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The Eighth Month of Pregnancy

The Eighth Month of Pregnancy

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By the eighth month, your baby's brain is becoming very developed. The various regions within the brain are forming, and brain waves appear the same as a newborn's. The baby can now differentiate between sweet and bitter, and experiences rapid eye movement (REM) during sleep. Your baby will turn away from a bright light shining through your abdomen, as well as responding to noise outside of the womb. At 18 inches long and about four pounds, your baby would have an excellent chance of survival if born now.

The baby's skin is starting to become less translucent, and is turning pink. If the baby is a boy, his testicles are descending into the scrotum. If you're having a girl, all of the eggs in her ovaries have already formed.

You'll now start seeing your caregiver every two weeks, rather than once a month. At each visit, you'll have a pelvic exam where the doctor or midwife will check the baby's position, fetal heartbeat, and your weight. Also, he or she will discuss any symptoms you may be experiencing such as varicose veins or ankle swelling. Make sure your physician knows the details of your birth plan do you want an un medicated childbirth, or have you decided on pain management drugs?

As the baby runs out of room in your uterus, you'll feel a great deal of movement. You may start to feel Braxton Hicks contractions, which are false contractions that cause discomfort in your back and abdomen. True labor contractions will begin in your uterus, and will continue to be painful, while changing positions while alleviate Braxton Hicks contractions.

By now, you've gained around 15-20 pounds, and your belly button will stick out as the baby presses against your uterus. As the baby weight presses against your abdomen, you might notice an increased need to urinate, along with backaches and shooting leg pains. As you near the end of your pregnancy, you'll become more fatigued and will need to rest more often.

Your appetite could still be increasing, with those late night cravings for snacks or sweets intensifying. Your partner may even be experiencing couvade, which is the tendency to feel the same cravings as their pregnant spouse. If you're suffering from heartburn, talk to your doctor about antacids that are safe for pregnancy, and avoid eating large meals or snacks late at night.


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