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Third Trimester

Month Seven

During the last trimester, women may notice a return of fatigue, headaches, faintness, and an influx of general aches and pains. Appetites will be high, sleep may be light, and women may start to feel hampered by their expanding abdomen.

Starting in the seventh month, women are encouraged to start thinking of a birth plan and to make a decision in regards to who the baby’s pediatrician will be. Some women may start to feel overwhelmed with their approaching responsibilities. Questions start to arise about labor. Worries about income and whether to return to work after the birth may also be a concern. Future childcare concerns may preoccupy the mind of an expectant mother.

Prenatal visits are still routine, yet new things may be monitored depending upon the physician’s protocol and the expectant mother’s health.

Month Eight

During the eighth month, expectant mothers may start seeing their doctor twice a month. This is to ensure that the baby’s progress is closely monitored and so that any needed tests can be performed.

Expectant mothers may start to feel a wide range of emotions. This can range from weariness and preoccupation, to excitement and joy. It is important that expectant mothers are educated about childbirth and that birth plans are decided upon. Expectant mothers need to feel they are surrounded by a support system of family and friends.

Some women may start to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. These may be more noticeable by women who have had previous pregnancies. Some women report aches and pains in the rib cage due to the movements of their babies. Changing positions will usually ease the discomfort.

Month Nine

The ninth month cannot come soon enough for some expectant mothers. Many are ready to have their bodies back to themselves and they look forward to delivery. Other women may start to fear labor and delivery and feel much stress. Women are encouraged to enroll in childbirth education classes if they have not done. Education can help alleviate fears.

Many women feel that their emotions are heightened during the ninth month. If they are sad, they are very sad. If they are happy, they are very happy. If they are scatterbrained, they feel more so. Impatience and irritability may arise.

Decisions should be made and firmly in place by this time. The choice of pediatrician, birth plan, circumcision (if the child is a male) and whether the mother will breastfeed or bottle feed should be decided.

Women may notice that vaginal discharge becomes heavier in the ninth month. Heartburn and flatulence may also be more bothersome. Leg cramps, as well as backaches and a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, may be more pronounced. Braxton Hicks contractions may become more intense, as well as the need to urinate. Women may also find that their breasts may leak.

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