Congratulations mama! You’ve made it to the final month of the crazy journey of pregnancy. In this last month you will probably face a little more discomfort and exhaustion before your baby arrives. This can be hard going and it is so important that you nourish yourself with self care practices during this time. In this blog you will learn exactly what you can expect to experience and how you can find comfort amongst any physical challenge that you may face.
Just before your baby is ready to greet the world they will drop lower into your pelvis and you will probably notice the shape of your bump change. In this final month, your baby has grown A LOT and you may feel your crotch and thighs ache when you walk. You may also notice your abdominal muscles are sore from working hard to support your precious bump. Getting from A to B has never been so difficult and the best thing you can do is avoid spending too much time up on your feet. Don’t be afraid to shrink down your to-do list to the bare minimum and call in favors wherever possible to help you complete errands.
Growing a human is exhausting and in the last month of pregnancy many women will find themselves particularly fatigued. With the heaviness of your body at this time, trips up and down the stairs and even getting up off the couch can feel like a sweat busting workout. Rest and sleep should be your main priority before the baby comes. Most pregnant women should spend at least 8 hours in bed, aiming for at least 7 hours of sleep every night. No matter how tired you get, you should avoid taking any over-the-counter medicines as a sleeping aid. If possible, try going to sleep a little earlier than usual and catch daytime naps whenever you can.
If your weight drops by a pound or two during this month you may be confused and concerned. Rest assured that this is completely normal. Weight loss in the last month of pregnancy is usually due to a decrease in the amount of amniotic fluid, as hormones begin shifting fluid around in your body. You produce less amniotic fluid, and the increased frequency of urination may lead to an overall drop in total body water. It's important at this time to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You need an extra 300ml of fluid a day in the third trimester, on top of the recommended daily intake of 1.6 liters.
Having Difficulty Getting Comfortable
You may face the seriously irritating curse of not being able to get comfortable - anywhere. Sitting, standing or lying in one position for more than a few minutes at a time you might start to squirm and sigh in discomfort. The restlessness of trying to find a cozy position to sleep in can be extremely troublesome. Short, frequent naps are a necessity this month. You should also practice relaxation techniques as often as possible to help settle your mind when your body is struggling to find comfort.
Bloating and Constipation
If you’ve been struggling with breathlessness and heartburn over the course of your pregnancy then you’ll be glad to know that these symptoms usually ease off during the ninth month. Unfortunately, whilst you may experience relief in the upper digestive tract you may also feel constipated and bloated during this time. Probiotics and natural stool softeners such as prune juice can help your digestion run a bit more smoothly if you are experiencing these symptoms. Taking care to stay hydrated and maintain a fiber rich diet will also help to reduce bloating and constipation during this final month.
Experiencing New Pelvic Pressures
As your baby moves lower down into your pelvis you may experience some sharp pains at the base of your spine or around the pelvic area. These pains are a result of the stretching of your pelvic ligaments as your body prepares itself for birth. If you experience this then you’ll probably have added discomfort walking and getting around. So again, do not hesitate to reach out for support when it comes to completing errands such as the grocery run. Gentle daily exercise can help you relieve the pain but if this is too much then a chiropractor experienced in working on pregnant bodies can give you some gentle pelvic adjustments to get your hips back in balance.
Feeling Different Kicks
Due to the reduced capacity in your womb in the ninth month your baby won’t move as much as they did in previous months. However, what these movements lack in frequency they make up for in power. You may feel hard kicks in your ribs and punches in your pelvis. Sometimes it may even feel like your baby is moving their hands or feet into your vagina – a very odd sensation!
General Aches and Pains
As your due date approaches your baby’s head presses against the nerves and blood vessels in your pelvis which can cause your thighs to cramp up. You may also feel generally achy and stiff all over which is due to the influence of pregnancy hormones on the ligaments of all of your joints. The overall loosening of your ligaments has been known to cause the knees and wrists to feel weak, making even light lifting tricky and walking less inviting. A short daily walk or some gentle pregnancy yoga can really help with these aches and pains. Once the body starts moving in any way that you can manage you will notice the soreness begin to soften.
The most important thing to remember in the final month of your pregnancy is to be gentle with yourself and practice daily self care. Despite any challenge you may face during this time, it’ll all be worth it the moment you hold your baby in your arms.