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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

How Is My Baby Developing This Month?

Your little one could measure up to five inches long, crown to rump, and may even weigh close to five ounces by the end of this month. Though still quite small, your baby is already developing facial features and is also working on certain movements, like flexing the arms and legs and clasping hands into fists. When you’re four months pregnant, there’s still plenty of room for your baby to move around within the amniotic sac, so your little one is probably making the most of it.

At this point in your pregnancy, your little one is also starting to produce estrogen and testosterone, and genitals may be visible if you have an ultrasound exam this month or sometime soon. Your baby can now swallow amniotic fluid, which means the kidneys are starting to produce urine.

Did you know that your little one is starting to hear sounds from the outside world? If you haven’t already, start talking, reading, and singing to your tiny, but very appreciative audience!!

Four Months Pregnant: Your Body’s Changes

At 4 months pregnant, you’ve now entered the second trimester. This stage is often considered to be the “honeymoon” period of pregnancy — a time when many moms-to-be experience an energy boost. If you’re feeling a little more energetic, why not use this trimester to take on some decorating, shopping, traveling, and any other preparations that require more effort and stamina?

You might be feeling great for other reasons, too. The nausea you may have experienced in the first trimester may have gone away by now, and your appetite may be back, making you feel a bit more like your old self. You can also breathe a sigh of relief because the risk of miscarriage is significantly lower from this month onward. It's a good time to relax and really enjoy your pregnancy journey.

How Far Along Am I at Four Months Pregnant?

You might see a few different breakdowns for the weeks, months, and trimesters of pregnancy. At four months pregnant, you could be launching into week 13 or week 14 and finishing the month at week 16 or 17, depending on how you're grouping the weeks into months. The second trimester usually extends through month seven of pregnancy.

FAQs at a Glance

Is it safe to have dental work done when I’m four months pregnant?

It’s generally safe to have routine dental procedures and dental X-rays done during the second trimester. Just remember to let your dentist know that you’re pregnant.

What is amniocentesis testing, and is it something I should consider?

Amniocentesis is a test that helps your healthcare provider check your baby for certain genetic conditions. It’s usually done between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, but the choice of whether you have this test is yours.

Will I have an ultrasound exam at four months pregnant?

Your healthcare provider may suggest an ultrasound this month or in a few weeks' time. Many women have a mid-pregnancy ultrasound at around 18 to 20 weeks.

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.

Sign up for even more pregnancy tips.

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.

Sign up for even more pregnancy tips.