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Click on the links below to jump to the month you are in, or read straight through to see everything the second trimester has in store.
By the end of the 7th month, your baby weighs about three pounds, and may also suck it’s thumb or hiccup. Now, you should be feeling movement from your baby almost everyday.
Continue to visit your Greenville OB/GYN physician and have them address questions and concerns about your upcoming labor and delivery. As the birth of your baby gets closer, you and your doctor will discuss what kind of delivery you will have and learn about the differences between natural births and cesarean sections. You may also want to begin a childbirth class. Many women find childbirth classes very helpful, even if they have had a baby before. You can find out what classes are available through your physician at Greenville OB/GYN or by checking with your insurance plan, hospital or birthing center. It’s a great idea for you to bring your partner or supportive loved one to these classes, particularly if this person will be with you during the birth of your baby.
Start purchasing items you’ll need for the baby’s arrival. Buy an infant car seat and practice putting it in your car. Begin brainstorming names for your baby. This is the fun part! Also, don’t forget to ‘baby-proof’ your home; www.homesafetycouncil.org offers great ways to make your home a safer environment for your baby.
Symptoms you may experience will include adjusting to strong and more frequent movements from your baby and low abdominal aches. Shortness of breath and difficulty sleeping are also normal, though can be a nuisance. You may also experience something called Braxton Hicks contractions, which are not signs of labor, but may feel as such. Right now you might be feeling somewhat anxious about labor and taking care of a new baby. Feeling excited but fearful about the unknown is completely normal.
Some of the best ways to ease the pains of pregnancy are the simplest. For instance, try drinking hot tea or warm milk before bed to help you unwind. To soothe frazzled nerves, soak in a warm bath. Use pillows to support your growing body and to ease aches and pains and change your position for relief from baby’s little movements. Play your favorite music to enhance relaxation and give your mood a boost. Don’t be afraid to ask your loved ones for the things you need!
Continue to stick with the healthy behaviors you learned at the beginning of your pregnancy. Make sure you avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs. Do not take over-the-counter or prescription medications without speaking to your Greenville OB/GYN physician first and be sure to follow their instructions. Maintain a healthy, balanced diet—between 2500-2700 calories per day—and keep yourself hydrated. Continue your exercise routine. Walking and swimming are great choices. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure about your specific physical limitations.
By the end of the 8th month, the fetus weighs about five pounds and is approximately 18 inches in length. The baby’s brain is growing at an increased rate during this period and most systems are well developed at this point. The symptoms you may encounter during your eighth month of pregnancy will be similar to those encountered during your seventh month. Continue to monitor yourself closely, looking for any significant changes or warnings signs and contact your Greenville OB/GYN physician if necessary.
The last months of your pregnancy can be quite challenging, both mentally and physically, but there are several things you can do to keep yourself feeling your best. For example, to reduce backache, practice good body mechanics like squatting instead of bending over. Maintain good posture and wear comfortable shoes with low heels. To reduce heartburn, eat small meals more often and eliminate fatty, processed foods. Remember, it is okay to take it easy and give yourself a break. Caring for yourself and your baby should be your first priority.
Once you have reached your ninth month of pregnancy, your baby will be about 18 to 20 inches long and weigh around 7 pounds. You should still feel movement every day as your baby will continue to grow and mature. At this point in their development, your baby will be able to blink, close its eyes, turn its head, grasp firmly, and respond to sounds, light and touch. As the baby prepares for its arrival, it will move down in the pelvis, usually with its head facing towards the birth canal. While the last month of your pregnancy is an exciting time, it can also be quite a challenge. It is absolutely normal to be anxious, tired and ready for your baby’s arrival. You will still be experiencing the same physical and emotional symptoms as you did in prior months, maybe even more so. Be sure to rest and relax as much as possible. It’s only a matter of days before you can hold your beautiful newborn!
The beginning of labor feels different for every woman. You’ll know you’re in labor when you feel frequent and regular contractions, the only true sign that labor has begun. The length of labor varies for all women. The average labor lasts 12-14 hours for a first baby. Your childbirth classes should have prepared you for what to expect during labor and delivery, but don’t hesitate to ask your doctor questions if there is something you don’t understand.
Call Your Healthcare Provider if:
If you think you may be going into labor, call your Greenville OB/GYN physician immediately, no matter what time of day or night.
Things for You:
Things for Baby: