At this final juncture in your pregnancy journey, your little baby is undergoing a series of amazing transformations with the most notable being the intricate placement of skull tissue that simultaneously remains unfused, soft, and pliable while remaining hardy and durable enough to withstand the intense birthing process.
Baby’s skull bones will not fully fuse together until early adulthood. The slight separations in their skull allow for flexibility of movement and overlapping motions that allow it to pass unencumbered through the birth canal while affording the brain the durable protection that it needs.
While baby’s little brain remains soft and pliable, its skeletal system is becoming increasingly hardened, with notable developments in firmness and durability. Due in large part to the calcium you take in, baby’s bone and skeletal system will continue its hardening process up until the last days before birth.
As the big day draws closer, your little one is by now more than likely in the heads-down vertex position. The vertex position is the ideal position for giving birth as it helps to facilitate the labor process due to the largest body part of the baby (its head) coming out of the birth canal first, thus allowing easier delivery from that moment forth.
It’s time to rejoice! You’re on the precipice of one the biggest event of your life! Through nine months of emotional peaks and valleys, intense symptoms, and significant physical changes, you are have endured a journey of a lifetime and are ready to welcome your beloved little one into your loving, waiting arms.
Read on below to learn more about this final chapter in your pregnancy!
Table of Contents
Your Physical And Emotional Health
Nine Months Pregnant
As you and baby brace yourselves for the big day, your cervix will begin to ripen. When a cervix ripens, the many layers within it being to soften, dilate, and thin out as it begins the process of effacement, which involves the preparation of the cervix for delivery
You may experience curious symptoms during this time such as bumps and welts on your stomach, thighs, and buttocks that are red, itchy, and raised. These bumps may indicate a condition known as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy, often referred to as PUPPPS.
A small minority of women develop PUPS during pregnancy. While the condition is entirely harmless for you and baby, it can result in uncomfortable symptoms that are difficult to deal with.
It is not entirely uncommon for women to have planned (or unplanned) C-sections. In the United States, roughly thirty-three percent of pregnant women give birth via C-section, many of which are planned well in advance, due to a variety of reasons. Unplanned C-sections are often performed because of a cervix that fails to dilate correctly or if a baby’s heart rate begins to beat at an alarming rate.
Planned C-sections are commonly opted for in the following scenarios:
|A woman who is carrying more than one baby (example: triplets)||The mother is positive for HIV|
|A baby that is expected to be exceptionally large at birth||The mother has a condition called placenta previa|
|A baby has an illness or abnormality that renders vaginal birth too much of a risk||A baby is in a breech position or transverse (sideways) position.|
Your Baby’s Health And Status
Nine Months Pregnant
Week by week
At this point in your term, your baby’s nervous system will have completely developed with a complete immune system. Baby is currently enjoying its ability to distinguish between night and day, as your thinning uterine walls allow light to penetrate the womb.
Of critical importance is baby’s endocrine system beginning to secrete stress hormones that will assist them in managing their own bodily systems independent of the placenta, so that they will be ready and able to take on the many challenges that await them outside the womb.
Tips And Essential Information
Nine Months Pregnant
- Make an effort to engage in gentle coaxing movements to prepare baby for the correct position for childbirth. An optimal position to try is getting on all fours and wiggling your hips while arching your back
- Swimming is another effective method to gently coax baby to turn headfirst and become prepared for labor. The breaststroke is particularly recommended for its level of efficacy
- Remember that only a mere five percent of babies are actually born on their due dates! Don’t stress out if you go past your due date; the baby will be coming any day!
To-do List And Reminders
Nine Months Pregnant
|Classes and Safety||Conditions and Symptoms||Daily To-Do and Preparedness|
|Take a childbirth class with your partner||Dry, itchy eyes – get eye drops||Breathing exercises to become prepared for labor|
|Take an infant CPR class with your partner||Hand, finger, wrist pain- obtain a supportive wrist brace||Eat healthy foods and stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids.
Refer to the “Nutrition” visuals and accompanying chart below for a quick glance at the types of foods you should be eating
|Ensure that your car seat is professionally installed. The fire department will help you correctly position your seat for free||Depressive feelings- go to your doctor ASAP to reconcile this issue||Read over and finalize your
Birth Plan. Refer to the template below
|Ensure that your nursery set-up at home is complete and ready to go with crib, monitors, age-appropriate blankets, swaddles, and clothing
Have an ample supply of diapers, wipes, breastfeeding supplies or formula on hand
|Severe symptoms of any kind – Make an immediate appointment with your doctor.
Also, keep a careful eye out for dental issues
|Try to engage in light exercise to build strength, stamina, and endurance for labor|
|Ensure your home is thoroughly child-proofed||Remain vigilant in your lookout for signs of labor, early labor, and preeclampsia||Have a well-stocked bag ready for your delivery date: Refer to the “Big Day” Bag Essentials chart below on the types of items you should be bringing with you|
Check these visuals out as an easy reminder of how to eat healthy for you and your baby. Focus on incorporating foods from each group; fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and enriched whole grains.
|Nutrients||Related Foods||Why it’s important|
|Eat: Omega-3 Fatty Acids||What: Shrimp, red snapper, salmon, tilapia, pollock, and catfish, DHA-labeled eggs
Avoid: Swordfish, tuna, and shark
|Why: Your baby receives nearly all of his or her Omega-3 fatty acids during the third and last trimester.
Thus, your final trimester is the time to ramp up your efforts on obtaining this nutrient for baby’s brain development and health
|Eat: Protein||What: Chicken, beef, turkey, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds||Why: Protein is the driving force behind amino acid production making up the building blocks of innumerable cells throughout the body.
Necessary for muscle development, protein is required by you and baby
Strive to eat plenty of protein each day, with a minimum of about 71 grams (roughly three chicken breasts)
|Eat: Iron-rich foods||What: Winter squash, sweet potatoes, meat, poultry, mushrooms, green vegetables, fortified cereal, beans, raisins, pumpkin seeds||Why: Assists the formation of hemoglobin, which in turn, transports oxygen throughout the blood|
|Eat: Calcium||What: Milk, oranges, dates, figs, bok choy, oatmeal, kale, almonds, broccoli, tofu, cheese, yogurt, green leafy vegetables||Why: Critical to the formation of strong, hard, durable bones for your baby
Also helps you to maintain a healthy blood pressure
|Eat: Folic Acid||What: Beans, leafy green vegetables, oranges, avocado, strawberries asparagus||Why: Required for neural tube development within the brain and the spinal cord|
|Eat: Choline||What: Beef, egg yolks, avocados||Why: Assists in the development of your baby’s brain, nervous system, and neural tube|
|Eat: Zinc||What: Beef, pork, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, enriched grains and other enriched products||Why: Support your own immune system while enabling cell growth in your baby|
Tip: Print out this chart and keep it posted on your refrigerator and/or take a copy it with you on the go, tucked inside your purse.
Every food choice you make these days has an impact on your soon-to-be-born baby. It can be exceedingly difficult to remember the various vitamins, minerals, and foods you should eat for yourself and baby.
This easy-to-read chart can help make your life just a bit simpler as you grow closer to your due date.
“Big Day” Bag Essentials”
|Cell phone||Flip flops for in-hospital shower||Toothbrush, toothpaste, toiletries, cosmetics if needed|
|Camera or Camcorder||Slippers to walk around in||Nursing bras|
|All chargers and cords for electronic devices||Bathrobe and pajamas||Comfy pillow and cozy blanket|
|Batteries if necessary||Wallet, ID, insurance card notebook, pen||Change of clothing|
|Portable and convenient snacks||Copy of my Birth Plan and other important papers||Going home outfit for baby|
Tip: Use a large weekender style bag with lots of interior and exterior pockets. Another great option is using pouches to organize your belongings by category.
Electronics and chargers can be stored in a black pouch, toiletries and cosmetics in a pink pouch, and important papers in a blue pouch.
The pouches can be stowed in your “Big Day Bag.” In all the excitement, you may forget what’s in each pouch – solve this problem by making a simple color-coded list you can slip into your bag with your pouches.
Birth Plan Template
|Name:||Due date or Induction Date:||I want these people in the delivery room:
List by name
|Partner’s name:||My preferred delivery method is: (circle one)
|Please note that I have the following conditions/diseases:
|Baby’s name||If I have a vaginal birth, I’d like: (circle as necessary)
|Delivery room preferences: (circle as necessary)
Cervical preparation preference: (Circle)
Cervical vaginal insert
|Doula or Midwife’s name:||Managing labor discomfort:
(Circle as necessary)Natural techniquesEx,: warm water, breathingMassageHypnobirthing techniquesRegional analgesiaPlease do not offer me any pain medication – I will request it if I need it or want it
|Contractions aid: (Circle)
|Doctor’s name:||Y/N I have completed consent forms
Y/N I have completed insurance forms
Y/N I have completed cord blood materials and instructions
Y/N I have completed _______________________
|After-delivery: (circle as necessary)
Procedure for the umbilical cord:
I want__________to cut the cord
Delayed clamping and cutting of the cord
Send it to the cord blood bank
|Hospital name:||If my baby is a boy:
I want my baby circumcised prior to leaving the hospital
I do not want my baby circumcised prior to leaving the hospital
|I want to start breastfeeding:
(Circle as necessary)
As soon as possible post- delivery
After talking with a lactation consultant
When I feel comfortable
|Other individual:||I want to hold my baby for the first time: (circle one)
Immediately after delivery
After being wiped clean
After weighing and initial cleaning
|Use of the placenta:
Hospital’s to take
Take home – may require additional steps and paperwork
I want the placenta collected for banking
Placenta previa: Refers to a placenta that either partially or completely blocks the womb’s opening towards the end of a woman’s pregnancy term
Macrosomia: Refers to a baby that is exceptionally larger than average at birth
Preterm birth: Thirty-five-week pregnancy
Early term birth: Thirty-six-week pregnancy
Full-term birth: Thirty-nine to forty-week pregnancy
Late term birth: Forty-one-week pregnancy
Post-term birth: Forty-two-week pregnancy