You’ve made it to Month 7 and odds are you’re feeling pretty great. Although you’re beginning the third trimester of your pregnancy, baby is still on the smallish side, which means your physical discomforts are few, or are fairly easy to manage, without a serious disruption to your schedule or normal lifestyle.
At this point in the pregnancy, your baby continues to grow, grow, grow, and nobody will be more aware of that physical growth than you – with your ever-burgeoning, beautiful baby bump.
Your Seventh Month of Pregnancy: What’s Going On In There Now?
This is the month when baby brain development goes into hyper-drive. All those dents and indentations that make a brain look like a brain are forming up as you read this. You may remember that last month, Month 6, your baby started putting on baby fat. That physical weight gain will continue until she is born, and she’ll continue to grow in length as well. In the meantime, her liver, lungs and immune system will continue to develop. Your baby’s immune system will not be fully developed until well after she is born, which is one of the reasons that antibody-rich breastmilk is so important.
She is moving around lots in there, although the space is increasingly cramped. Her eyes can now move around in their sockets and her sensitivity to changes in light and sounds is increasing. By the end of this month, she’ll weigh about three pounds and is around 17-inches long – no wonder you feel her feet in your ribs!
What’s Going On In Your Body?
At this point in the game, you may have stretch marks. If not, this might be the point where they start to show. Your skin has amazing elastic ability, but it can only grow so much, so fast, without a few noticeable side effects – typically irritating itching and the presence of stretch marks. While a myriad of creams advertise they reduce these pink to purple marks, research says genetics are the real players; if your mom or sisters had stretch marks, you’ll be more prone to them. Those creams, however, can work wonders for the itchiness and keeping hydrated with plenty of water will help as well.
We said above that you are probably feeling pretty good these days. However, we also want to acknowledge that you should never let yourself get too far from a restroom as increased pressure on your bladder makes urination a very frequent event. This can disrupt your sleep patterns (nature’s way of preparing for the future, perhaps?), so do all you can to make the rest of your sleeping experience as comfortable as possible via pillows, a guest bed, a recliner or whatever positions and physical aids help you and your growing body rest more peacefully.
Your growing belly is also creating postural changes that can affect your lower back. If you’re experiencing lower back pain, make sure you use good posture and wear low-heeled, comfortable shoes. Also, you may want to do pelvic rocking sporadically, which will help to stretch and provide relief to your lower back muscles. Simply get on the floor on all fours, slowly and gently round your lower back, tucking your chin to your chest and squeezing your rump downwards. Do this a few times every morning, in the middle of the day and before bed to give your back a break.
If constipation is an issue, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole-grain and high-fiber breads and cereals. Place a stool in the bathroom and put your feet on it – soles down, directly in front of the toilet – to ease any amount of strain when you go to the bathroom.
If you haven’t signed up for a childbirth education class, we highly recommend you do so. The classes will prepare you for labor and birth, as well as what life will be like once the baby arrives. Contact Overlake OB/GYN for prenatal information during your pregnancy.