9 Months Pregnant: Symptoms, Baby Development, And Tips
At 9 months pregnant, you’re toward the end of your third trimester, nearly ready for the big event. But your little bun has a few more weeks in the oven as your body prepares for their debut.
We’ll walk you through what you can expect for yourself this month, as well as what is going on with your baby. In addition, we’ll talk about what your upcoming doctor’s visits will look like and give you a few tips for enjoying your last month of pregnancy.
Table Of Contents
- 9 Months Pregnant: Symptoms
- 9 Months Pregnant: Your Baby
- 9 Months Pregnant: Doctor’s Visits
- Tips For Thriving When 9 Months Pregnant
9 Months Pregnant: Symptoms
By now, you’re probably pretty used to the smorgasbord of symptoms that pregnancy brings, but we’ll walk through them again and highlight what’s new. Take comfort in the fact that most of these things will go away once baby arrives!
At 9 months pregnant, your belly is bigger than ever. It’s no wonder that you’re feeling uncomfortable as your belly puts extra strain on your back. On top of that, your pelvic bones are separating and loosening in preparation for baby’s arrival, making you feel extra sore and achy.
On the positive side, as your little one’s head is in the pelvic area now, your lungs and diaphragm are able to expand, allowing you to breathe a bit easier.
At 9 months pregnant, your body is retaining water, so you’re going to have a bit of swelling particularly in your legs, ankles, and feet. It’s a good reason to take it easy and put your feet up a bit more this month.
Some pregnant women also start developing tingling or numbness in the fingers, wrists, and hands due to the compression of the median nerve and swelling of the nerves around the wrist. This is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, something common at this stage of pregnancy.
Frequent Bathroom Visits
This month, your trips to the loo will increase as well, as the uterus exerts pressure on your bladder. You also may feel a bit constipated. Another thing you might notice is more vaginal discharge, as the walls of your vagina and cervix soften.
You might notice hyperpigmentation, or darker skin, on parts of your body, including your Linea Nigra, or pregnancy line, and areola. You may also get blotchy patches of darker skin — often on the face — called melasma.
In addition, you may see stretch marks on your tummy, upper thighs, or breasts. Stretch marks are tiny tears in the supporting layers of your skin. These can be a matter of heredity, lifestyle, or due to the amount of weight gained in the pregnancy.
Some products can help with stretch marks, including our Stretch Marks Cream, Serum, and Oil that nourish the skin. These hydrate and soothe the skin and can help prevent the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy.
One last skin issue that you may encounter at 9 months pregnant is varicose veins. These appear when the uterus puts pressure on the vena cava, restricting blood flow. The good news is that these should go away after your baby is born.
Sleeplessness And Fatigue
Thanks to your little one in residence, you may be suffering from fatigue and sleeplessness this month. Your increased weight makes even your normal daily activities a chore. Then, when night falls, your belly is making it harder to find a good sleeping position.
Your breasts are getting ready for your little one’s arrival and may start to produce milk ahead of your due date. If your breasts are leaking, it’s usually colostrum, a yellow fluid that’s your baby’s first food.
This is normal, but talk to your doctor if you notice more than a few drops, blood, or abnormal nipple discharge.
At 9 months pregnant, it’s normal to be getting Braxton Hicks contractions, or “practice contractions,” more frequently. Braxton Hicks are your body’s way of getting ready for labor, but they don’t indicate you are in labor. These usually go away with exercise or activity.
You’ve got a surge of energy and are cleaning, organizing, and preparing for baby’s arrival. This is called nesting. During the 9th month of pregnancy, it’s normal to have the overwhelming desire to ready your home for your new family member.
As you’re rounding that last corner of pregnancy, your emotions might feel like they’re all over the place. This is not uncommon given the lack of sleep, physical stress, and changes in your hormone levels.
With all that’s on your mind this month, it’s also not surprising that you’re feeling a little forgetful. Hormones can be the culprit when it comes to “pregnancy brain,” so don’t be so hard on yourself!
9 Months Pregnant: Your Baby
Nine months pregnant corresponds to 36 to 40 weeks. Because your baby is considered full-term at 39 weeks, it’s no surprise that month nine is all about the final preparations.
Lungs, Bones, Brain, And Muscles
You are at the final stage of pregnancy, and your baby’s lungs and brain are almost fully developed. Their bones will harden this month too, though your little one’s head will stay flexible to navigate the birth canal. Their muscles will be strong and ready by about mid-month.
Hair And Nails
At this point, baby’s lanugo (the fine, soft hair that covers the body of a fetus) is gone, and they may even have a full head of hair. Their fingernails are also growing right to the end of their fingertips.
Your little one is getting pretty coordinated these days. They’re able to turn their head, blink their eyes, and make grasping movements. They also respond to light, sound, and touch.
If you haven’t already, now is a great time to talk to them and read them stories so they get used to the sound of your voice.
Your baby will drop down in your pelvis this month, finding their final position for arrival. Hopefully, they’re facing down toward the birth canal, but if not, don’t worry. Your doctor can suggest techniques to get your baby turned around.
By month 9, your little one weighs in at about six to nine pounds and measures about 18 to 20 inches long, about the size of a pineapple.
9 Months Pregnant: Doctor’s Visits
At this point, you will be getting your prenatal visits weekly. You can expect your doctor to check your blood pressure, weight, and fundal height (the distance between your public bone and the top of your uterus).
Your doctor will also monitor the fetal heartbeat, and as we said, check on your baby’s position. If your little one is breech, they may recommend ways to turn them or suggest a C-section.
Your doctor will also check for dilation of your cervix to see how close baby’s arrival is and screen you for Group B Streptococcus. If you’re positive, they’ll probably prescribe antibiotics.
Tips For Thriving When 9 Months Pregnant
As you are nearing the end of the third trimester, keep your eye on the prize. Stay active, whether you're walking or practicing gentle yoga, as this will give you more energy, allow you to sleep better, and improve your mood.
On the flip side, you also want to be sure to get enough rest throughout the day, especially if you find it hard to sleep at night.
Here are some things you might want to do this month:
- Take a hospital tour. It’s best to be familiar with the space before the big day.
- Make final preparations with your birth team and prepare a hospital bag.
- Choose a pediatrician and meet with them before baby arrives.
- Get all of your baby’s stuff in order: Install the car seat, stock the changing station, clean and prep the nursery, and choose baby’s first outfits.
But most of all, embrace your 9th month of pregnancy and celebrate another milestone. Turn on some music for baby, read them a book, gently rub your belly, and be patient. Although you are going to meet in person in a few short weeks, you can focus on prenatal bonding.
Ready Set Go: Baby’s Nearly Here!
As you navigate being 9 months pregnant, you now know what to expect. Keep in mind all of the physical and emotional changes that you’ll experience and what your doctor will check, and remember these helpful tips to get through it as stress-free as possible.
Think of Mustela as your skin-soothing companion, ready to help you through this ninth month and beyond. Our Stretch Marks Set and Organic Nursing Comfort Balm can help relieve your delicate skin, and, when your little one arrives, our Skincare Gift Sets & Bundles For Babies & Newborns make a welcome greeting to the world.
You’re almost there!