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Month Nine of Your Pregnancy

The grand finale is approaching. You may feel like you've been waiting forever. But even if you had the time of conception pinpointed, your baby may decide he needs a little more, or a little less, time preparing. Never fear; he will arrive sooner or later.

Month Nine Checklist

Your Baby This Month

Your child is packing on about a half-pound per week as he prepares to make his big exit. He's fully formed and just waiting for the right time now. His lungs, the last organ system to fully mature, now have an adequate level of surfactant in them to allow for breathing outside of the womb.

Your Body's Changes

While your baby is still growing, your weight gain tapers off, and you may even lose a pound or so due to a drop in amniotic fluid production. Many more things are happening this month. Check off those you experience, note when they occur, and call your doctor or midwife with any questions.

Groin soreness
Backache
As your cervix thins and dilates (opens), the soft mucous plug keeping it sealed tight may be dislodged
Increased need to urinate
Feel shockwaves through your pelvis as your baby settles further down onto the pelvic floor

Braxton Hicks contractions may be more frequent this month as you draw nearer to delivery. You're close enough to be on the lookout for the real thing, however. You know you are experiencing real contractions when they:

Other signs that labor is on its way include amniotic fluid leaks in either a gush or a trickle (your water breaking), sudden diarrhea, and the appearance of the mucous plug. For many women, the bag of waters does not break until active labor sets in.

On Your Mind

You're likely tired but happy as you pack and prepare for the big day. Just remember the "estimated" in estimated delivery date to avoid a big letdown if baby is tardy.

As sleep gets more and more elusive and your discomfort increases, you may find yourself easily provoked. To keep your cool and limit anxiety:

At the Doctor's or Midwife's Office

You'll see your doctor or midwife on a weekly basis now until you deliver. You should expect that your provider will:

From Everything Pregnancy Organizer Copyright © 2007, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

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