Ninth month of pregnancy, all you need to know

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Ninth month of pregnancy: what happens?

We are almost there, the birth is really close. It is very close and mom and dad will finally be able to get to know their little one. The ninth month of pregnancy it is full of absolutely normal emotions, fears and anxieties. There are women who have already agreed or are about to agree on the date of the caesarean section and others who, on the other hand, will have to wait for the contractions of labor to go to the hospital and have a natural birth.





Whatever the story of the pregnant woman, with the 40 weeks running out, there is a lot of excitement. And if the pregnancy seems to have flown by, this last month is - usually - the one that never seems to pass, precisely for the trepidation of being able to hold the new born in her arms. 

But let's find out all about the ninth month of pregnancy: last checks to do, precautions to have, when to go to the hospital and much more. 

In this article

  • Symptoms of the ninth month of pregnancy
  • Ninth month of pregnancy: checks and visits to be made
  • How the baby grows in the ninth month of pregnancy
  • Contractions: When Does Labor Begin?
  • Childbirth, natural or caesarean
  • What to pack
  • Ninth month of pregnancy and motherhood
  • The weeks of pregnancy
  • All months of pregnancy

Symptoms of the ninth month of pregnancy

In the ninth month of pregnancy, the symptoms that the mother experiences are different, some similar to the previous months of gestation, others completely new.



First, during this month, the contractions intensify and begin to train the uterus to the actual contractions, that is, those of labor. You will begin to feel a hardening of the belly, tensions that start from top to bottom. These are the Braxton-Hicks contractions that some women will have already reckoned with in the previous months. 

To these are also added:

  • heartburn
  • swelling and weighting of the legs
  • insomnia
  • backache
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • shortness of breath (because the uterus occupies part of the abdomen and compresses the other organs)

Not only that: a few days before giving birth, the woman has the so-called loss of the mucous plug, the membrane that kept the uterus closed during pregnancy. The loss of her should not alarm and the woman should not go to the hospital, but warn the obstetrician or gynecologist of the event. It is essential to know, however, that the loss of the mucous plug does not indicate the onset of labor. There's still time. 

Instead, the so-called breaking of the waters indicates that the labor has begun. Not all women have this experience, in some cases it is the midwife who breaks the bag directly. If, however, the woman feels an abundant loss of amniotic fluid, it is time to go to the hospital. The real contractions will have already started or will soon begin.

Ninth month of pregnancy: checks and visits to be made

During the course oflast month of pregnancy there are some mandatory or optional checks that the woman must carry out. 



Women who want to undergo an epidural will have to book in good time (as early as the sixth month) anesthetic visit. It will be an interview with a visit to a doctor who will also require a whole list of analyzes and the main checks carried out during the pregnancy. Better to inquire in time at the hospital where you are going to give birth. 

During the ninth month of pregnancy, the so-called cardiotocographic monitoring. In reality, if the pregnancy proceeds quietly, without particular complications, the monitoring is done directly at 40 weeks or a few days later. In specific cases it is possible to request advance monitoring. It is always good to talk to your gynecologist. 

Among the exams scheduled in the ninth month of pregnancy, there is also the vaginal swab to be carried out between 36 and 37 weeks. To this are added haematological and infectious tests. Obviously, everything changes in the case of particular, high-risk pregnancies, which require additional examinations and visits. 

How the baby grows in the ninth month of pregnancy

The baby is now well developed and has little room to move freely in the womb. By now he has defined his position in his belly and his mother feels his arm and leg movements above all. 

Around the ninth month of pregnancy, the baby is eight times bigger than when he was three months old. His organs are formed, he has achieved a good weight, he has lost some of the hair, he has nails on his little hands.

It is not true that the child to the ninth month of pregnancy it moves less, but it is true that it moves differently having less space available. The mother, as anticipated, will mainly feel pressure against the pelvic floor muscles, punches and kicks. The belly will take on strange and funny shapes and the shapes of the sole of the foot and the palm of the hand will also be seen.

Contractions: When Does Labor Begin?

When uterine contractions become regular and painful, they are no longer Brexton Hicks contractions but real ones labor pains. Whether the waters broke or not, it's time to go to the hospital. 

How to recognize them? These are painful contractions, they occur roughly every five minutes and last for about one minute. They are usually accompanied by genital discharge of mucus or mucus mixed with a low amount of blood and signal changes in the cervix. 

From here begins the labor that can last a few or many hours, it depends on the woman's uterus and the pregnancy (if it is the first it will be longer).

From the moment in which the contractions become regular, constant, painful, each being contributes to dilate the cervix, which is why we speak of "dilating phase". The cervix, more or less, should dilate by about 1 centimeter per hour. 

Childbirth, natural or caesarean

The dilating phase reaches its peak when it reaches 10 centimeters of dilation. It's time to push. Thus begins the expulsive phase, the one that in natural childbirth leads to the birth of the child.

Sometimes the expulsive phase is anticipated by a moment of rest, in which the mother regains energy before the final effort. The mother, at this climax, must push hard and regularly. For this it can be useful to take a pre-birth course in the months of pregnancy, to arrive at this moment prepared and serene. 

In the case of an agreed caesarean section, however, the day of the birth will be set in advance and the woman will arrive prepared to enter the operating room. 

Except in special cases, from the moment of labor to delivery, the father or a loved one will be able to keep the mother company. 

What to put in the hospital suitcase

By the ninth month of pregnancy, the suitcase for the hospital should be ready. If this is not the case, however, it is possible to find the list with everything you need for mother and baby on the official website of the hospital or clinic where you are going to give birth.

Generally, 2-3 complete changes for the baby must be inserted in the delivery suitcase, including a change for discharge from the hospital. The necessary changes for the mother: nightgowns, products for intimate hygiene, post-partum pads, disposable briefs. Diapers, wipes and the like are usually provided directly from the hospital. 

In case of particular doubts, for example about the type of changes to carry for the newborn (more or less heavy), you can also ask your obstetrician or gynecologist for advice. 

Ninth month of pregnancy and motherhood

During the ninth month of pregnancy, the woman is usually already on maternity leave, unless she has decided to work until the birth and then take 5 months post-partum.

Generally, however, in the ninth month of pregnancy, rest is recommended. The mother must recover energy, be pampered if possible by her partner, family, friends, to be able to live the moment of birth and the arrival of the little one even more serenely.

It may help to do breathing exercises, pelvic floor exercises, postural gymnastics, and yoga this month. 

The weeks of pregnancy

The ninth month of pregnancy goes from the 35th week and 1 day to the 40th week. It is the month that accompanies the mother to childbirth and in which, finally, parents will be able to meet their little one. 

It is a very important month, full of emotions and even some fear. Expectant mothers will have all the support of gynecologists and obstetricians. 

All months of pregnancy

First month of pregnancy

Second month of pregnancy

Third month of pregnancy

Fourth month of pregnancy

Fifth month of pregnancy

Sixth month of pregnancy

Seventh month of pregnancy

Eighth month of pregnancy

Sources: https://www.policlinico.mi.com/mangiagalli-center; www.iss.com; www.salute.gov.com

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