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Fetal Development: 8 Months

8 Months (32 – 35 weeks)


At the end of the eighth months, your baby weighs between five and six pounds and is gaining about half a pound per week, mostly in fat deposits. He measures about 18-20 inches long and is plumper and less wrinkled. You may feel less kicking and more twisting and wriggling, as he is running out of room to move around in there. He may have turned to the head down position in preparation for delivery. Your little one is now sleeping through regular periods of REM and deep sleep. He is also experiencing active and quiet wakefulness where he continues to explore the environment around him. Pretty soon, he’ll be a newborn!

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Are those feet jammed in your ribs? Now that the baby has turned, you may feel some kicks and pokes in the ribs, along with a head pressed against your cervix as he stretches. The weight of him, along with the hormone relaxin, may be causing you to waddle as you walk. Relaxin causes your joints to relax, so that your pelvis can widen to allow for easier delivery. You may find that you shrink in height a little in the coming months.

This month, you will be tested for Group B strep, and your doctor appointments will occur more frequently (biweekly). This month, you will experience an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions, colostrum leakage in your breasts, and maybe a leaking bladder when you sneeze, laugh, or cough. Emotionally, you may be experiencing anxiety, excitement, apprehension, and weariness with being pregnant.

Other physical symptoms include constipation, heart burn, bloating, indigestion, headaches, dizziness, nasal congestion, bleeding gums, increased appetite, leg cramps, swelling, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, itchy stomach, protruding naval, hot flashes, backache, skin changes, fuller breasts, carpal tunnel, tingly hands and feet, fetal hiccups, skin eruptions, lower back and leg (sciatica) pain and clumsiness. If you are experiencing sciatic pain or back pain, invest in a good pregnancy pillow.

For some ideas on what you will need for your baby, check out:

SmartMomma: Baby Gear


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This should be used as a general guideline and is for general information and educational purposes only. Please remember that all pregnancies develop at different rates. If you have questions about your baby's development, please contact your doctor or midwife.

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