Ninth month of pregnancy, how to deal with it

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
Author and references

Contents

  • 1 Ninth month of pregnancy: how many weeks it corresponds to
  • 2 Ninth month of pregnancy: what happens to the mother
  • 3 Ninth month of pregnancy: what happens to the baby
  • 4 Ninth month of pregnancy: the most common symptoms 
  • 5 Ninth month of pregnancy: the exams
  • 6 Labor: the signs that anticipate it
  • 7 When to go to the hospital 
  • 8 Induced childbirth: what it is and when it is done
  • 9 Ninth month of pregnancy: 4 myths to dispel 
  • 10 The XNUMXth week of pregnancy
  • 11 The thirty-sixth week of pregnancy
  • 12 The XNUMXth week of pregnancy
  • 13 The XNUMXth week of pregnancy
  • 14 The thirty-ninth week of pregnancy
  • 15 The fortieth week of pregnancy

Here we are, moms! It is finally time for the ninth month of pregnancy: the countdown to hug your baby boy or girl in your arms has officially begun. And it is useless to deny that, despite being the last, it will seem the slowest and longest of all months. The desire to get to know the baby is very strong and you will be impatient. Courage: very little is missing. Let's see what happens in these final 4 weeks, day more, day less. 



Ninth month of pregnancy: how many weeks it corresponds to

The last month of gestation ranges from 35 + 1 (35 weeks and one day) to 40 + 0 (40 weeks). This is considered the "natural" end of a pregnancy. Starting from the first day of the last menstruation, 280 days pass, that is 9 months and 10 days. Often it goes far beyond this milestone. A baby is considered full term at 37 weeks. From this week onwards, the newborn almost certainly does not need special assistance.


Ninth month of pregnancy: what happens to the mother

The joy of birth, mixed with the anxiety of childbirth, is the feeling that prevails in practically every woman who reaches the end of the journey of pregnancy. Especially if you are at the first, the emotions are strong and must be lived intensely so as not to lose even a minimum detail of what you are experiencing. 


You should have gained between 9 and 12 pounds. Obviously it is only an average, the increase considered ideal. On the other hand, there are those who accumulate less weight, for example because they had problems with nausea and vomiting in the first trimester, and who more. Much also depends on one's constitution and, more generally, on the starting weight at the beginning of gestation.  

From a physical point of view, fatigue makes itself felt. The extra pounds obviously play a role, as does the baby bump. It's beautiful, but it involves slower, more awkward movements. Despite the fatigue, you shouldn't give up on moving. Of course, no marathon preparations, but a walk is ideal to feel better, as well as to release some physiological tension. When the fetus begins to "go down" to channel, you should breathe a little better because the pressure on the diaphragm is reduced.

The time remaining until the birth will be used to define all the last details: arrange the suitcase, decide who the eldest child remains with when you go to the hospital, organize something for when you return home and so on. You should also try to rest as much as possible. A rather demanding test awaits you.


You will see the gynecologist or midwife on a regular basis to check that everything is proceeding normally. Furthermore, the meeting serves to dispel any "last minute" doubts and the normal fears that accompany you.

Ninth month of pregnancy: what happens to the baby

Ready to come into the world! By now the puppy is fully formed. At birth, its length will be approximately 50 centimeters per 3 kilos of weight. Warning: these are only estimates. No one will ever be able to give the certainty of the measurements that the newborn will have. There are parameters to follow, but you will have security only after it is born. Obviously it also depends on the week in which you give birth: the growth is constant, even if slower than the rest of the pregnancy, and lasts until the end. 


As we have already said, for example in the previous post on the eighth month of pregnancy, what continues to grow is the brain. Development continues even after childbirth, which is why the bones of the skull do not weld immediately, as well as to facilitate the descent into the birth canal.  

The body is more "chubby" due to the accumulation of subcutaneous fat, the skin is rosy and less wrinkled. It is always covered with vernix, a substance that has protected it from amniotic fluid all these weeks. By the way: did you know that amniotic fluid regenerates itself every 3 hours?

Clearly the fetus has less space. Its movements, however, must be perceived regularly, at least 10 times in 24 hours. Meconium has formed in her intestine, the first stool she will pass after giving birth. Do not worry if they are very dark and sticky: it is absolutely normal that they are like this. If he is not yet upside down (cephalic position) the hopes that he will turn at the last moment are reduced, but they are still there. 


Ninth month of pregnancy: the most common symptoms 

  • Fatigue. As we have already said, the accumulated weight and the baby bump make you tired easily. Furthermore, it is possible that, for various reasons, the night's rest is not optimal and that you wake up more "destroyed" than when you went to bed. Magnesium in pregnancy helps on two fronts: that of fatigue and that of difficulty sleeping. Also, it regulates preterm contractions.
  • Braxton-Hicks Contractions. They are the preparatory ones and, in this period, they become more common. The belly gets stiff, but it shouldn't hurt. Tell your doctor if they are regular, painful and progressively more intense. 
  • Backache. He has been an "adventure companion" for a while now. Try to relieve it by holding a pillow between your legs when you are lying down, using shoes that are neither too low nor too high, doing some movement, wearing a belly pad that supports the abdomen. Medicines only when needed and with a doctor's prescription.
  • Frequent urination. You and your bathroom are now one, right? Well if you think that the uterus has grown 10 times and is pressing on the bladder, you will understand why the comings and goings are normal. There is no remedy for this symptom. The only precaution is not to drink too much in the evening, so as to avoid having to get up many times during the night.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders. The "package" could include heartburn, constipation, hemorrhoids, gastroesophageal reflux, difficulty digesting. Near birth, some expectant mothers experience nausea and vomiting. For others, diarrhea is a signal that the body sends to "warn" that the big moment is approaching.
  • Stretch marks. The skin easily loses elasticity, collagen fibers break down and white or red streaks appear. We talked about it in Skin during pregnancy: expert advice. 
  • Anxiety. It is quite normal to feel anxious. After all, childbirth always represents a great unknown and, especially the first-time mothers, wonder what will happen. If the thoughts become too negative or if anxiety takes over in an overwhelming way, it is advisable to talk to your gynecologist.

Ninth month of pregnancy: the exams

Between weeks 33 + 0 and 37 + 6, the tests carried out by the National Health Service are: 


• blood collection with complete blood count (including hepatitis B and C and HIV controls). 

• Toxoplasma control.

• Serology of syphilis.

• Complete urinalysis and urine culture.

• Group B beta-haemolytic streptococcus (at 36-37 weeks).

If the pregnancy continues beyond 41 weeks, the following are expected: 

  • Obstetric ultrasound to evaluate the amount of amniotic fluid.
  • External cardiotocography (it is the so-called "trace" used to monitor the fetal heartbeat and uterine contractions). 

Let's spend two more words for vaginal and rectal swabs for the search for streptococcus, a bacterium that does not give symptoms, but can be dangerous because it could cause rupture of the membranes and, at the time of delivery, infect the baby. If the test is positive, antibiotic therapy will be given during labor. In short, you don't have to worry, but the exam is useful. 

Labor: the signs that anticipate it

Fear is the same for all women: how will I know that labor is starting? Will there not be the risk that I do not notice and give birth at home or, worse, in the car? The times and methods of labor are different for each pregnant woman. This is demonstrated by the stories that are heard, ranging from endless travails of "40 hours" to other "flashes" of a couple of hours. 

The onset of active labor can be preceded by some "alarm bells": 

  • Contractions. As the big moment approaches, the preparatory ones are transformed. They become more painful and regular and increase in intensity. When all this occurs at intervals that are always the same, it is advisable to notify your doctor.
  • Loss of the mucous plug. In pregnancy, the cervix is ​​closed by a whitish, jelly-like and dense substance. It is the so-called mucous plug. The release of the mucus can precede the start of actual labor by a long time: when there is, it should be considered as a signal that finally something is moving, but it does not mean that the birth is imminent. 
  • Rupture of the membranes. As with the mucous plug, the rupture of the membranes (also called the rupture of the water) does not mean that labor will start shortly thereafter. However, if this happens, you must still go to the hospital to be monitored carefully. This is especially true in the case of “tinted waters”, that is, leaking liquid that is not transparent because it contains the baby's meconium.

When to go to the hospital 

Although the timing of labor is subjective, in some circumstances you shouldn't waste time and go to the hospital:

  • If the membranes rupture.
  • In case of bright red blood loss.
  • If the contractions follow each other about 5 minutes apart.

The breaking of the waters may not necessarily be accompanied by contractions, but you have to go to the place you have chosen to give birth in any case. A baby can't go too long without amniotic fluid. Doctors will then see what to do. For example, if labor does not start on its own they could induce delivery or, if there is fetal distress, proceed with a cesarean. 

Induced childbirth: what it is and when it is done

In some cases, doctors are forced to resort to induced birth, that is, to start labor by administering various substances to the expectant mother. The Del Paesena Society of Obstetric Gynecology (Sigo), the Del Paeseni Hospital Obstetricians Gynecologists Association (Aogoi) and the Del Paeseni University Gynecologists Association (Agui) have drawn up real recommendations for induced childbirth.

For these scientific societies, there are three reasons for inducing childbirth:

1- pregnancy that goes far beyond the term (between 41 and 42 weeks).

2- Rupture of the membranes (after 12 hours).

3- Intrauterine fetal death (to avoid maternal risks).

There are other reasons for an induction: high blood pressure, gestosis, pregnancy cholestasis, poor fetal growth, abnormal amount of amniotic fluid, diabetes, very large fetus (macrosomia). 

Generally, the techniques used involve the administration of prostaglandins or oxytocin or the placement of the Foley catheter, a kind of balloon inserted into the vagina.

Ninth month of pregnancy: 4 myths to dispel 

During the ninth month you should not have sexual intercourse 

What the logic behind this statement is is difficult to understand. Unless there are precise indications from the gynecologist, sex is not forbidden in pregnancy. Indeed, when it is at the end, it can be a "holy hand" to start labor. In fact, sperm naturally contains prostaglandins which, as we have seen, are also used for the induction of childbirth.

If your breasts don't produce colostrum in pregnancy, you won't have milk 

Very false. It is absolutely not certain that if during gestation no drops of colostrum are seen from the nipples, there will be problems with breastfeeding. The best way is to encourage the early latch of the newborn baby and let him suck whenever he wants. Only this is the true recipe for successful breastfeeding.

The low belly indicates that delivery is near

This belief is similar to the belief that the shape of the baby bump changes according to the sex of the unborn baby. In reality, the belly does not go down near the birth. It can be a feeling from mom once the little one starts channeling.

Whoever does a caesarean does not breastfeed

That's not true at all. The chances of breastfeeding are the same, they do not depend on how you give birth. The only important precaution is to attach the baby to the breast as soon as possible, compatibly with the procedures related to birth, whether natural or caesarean. 

The XNUMXth week of pregnancy

The XNUMXth week of pregnancy officially welcomes the ninth month! Don't get too tired, moms, and take care of your pelvic floor. Begin the perineal massage with a specific oil: you will avoid excessive lacerations. The baby begins to descend, freeing the diaphragm. You can breathe better!

The thirty-sixth week of pregnancy

If you think that by the XNUMXth week of pregnancy you have finished gaining weight, you are wrong. You could practically gain weight until delivery. It is therefore very important not to overdo it, but to always follow good rules at the table. The baby's skin is pink and soft.

The thirty-seventh week of pregnancy

At the thirty-seventh week of pregnancy, the baby is considered to be at full term. Should he be born now he should not have any particular problems. At this time everyone will begin to "torment you": but why is he not yet born? Patiently explain that only 5% of births occur at the estimated delivery date.

The XNUMXth week of pregnancy

Watch out for the messages that the body sends at the thirty-eighth week of pregnancy. This is especially true for contractions, but you know it by now. If they are insistent, take a hot shower: if they don't pass, maybe you are there. The baby is very ready! Its development is considered by doctors to be complete. 

The thirty-ninth week of pregnancy

Thirty-ninth week of pregnancy could be the last! Another effort and you are almost there. The wait is unnerving, we know. Try to get a little distracted to kill time. Do you know one of the first things to do after giving birth? Cut your nails small: they are long and sharp. Pay attention to the number of fetal movements.

The fortieth week of pregnancy

Moms, we can only hope that the fortieth week of pregnancy is the last with a baby bump! You will surely miss him, but you will have the most important love of your life in your arms. The growth of the child is perfect. Now he is just waiting for the big day and the most exciting meeting of his life. Best wishes!

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