What To (Really) Expect When You’re 9 Months Pregnant

Doctor listening to belly of pregnant woman
Image via Getty Images/Jaime Grill

Your Body At Nine Months Pregnant 

You’re Really Tired & Uncomfortable

As much as you can’t wait to meet the newest addition to your family, you really wish he or she would just arrive already. At nine months pregnant, it’s common to be exhausted, anxious, and really uncomfortable. And thanks to the aforementioned anxiety and discomfort, you’ll likely have trouble sleeping even though you’re tired. Hang in there — you’re in the home stretch! 

You’re In Full-On Nesting Mode

When you’re not tired, you may experience surges of energy and feel the inspiration to make your little one’s nursery absolutely perfect. (Heck, sometimes you may even feel like overhauling the entire house!) It’s perfectly safe to clean, organize, and decorate, but just remember not to do anything that has the potential for danger. For example, don’t climb any ladders or use strong chemicals while cleaning. 

You May Experience Prodromal Labor

More commonly referred to as “false labor,” prodromal labor is when you experience contractions that make you feel as though you’re going into labor. The bad news is that they can be painful, but the good news is that they’re helping your body prepare for childbirth. These contractions can help move your baby into a better birthing position and they prepare your body for labor. 

Your Baby at Nine Months Pregnant

They’re Getting Into Birth Position 

At some point during month nine of pregnancy, your baby will adjust into a head-down position (in some cases, they’ve already done this). The bones in their skull are still soft in order to ensure a smoother journey through the birth canal. In some cases, your baby is positioned feet-down, which is known as breech position. If this is the case, your doctor may attempt to adjust your baby into a head-down position or suggest that you schedule a cesarean birth if it’s deemed the safest option for you and your baby. 

Their Lungs Are Still Developing

Your baby’s lungs are still maturing, and they’ll continue to develop until you give birth. They’re getting ready to take their first breath and, of course, let out that first cry. 

They’re Not Moving Around Much

By the end of month nine, your baby is the size of, well, a baby and it’s gotten quite crowded in your womb. Because they don’t have much space to move around, you won’t feel your baby kicking and performing gymnastics tricks quite as much as you did earlier in your pregnancy. At this stage, most women feel around ten kicks, jabs, or rolls per hour. 

Your Symptoms and Health at Nine Months Pregnant

Pelvic Pressure

As your baby gets ready for birth, they drop lower into your pelvis. This can result in some uncomfortable pressure in your pelvic area, hips, and bladder. But there’s good news! Remember that shortness of breath you experienced recently? When your baby drops, they no longer put the pressure on your lungs and diaphragm that made it difficult to breathe. 

Back Pain

You’re probably accustomed to this symptom by now, but it’ll likely continue until you give birth. The combination of your belly changing your body’s center of gravity and pregnancy hormones that relax your pelvic joints equals the perfect recipe for back pain. Use a hot or cold pack, and treat yourself to a massage. 

Cervical Dilation & Effacement

As your pregnancy comes to an end and your baby’s birth approaches, your cervix will slowly begin to open up (otherwise known as dilation) and thin out (known as effacement). You won’t feel dilation and effacement, but they’re happening and will continue throughout early and active labor. 

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