Month 8

Possible Physical Changes
See Months 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7. In addition, shortness of breath, scattered “Braxton-Hicks contractions” (uterus hardens for about one minute, then returns to normal), clumsiness, leaky breasts, hot flashes, back and leg pain from weight of baby. Varicose veins may begin to appear, support panty hose helps ease discomfort and aching.

Possible Emotional Changes
Apprehension may increase, but so may joy and wonder at the active little creature doing “bicycle kicks” in your womb.

Possible Appetite Changes
See Month 7. Drink a lot of water to counteract the fluid lost through your pores (your temperature is higher when you’re pregnant).

The Inside Story
Fetus weighs about 3 pounds, is the size of a small puppy, and has fat stores under skin. May suck thumb, hiccup or cry. Also may respond to pain, light and sound. Could survive outside womb with hospital support, but with substantial risk of complications.

Sleep/Stamina Irregularities
May feel less or more tired than you have in months. Stretching, aerobic exercise, additional sleep, naps or frequent work breaks can boost your energy. Heartburn may be severe at night, eat at least three hours before bed, sleep on left side and use pillows to prop yourself up. The need to urinate frequently may wake you at night (but don’t reduce fluid intake). Discontinue lengthy travel for remainder of pregnancy.

Rx for Stress
Continue stretching/exercise program, childbirth classes, network with mothers-to-be concerning day care options, working women start tying up loose ends at the office.

Special Risks
Premature labor.

Symptoms That Say “Call Your Doctor”
Sudden decrease in fetal movement compared to what ‘s been normal for you, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, severe lower-back pain, pressure in pelvic or groin area, watery vaginal discharge tinged pink or brown, leaking fluid from vagina, burning sensation during urination.