- 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 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