How Your Body Feels During the Last Month of Pregnancy
Your last month of pregnancy will most likely come with a little more discomfort and exhaustion. Hang in there; it’s almost over. This is what you can expect to experience in pregnancy’s final month.
You may find the muscles in your abdomen hurt from working so hard to support your bell. You may feel your crotch and thigh bones ache when you walk during the last month of pregnancy. In the first week or two of the ninth month, enjoy your bigger silhouette in the mirror because your baby will soon be dropping lower into your pelvis, and the bulge will change. You may wonder how you are going to lug yourself around for another month.
Many mothers find themselves physically exhausted in the last month of pregnancy. You may be tired of dragging a top-and-front heavy body up and down stairs. Even getting up off the sofa can leave you out of breath. First-time moms will be getting used to a pattern they’ve never experienced before — light sleep. Nursing the baby, seeing that older children are covered with blankets, comforting during nightmares, sitting up through illnesses, reassuring a wakeful one – all these things dictate light sleeping for a number of years.
Even though your baby may gain a couple pounds during this month, your weight may increase only slightly, stay the same or actually drop by a pound or two. 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. Therefore a decrease in your weight.
Having Difficulty Getting Comfortable
You may not be able to get comfortable – anywhere. You’re not comfortable sitting, standing or lying in one position for more than a few minutes at a time, and have great difficulty finding the right position for sleep. Short, frequent naps are a necessity this month. So are the relaxation techniques you’ve been practicing.
Feeling a Little Better in the Last Month of Pregnancy
Two of the more common annoyances of earlier months, breathlessness and heartburn, often ease during the ninth month. Yet you’ll need to urinate more frequently as baby’s head begins to press more on your bladder. And while the upper digestive tract may feel better, the crowded lower tract may once again feel constipated and bloated.
Experiencing New Pelvic Pressures
As your baby descends into your pelvic cavity, you may find yourself prone to sharp, stabbing pains at the base of your spine or in the middle of your pelvic bone, making it uncomfortable to walk. The increased pelvic aches and pains of the last month of pregnancy are most likely due to the relaxation and stretching of your pelvic ligaments in preparation for the job to come. You can ease these discomforts by changing positions.
Continue to exercise gently every day. If you cannot walk or exercise without pain, a chiropractor experienced in working on pregnant bodies can give you some gentle pelvic adjustments to get your hips back in balance. It is our personal theory that chiropractic attention in pregnancy not only helps avoid or relieve back pain, but also can affect your labor by helping your back and pelvic structures be better prepared to handle the stresses of labor and birth.
Feeling Different Kicks
Babies move even less in the ninth month than they did in the eighth. However, what these movements lack in frequency they make up in power. You may feel hard kicks in your ribs and punches in your pelvis. Sometimes it may even feel like baby is moving his hands or feet into your vagina – a very odd sensation.
General Aches and Pains
During the last month of pregnancy some women feel stiff all over. Baby’s head pressing against the nerves and blood vessels in the pelvis may also cause cramps in the thighs. Like the pelvic aches and pains, these changes are 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. However, movement keeps your body tuned up. Once you get started on your daily walk the aches and pain will diminish.
For more information on pregnancy, see our book The Healthy Pregnancy Book: Month by Month, Everything You Need to Know from America’s Baby Experts