Pregnancy is a very intense period when it comes to the way women can feel about themselves, and the last month of it even more so. On the one hand, moms feel excited and happy about meeting their little baby so soon. But on the other hand, it seems that they're kinda fed up with this “bun in the oven” thing because they feel uncomfortable as can be and want this bun to finally be baked.
Things can get so difficult at this time that women might even feel like time has stopped. These remaining 30 days of pregnancy will seem to be at least 200 days. And even when a gal thinks that her huge belly can never get any bigger… it suddenly grows more. And more. And more. Over the course of the third trimester (and especially the ninth month), not only the belly but also other body parts will enlarge. A lot of everyday things will become much more difficult, emotions will be all over the place, and even dreams will get stranger and more vivid than ever. Truly, the last month of pregnancy is a weird time, and moms should be ready for it.
So while D-day approaches, let’s see what is actually happening with a woman when she’s on the ninth month.
20 Leaking Colostrum
In the last month of pregnancy, you will probably notice a symptom that will seem to be quite strange at first. You’ll see some weird, yellow thin liquid leaking from your girls and might even freak out thinking that something’s wrong. But it’s actually just your body warming up to feed your little one and this strange liquid is called colostrum. If you plan to breastfeed right after giving birth, this kind of milk, full of proteins and antibodies, will be the first food for your baby.
Usually, you’ll have only a few drops of leaked colostrum, but if you have more, start wearing nursing pads inside your bra. Get used to it. You’ll need to do it a lot when your baby’s born.
19 Shoes Won't Fit
You can start feeling as if every part of your body has become bigger. Even your legs and feet are swollen and your favorite shoes don’t fit. In fact, it’s not the game of your imagination. Your legs and feet can actually swell more than you expect. It happens as a result of hormonal changes and extra fluid retention that’s common for the last month of pregnancy. Besides, as your uterus grows, it will also put pressure on your veins, thus reducing circulation from the lower to the upper parts of your body.
To ease this condition, rest with your feet up as often as possible and avoid standing for hours on end.
18 Fingers Also Swell
Another part of your body that will swell more than you know during the ninth month is your fingers. So be ready to say bye-bye to your favorite rings for now, because if you do put them on, you won’t be able to take them off.
You should also expect that your fingers won’t come back to their normal size immediately after delivery. Most likely, they will remain swollen for some time. But don’t worry – it won’t be forever. According to Health, as soon as you get back to your normal body mass after giving birth, your fingers will be fine and you’ll get to wear your rings again.
17 You Have To Know About Braxton-Hicks Contractions
It’s rather common for a pregnant woman to feel Braxton Hicks contractions, aka practice contractions that occur to prepare your body for real labor. But it’s important to know the difference between the two, so that you don’t panic thinking that you are in premature labor.
Braxton-Hicks contractions are irregular, they don’t get closer together, and their intensity doesn’t increase. They stop when you move or change your position and they usually occur only in the front of your belly. Meanwhile, real contractions come at regular intervals, gradually becoming more frequent and intense. They won’t stop if you move and they commonly begin in your back, then radiating to the front parts of your body.
16 You're Growing Even More Quickly
Continuing the topic of your body parts growing, let’s also talk about how your girls are going to inflate. They are likely to get even bigger than in the previous months of pregnancy, and it’s also normal if, at some point, you notice that now they have different sizes. Yes, it also happens!
Just like the leaking of colostrum, the changes in your chest are just the sign of your body getting ready for the arrival of your bundle of joy. It’s going to happen even if you don’t plan to breastfeed at all. Your body has no idea about the intentions of your mind and it just naturally prepares for feeding the newborn.
15 Oh The Group B Strep Test...
During the last month of pregnancy, you’ll need to undertake quite a few tests aimed to ensure that your health is fine. One of them is the notorious Group B Strep test, which is one of the most unpleasant tests in the world. Usually, it involves your bottom and one of these long Q-tips.
So it’s definitely not fun, although it’s still necessary to take this test to make sure that you don’t have a Group Strep B infection and won’t pass it on to your little one while they’re coming through the birth canal. If you don’t have it, you’re good to go (and forget this test ever happened). If you have it, you’ll just get a special antibiotic during labor to protect your child from it.
14 Night Life Gets Weird
Did you notice recently that you’ve started having the dreams that can be ranged anywhere from weird to utterly crazy? It can make you freak out a little bit and you might even think that something’s wrong with your psyche, but it’s only because your ob/gyn probably didn’t warn you that having strange dreams in the third trimester is completely normal.
These dreams are induced by the pregnancy-related hormonal changes in your body, so don’t worry about them and take them with a grain of salt. Probably, they don’t mean a thing and only create a new laughing matter for you and your family. I mean, how fun will it be to share these dreams with your loved ones and have a good laugh?
13 Shopping? Can Someone Else Do It?
Who says that shopping is fun? For a pregnant woman in her final month with a bump, it becomes completely exhausting. Even after going to the grocery store for a few items, you’ll need a long nap and a warm bath to feel ready to tackle the rest of the day.
Why? Well, first of all it’s because pushing around this cart with a giant belly isn’t the most pleasant thing to do. And when it comes to lifting heavy items (even a pack of laundry detergent can get heavy at these days), having to walk around the huge supermarket to find everything you need, and then putting it all into your trunk and driving home… Ugh. Take a break, darling, and just ask your significant other to do the shopping for now.
12 Some Everyday Things Become Impossible To Do
For most moms in the last month of pregnancy dropping something on the floor feels like a disaster. Some even decide to just stick to the “if it dropped, it’s dead to me” rule, because bending over to pick something up is near impossible when you have this huge belly. And even if you manage to get down and pick up these darn keys, coming back up is a real battle.
Besides, forget about having your pedicure done by yourself during the ninth month. I mean, how can you do it, if you can barely see your feet due to this protruding belly? So pamper yourself and go to a nail salon or just ask your hubby to become your pedicurist for the time being.
11 Driving A Car Becomes So Much Less Comfortable
It’s actually safe to keep on driving throughout your pregnancy, but only if you mind certain safety measures. First of all, you should make sure that you’re alert and well-rested. Always wear a seat belt, stick to the traffic rules at all times, opt for safer roads, and don’t drive alone (just in case).
However, although it’s quite safe, it doesn’t mean that driving will be as comfortable as it was before. In fact, your growing belly is likely to make it almost impossible to squeeze into your car and get behind the steering wheel. Even driving short distances might feel like a feat because of it.
10 You Can't Even Get Comfy In Your Own Bed
“Get rest,” they say. “Sleep as much as you can before the baby comes,” they say. But no one says that sleepless nights begin before the baby’s even born. At the final stage of pregnancy, you won’t sleep as much as you’d like to, just because you will barely get comfortable in your own bed.
You’ll be tossing and turning through most of the night, trying to find the least uncomfortable position for sleeping, and at other times you’ll have to get up to go pee. Do you still want to know why you don’t have enough energy to do anything during the day?
9 ... And So Many Other Things Also Hurt
Pretty much everything you do is uncomfortable in the third trimester. Getting into the bed and out of it. Lying on the couch. Sitting on a chair. Walking in a park. Eating your food. Wearing your clothes. Sneezing. You name it. Everything becomes painful and sometimes it seems that you can’t go even one more day with this huge belly.
But then you remember who’s living in this belly and you calm down immediately. After all, this is your baby, your little one, your bundle of joy. Even though they’re not even born yet, you already feel like you can do anything for them – and you can tolerate all these inconveniences for the sake of finally meeting them.
8 Oh, These Hormones Again...
Due to the hormonal changes, you’re likely to be emotional throughout the pregnancy, but be prepared that your emotions will get especially crazy in the ninth month. At one moment, you’ll be happy, excited, and affectionate. At the next, you’ll suddenly become snappy, impatient, and miserable. You’ll be going through ups and downs almost every day. And it’s normal.
Don’t demand too much patience and tolerance from yourself during this period and tell your loved ones that they should be prepared for you being out of bonkers. It’s your ninth month. It’s one of the times when you’re actually allowed to be crazy.
7 No, You Don't Actually Have Bladder Issues
You go pee so often in the final month (and sometimes you leak a tiny bit even after you sneeze or laugh too hard) that you might start thinking that something’s wrong with your urinary tract. In fact, nothing is wrong. It’s just your baby growing so big in your belly and pushing on your bladder that it makes you go number 1 every couple of minutes.
To help yourself cope with the lack of bladder control, you should try doing Kegel exercises. They won’t only help you at the moment, but they’ll also reduce the risk of similar issues in the postpartum period, when leaks and frequent urination are also possible.
6 Nesting Instincts Are A Real Thing
But, despite all these inconveniences you’re likely to experience, the last month of your pregnancy is also likely to be marked by the so-called nesting instincts, aka the sudden bursts of energy, when you feel like you’re a superhero who can do everything.
Nesting instincts can manifest themselves in a number of ways. Some women begin organizing baby clothes, painting rooms, cooking food and freezing it for later. Some don’t experience anything similar at all (which is also normal). But if you do have these energy bursts, make use of them to get some of the things done, but don’t overdo. Meter out your energy and don’t exhaust yourself.
5 And Baby Brain Is True, Too
A lot of pregnant women say that in the final month of having a bun in the oven they feel clumsier and more forgetful than ever. We usually call it “baby brain” and recent research has confirmed that it’s actually a thing. Four out of five women experience its effects on their cognitive functioning, but it doesn’t mean that mental capacities of these women go down the drain. They just feel like they’re “not quite as on the ball as they normally are.” Probably, it happens because your brain diverts resources from minor tasks to more important ones, such as keeping your baby healthy.
So don’t get too serious and just take your baby brain with a sense of humor. Its side effects will go away pretty soon.
4 Everyone Thinks They Can Give Advice
When you’re pregnant, it seems that everyone around you suddenly turns into an expert in the matters of pregnancy and childbirth. So as soon as your belly becomes visible, you start hearing advice from all over the place and as you proceed further into your pregnancy, it only gets worse. People won’t only want to advise something to you, but they’ll also strive to comment on how big you are, predict when your labor will begin, and guess whether you’re going to have a boy or a girl, based on the shape of your belly.
Try to ignore all these things and keep two things in mind. First, it’ll be over soon (and then these people will advise you on how to raise your kid). And second, whatever they say, mama knows best.
3 ... And Touch Your Belly
But some people don’t limit themselves to just giving you a piece of advice or commenting on how you look. They also want to touch your belly. They want it so much that it seems that you’ve suddenly turned into a goddess and they think that touching you will bring them happiness. Or maybe they see something we don’t? Like, that you carry a neon sign arrow pointing to your belly and saying “Rub me now”?
Whatever it is, you probably won’t like this kind of behavior. But it’s hard to say whether you can stop it. You’ll see that even if you push these people back, most likely they’ll reach out to you again.
2 Due Date Isn't An End-All Date
Your due date has come and now you’re impatiently waiting for your baby to be born for two reasons. First, you’ll at last see your bundle of joy. And second, it all will finally be over.
But… didn’t anyone tell you that a due date is just a date when your ob/gyn thinks your baby will be born? It’s not the date when they’ll actually be born. In fact, only 1 in 20 women will give birth on the exact date predicted by their doctor. The baby can come a bit earlier and it won’t necessarily mean that they’re premature (a preemie is a baby born before the 37th week). Or, they can come to see the world a couple of weeks later.
1 When It's The Final Month, It Can Happen Any Time
In fact, no one can tell for sure when the baby will be born, so most of the time, you should just be patient and wait for the D-day to come, keeping in mind that it can actually happen at any given moment.
Right now, we’re not even talking about the time when you’re past your due date and feel desperate about giving birth. Labor can start at any moment when you’re in the ninth month, so you should always be ready for it. Know the symptoms, differentiate real contractions from Braxton Hicks and keep the delivery bag handy. And remember – everything will be just fine!
Sources: What to Expect, Very Well Family, Babyology, Pampers, Health, First Cry Parenting