The Last Month of Pregnancy- What You Need to Know
Congratulations on making it to your last month of pregnancy!
I am sure you are glad to be here, but you want to know what you can expect after giving birth, as well as what you should be doing for this last month of pregnancy leading up to the birth of your baby.
Here I want to focus on the things you should be doing to prepare for the birth of your baby.
But, I wrote an entire post sharing all the things you need to do to be prepared mentally, physically and emotionally, prior to giving birth.
Having an idea of what your postpartum recovery will look like is going to help you feel more prepared, and it will also give you peace of mind.
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. I only recommend products I love or would personally use.
Here’s What to Expect in Your Last Month of Pregnancy
The first thing you’ll want to do is to make sure that you are still receiving your prenatal care.
Your 9-month pregnancy care is just as important as your 2-month pregnancy care. Your prenatal vitamins are just as important as well.
So, even though you may not be having the same pregnancy symptoms you had in the beginning, it’s still important to make sure that you are taking care of your body and providing your unborn baby with everything they still need as well.
If you’ve been doing pregnancy exercise, do your best to keep exercising.
Nine Month Baby Movement
Your nine-month pregnancy baby movement is going to feel VERY different than it did just a few short months ago.
You will notice that your baby doesn’t seem to be moving around nearly as much as he/she did just a month ago.
The reason is simply that your baby is growing and running out of room in there.
Your health care provider will talk to you about this, but you can always do a kick count and make sure that your baby is moving and doing OK in there.
In fact, a lot of healthcare providers will recommend that if you don’t feel your baby move for a certain length of time, that you drink something sugary do a kick count.
**BUT!! If at any time you are uncomfortable with the lack of baby movement, you should always call your doctor or seek out medical care immediately!**
Ninth Month of Pregnancy Symptoms
You are likely exhausted and ready to meet your baby. In just a few short weeks that wait will be over and you will have your baby in your arms.
In the meantime, though, here are some nine-month pregnancy symptoms you may experience.
I feel like it should be a given that you’re ready to be finished being pregnant. Some women feel amazing at this point, and that is awesome!
But, for most women, you feel really large and ready to be done being pregnant for a while. You want to hold your baby in your arms and begin the postpartum recovery period.
Hang in there, momma. You’ve almost made it to the end. Rest when you can, and put your feet up!
It’s quite possible that your ankles are swollen and uncomfortable. Your hands may also be swollen as well.
It’s recommended that if you are swollen, to make sure that you are putting your feet up as much as possible to relieve the swelling.
Also, you should be drinking A LOT of water to help flush those fluids out of your body.
Obviously, that means you’ll need to pee more often, but it’s likely you’re already doing a lot of that anyway.
Decrease in Appetite
It’s possible that your appetite may decrease.
At the end of my pregnancies, there wasn’t much room left in there for anything, so the thought of putting more food in there just wasn’t working for me.
If I wasn’t starving, I ate enough to get by, and that was it.
Food felt like more of a necessity than something I was enjoying at that point.
If you’ve been lucky enough to get through your pregnancy without heartburn, you have been blessed!
Heartburn was the symptom that lasted the longest during each of my pregnancies.
It was awful and uncomfortable, and the only way I would combat it was to eat dairy.
HELLO, ice cream every night!
Sure, you can use antacid tablets, but I try to take the minimum amount of medication possible while pregnant.
**It’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before taking any kind of medication, especially while pregnant.
One thing I had during my last pregnancy was carpel tunnel. It was absolutely awful!
I’m thankful I’m a stay at home mom, but having pregnancy carpal tunnel seriously made EVERYTHING difficult!
The last couple weeks of my pregnancy I wouldn’t drive anywhere that would take longer than 10 minutes because I knew my hands would go numb before I got there.
It made everyday things a challenge as well, and that was hard.
I did find some braces that helped but didn’t make the numbness stop completely.
From the research I did at the time, it seems like for MOST people, the carpal tunnel goes away quickly after giving birth. Thankfully, mine was pretty much gone after 48 hours.
As your baby prepares for delivery, they will begin to work their way down into your birth canal. The baby will settle into your pelvis, hopefully, head first, which can be really painful, cause a lot of pressure, and just be uncomfortable.
If the baby happens to sit on a nerve, that will make the pain even worse. You may even experience some numbness in your legs depending on where the baby is laying.
The good news is that the pain will hopefully disappear almost immediately after giving birth.
Even though it doesn’t sound like it would, walking actually helped to alleviate some of the pressure.
It doesn’t matter if you plan to breastfeed or not, your body is going to be being making breastmilk.
That is part of the female body’s inner processes as it prepares for the delivery of your baby.
If you experience leaky breasts, you can use breast milk pads inside your bra to soak up the expressed breast milk.
I have even heard of women who will save the breast milk they leak and use it the same way they would use expressed breast milk with milk savers.
I feel like I had back pain my entire pregnancy and the last month of pregnancy back pain was no different.
Mine was right down in my lower back, kind of near my tailbone. It was miserable some days.
A warm bath would help, as well as regular chiropractic care.
For me, I wanted to make sure I was getting chiropractic care anyway because I had read so many great things about how your body alignment can make a big difference at delivery.
As with anything, talk to your health care provider before beginning something like chiropractic care.
At each of your appointments, your doctor’s office has probably been tracking your weight. This is to make sure that you aren’t gaining or losing too quickly.
Depending on how your appetite is, your last month of pregnancy weight gain may be minimal. I didn’t gain or lose more than a pound or two during my entire last month of pregnancy.
My babies, on the other hand, they were gaining a pound each week at the very end.
That’s one less pound you’ll have to lose after your baby is born.
Thank you, baby!
The last month of pregnancy symptoms can be brutal sometimes, but it’s a great reminder that the end is near.
Ninth Month of Pregnancy Baby Position
If you’re hoping for a vaginal delivery, you want your baby to be head down.
If they aren’t head down at this point, don’t panic!
Babies can make quick leaps around your belly right up until you deliver. I have heard of people being in the delivery room and the baby turned.
It can happen!
However, if it doesn’t happen, you need to be mentally and educationally prepared to deliver via c-section.
I was absolutely crushed when my first baby was footling breech at my 37-week ultrasound. I had been seeing midwives until that point, and I had to switch to the doctors which meant an entirely new healthcare team.
It was hard, and I wasn’t prepared.
I had taken the recommended birth classes, and of course, they talked about having a c-section, but I didn’t pay GREAT attention because “I wasn’t having a c-section”.
I had listened very intently to learn about all of the potential interventions that would be necessary for delivering a baby vaginally, but I kind of zoned out for the c-section portion.
This was a huge mistake!
It is so incredibly important that you be prepared and educated for any kind of delivery that brings your baby into the world safely, whether you think it will happen to you or not.
Last Month of Pregnancy Checklist
Pack Your Hospital Bag
So, it may seem like a given to have a hospital bag packed a couple weeks in advance, but I have heard of so many women who don’t.
If there are certain things you want to take with you to the hospital, whether for you or your baby, make sure you have your bag packed by 36 weeks.
Of course, you plan to carry your baby full term, but sometimes things happen and at least you can have your hospital bag with you if necessary.
Go watch a movie, get a manicure and pedicure, do anything that might be more of a challenge once your baby is here.
Finding the time for yourself can be hard for the first few months, especially if you’re nursing and more physically attached to your baby.
Pamper yourself by getting a mani/pedi, or even a prenatal massage. I had a couple massages with each of my pregnancies and they were wonderful!
Charge Your Camera Batteries
The last thing you want to do is to not be able to take quality pictures of your birth and newborn baby the way you want. Do yourself a favor now, and make sure that your camera batteries are charged and your camera is with your hospital bag.
Go on a Nice Date with Your Husband
Find a restaurant you love or one you’ve been wanting to try and go.
Once your baby gets here, it can be hard and stressful going out for the first few months.
From my experiences, it was a good two or three months before I felt like going on a real date.
And, I was nursing, so that meant that the location of our date needed to be within a reasonable distance to drive there, eat, and get back before the baby would be hungry again.
Or prepare yourself to be able to use a breast pump while you’re out.
Have Your Birthing Gear Prepared
I recommend that everyone have a birth plan and a backup birth plan.
As I shared earlier, my birth plan was smashed to pieces when I found out our baby was footling breech.
We later learned that I have a condition that created an internal situation where there wasn’t any room for the baby to turn. This resulted in a scheduled c-section which wasn’t anywhere in my birth “plan”.
To say I was crushed is an UNDERSTATEMENT!
I wasn’t prepared for any other kind of delivery other than what I had planned. Have a birth plan and have a birth plan 2.0.
Thankfully I had several weeks to create a c-section birth plan- yes, they exist, and yes you should create one!
Also, make sure that you have any type of coping items packed in your hospital bag so that you aren’t searching for anything last minute. If you plan to use back massagers, heating pads, essential oils, birthing balls, or anything like that, make sure you have them collected and packed ahead of time.
Your body will be very different and likely kind of awkward after giving birth.
I HIGHLY recommend that every new mom create a postpartum wardrobe. Knowing what to wear after giving birth and having some comfy new clothes with you at the hospital will help make the transition to your post-baby body easier.
Set Up Your Baby Equipment
You’ll want to make sure that your baby’s crib is set up at the very least. And of course, make sure you have a 5 point harness car seat to take to the hospital.
It’s also wise to make sure that you have a couple of places prepared where your baby can sleep so that you aren’t trying to figure that out when you get home.
Make sure you have washed some clothes, blankets, and burp clothes as well.
For the most part, everything else can be done after your baby is born if you run out of time or if your baby decides to make an early appearance.
Sleep When You Can
Seriously, sleep whenever you can.
Take naps when you’re tired.
Heck, take naps when you aren’t tired.
Coming from a mom who had a baby with colic, there isn’t such a thing as too much sleep before your baby’s arrival. Even with a baby who is a good sleeper, you’ll likely still be tired.
Having a baby is exhausting, so take advantage of the time to sleep while you have it.
Giving birth and taking care of your baby is going to be awesome!
Even if things don’t go as you plan, it will still be an incredible experience bringing life into this world.
The best thing you can do during this last month of pregnancy is to make sure that you get all of your questions answered and make sure your living space is ready to welcome a new, tiny family member!
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