your doctor know whenever your water breaks. It is not necessary for the labour pain to start immediately after your water breaks but it is good to prepare anyway,” suggested Dr. Payal.
Prepare your home for your baby: Once your baby arrives, there will hardly be any time. So it is always a better idea to babyproof your home because you would need it once your baby starts crawling.
Some steps you can take to babyproof your home:
- Control access to unsafe areas with safety gates and child locks.
- Keep dangerous items out of reach.
- Secure furniture that has chances of toppling.
- Cover the sharp corners of your furniture
Learn about breastfeeding: As your baby can arrive anytime soon, it is a good idea to learn as much as you can about breastfeeding. Many couples go for antenatal classes to familiarize themselves with the process.
It is also best to enroll in Labour and Delivery Classes where you’ll get to learn about labour, how to manage labour pain and know in detail about the signs of labour just like Richa did.
Richa had a normal and safe delivery just after two weeks.
“The Labour and Delivery Class is a boon! Thanks to the class, my husband and I knew exactly when to leave for the hospital and what to do when we got there, “ Richa exclaimed ‘I would definitely recommend all expecting moms in their 9th month to attend it.”