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It’s been a long road, but you still have a lot to look forward to at eight months pregnant. By the end of week 37, your baby is very nearly full term.

Remember, only about 5 percent of babies arrive exactly on their due date, and most women give birth somewhere between week 38 and week 42. That means that toward the end of the eighth month of pregnancy you can start to expect to go into labor at any time.

Of course, although you could go into labor this month, you could still be several weeks away from giving birth, so take the time this month to get ready.

Preparing for Labor

Preparing for labor, and watching for the signs of labor, is key at this point in your pregnancy. You know you’re in actual labor (as opposed to having practice contractions, known as Braxton Hicks contractions) when the contractions are regular and occurring at increasingly short intervals. When going into labor, you might also feel lower-back pain, cramps, or pelvic pressure. Your water might break, and you might see a blood-tinged discharge, known as a “bloody show.”

Don’t panic when you notice these signs of labor. Contact your doctor, who will be able to advise how long you should wait at home and when to head to the hospital.

Common Pregnancy Symptoms at Eight Months Pregnant

During the eighth month of pregnancy, you may experience some pregnancy symptoms, but take heart because you’re nearly there. This month, typical pregnancy symptoms might include:

  • Clumsiness
  • Leaky breasts
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • General discomfort due to the size of your tummy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood changes
  • Itchy skin
  • Weight gain

Diet and Exercise in the Third Month of Pregnancy

Many women start to notice that their morning sickness subsides, and they feel a surge of energy. Take advantage of this energy boost by starting or continuing a healthy pregnancy exercise plan. If you're an exercise newbie, check in with your healthcare provider first, but exercises like prenatal yoga and swimming could be good, safe options.

It’s as important as ever to focus on a nutritious pregnancy diet, including regular, small meals of protein, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Stay hydrated with water, and stick to a maximum of 200 milligrams of caffeine per day.

Your healthcare provider can give you personalized dietary advice, but pregnant women should avoid fish with high levels of mercury, as well as alcohol, unpasteurized cheese and milk, processed meats, and raw eggs. Be sure to thoroughly rinse fruits and vegetables under running water before eating or preparing them.

Eighth Month of Pregnancy Quick List

Finalize the birthing plan: You might have been working on your birthing plan; make sure you have copies printed out for your medical team.

Get your hospital bag packed and ready by the door: Get your hospital bag packed. Your hospital bag should include all the items you and your partner will need during labor and delivery and during your hospital stay. It should also include the clothes and other items your baby will need at the hospital and on the way home.

Do a hospital drill: Plan how you will get to hospital when the time comes. Make sure you have a few routes planned out, just in case your baby decides to come during peak-hour traffic. If your hospital allows it, familiarize yourself with the maternity ward so that you know where to go once you get to the hospital. Have the numbers of the people in your birthing team and the address of the hospital on your phone and on the fridge, so you’re not scrambling for these details at the last minute.

Make any final finishing touches: Take this time to rest, and put any finishing touches on your nursery and babyproofing efforts. Feeling relaxed is important, so don’t pack your schedule too tight, and try to enjoy this time.

Take some healthy steps: There are some little steps you can take such as doing Kegel exercises and breathing exercises, practicing good posture, and keeping hydrated to feel a little more comfortable during the eighth month of pregnancy.

Eighth Month of Pregnancy Quick List

Finalize the birthing plan: You might have been working on your birthing plan; make sure you have copies printed out for your medical team.

Get your hospital bag packed and ready by the door: Get your hospital bag packed. Your hospital bag should include all the items you and your partner will need during labor and delivery and during your hospital stay. It should also include the clothes and other items your baby will need at the hospital and on the way home.

Do a hospital drill: Plan how you will get to hospital when the time comes. Make sure you have a few routes planned out, just in case your baby decides to come during peak-hour traffic. If your hospital allows it, familiarize yourself with the maternity ward so that you know where to go once you get to the hospital. Have the numbers of the people in your birthing team and the address of the hospital on your phone and on the fridge, so you’re not scrambling for these details at the last minute.

Make any final finishing touches: Take this time to rest, and put any finishing touches on your nursery and babyproofing efforts. Feeling relaxed is important, so don’t pack your schedule too tight, and try to enjoy this time.

Take some healthy steps: There are some little steps you can take such as doing Kegel exercises and breathing exercises, practicing good posture, and keeping hydrated to feel a little more comfortable during the eighth month of pregnancy.

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