Your little resident is running out of space inside you. Good thing he’s getting ready to come out soon! Seriously soon – he’s starting to get into position by placing his head in the narrowest part of your uterus. 95% of babies are born with their heads down. By now, your baby has swallowed a lot of amniotic fluid. His intestine will gradually fill with meconium, a thick, viscous greenish or blackish material made from solid particles and various bits and bobs suspended in the amniotic liquid (things like cell debris and fat vernix). This meconium will make up your baby’s first bowel movement at birth. Just in case you were wondering!
Have you got that funny line going down the front of your belly? During the last trimester a line forms down the middle of your belly, seeming to divide it into two halves. This is known as the linea nigra, which becomes darker as pigmentation increases. It can be seen most clearly right after the birth. A few weeks later, it will have completely disappeared. Take some photos before it goes away! A further change is that, because the uterus needs all the room it can get, it presses the navel gently outwards. It can be unpleasant for many women: the soft skin of the navel can chafe on clothing. One small consolation is that, after the birth, the navel returns back to its old position.
If you are concerned that you have gained too much weight, you might be wondering if it is acceptable for you to try and lose weight. It is important for you and your child to take enough weight in the last trimester, as throughout your pregnancy, and based on your weight when you first became pregnant will determine your weight gain recommendation. However, taking more weight than recommended merits a chat with your doctor. Indeed, excessive weight gain during the last weeks of pregnancy may be linked to a problem with hypertension. Dieting to lose weight while pregnant on your own is never a good idea.
Around the 8 month mark, some women report what feels like contractions. It could be Braxton-Hicks contractions, which last about 30 seconds each. It is not labour starting early. These contractions are your body’s smart way to "exercise" the uterus to get it ready for the big day. These contractions are responsible for "false labour". Having said that, always report contractions to your doctor, if only to get some reassurance that everything’s fine.