A lot of changes are expected in the weight gain and baby’s development in the eighth month of your pregnancy. As you approach the delivery date, you expect the following changes in your body.
The weight of your baby in the eighth month is close to six pounds. Every week from now on there will be a gain of around half a pound. It is mostly the growth of fat underneath the skin tissues that adds to the weight.
At this stage you will find the wrinkles easing out in your baby. The skin appears tauter and the entire body is a lot plumper. The lanugo has almost disappeared by now and a thick coat of vernix takes its place. The length of your baby is around 18 to 20 inches by now. The extensive kicking and wriggling movements will further lessen at this time. There is nothing to worry about this as the baby is basically running out of room for free movements. Your uterus is already stretched to the maximum limit and the amniotic fluid is also decreasing in volume. The baby will prefer to remain in a head down position from now on as he is also preparing for the delivery.
Sleep Patterns of the Baby
You will notice that the baby is mostly asleep during the eighth month of your pregnancy. You can observe and also see in the tests that the pattern is mostly REM and deep sleep. He does wake up and remain awake for considerable periods of time but it is mostly a quiet wakefulness which can be made out by his open eyes. He remains active though. He is actually exploring the environment around him and gaining awareness of senses as now it is no longer before, he will actually be a newborn.
- The immunity mechanism is gradually developing in the baby. He is gaining the power to fight and shield himself against milder infections.
- He passes around one pint of urine every day which is passed into the amniotic fluid. This fluid is replenished on its own every three hours.
- You will notice creases forming in the neck and wrists of the baby as fat deposits increase under the skin.
- From the eighth month onwards be prepared to have your baby in the birth canal any moment.
Weight Gain in The Mother
The rapid weight gain in the mother continues in the eighth month of the pregnancy as well. The weight gain per week is close to 1 lbs. But you should not infer that this entails a huge baby. The weight that you are consistently gaining is not all going to your baby. It is getting evenly distributed, according to your physical condition at the moment.
The Other changes that you will notice at this stage are:
- When you are asleep or lying down for a long time, you might experience leg cramps.
- You will frequently feel the prodding of your baby’s elbow or knee on your belly.
- The Braxton Hicks contractions or the false contractions will be more frequent at this stage.
- You will notice that your baby is dropping from the uterus or the mid abdomen area, slowly and gradually. It is making its way towards the birth canal as the delivery date approaches.
When to Consult the Doctor?
You will notice some rapid changes in your body and report the same to your doctor:
- Rapid and frequent contractions that are having a pattern and staying for quite some time.
- A feeling of opening of cervix or dilation.
- The dropping of the baby becoming more prominent.
As stated earlier, most of the babies will prefer a head down position at this stage, but some babies can be in a breech position, that is, feet down. There are ways to turn the baby and the doctor will advise you on the same if required. As the baby drops and comes near the pelvis region, you will more comfortable to breathe. But at the same time, you might urinate more frequently as there will be an added pressure on your bladder.