How Your Baby Grows: Month 9

Your Baby

  • At 37 to 40 weeks, your baby is full term.
  • The baby’s lungs are mature and ready to function on their own.
  • The baby gains about 1/2 pound a week.
  • The baby usually drops into a head-down position and rests lower in your abdomen.
  • By the end of the ninth month, the baby is 19 to 21 inches long and weighs 6 to 9 pounds.

Your Body

  • Your belly button may stick out.
  • Your breathing should be easier once the baby drops, but you’ll have to urinate more often because the baby is pressing on your bladder.
  • Swelling of ankles and feet may increase.
  • Your cervix will open up (dilate) and thin out (efface) as it prepares for birth.
  • You may be uncomfortable because of the pressure and weight of the baby. Rest often.

Prenatal Care Guide

  • After the 36th week, visit your health care provider once a week for prenatal care checkups.
  • You may not gain any weight at all this month; you may even lose 1 or 2 pounds.
  • Decide if you are going to breastfeed or formula-feed your baby.
  • Time your contractions. You are in labor if your contractions:
    • Are regular or evenly spaced apart (every seven minutes, for example)
    • Happen more than five times an hour
    • Last for 30 to 70 seconds
    • Get worse as you move around
    • Call your health care provider if you think you are in labor.




Article courtesy of The March of Dimes