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Pregnancy Quote:

“Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the miracle of Mother’s Love.” – Maureen Hawkins

 

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Size of Fetus at Nine Months:

At the end of 9 months, your baby will be approximately
18 inches long and about the size of a watermelon. 

 

Braxton Hicks Contractions

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Braxton Hicks contractions are a series of contractions that occur just before “real” labor begins.  According to the American Pregnancy Association, these contractions may begin as early as the second trimester, but are most common during the third trimester.1

“Real” labor and the “false” labor associated with Braxton Hicks contractions are contrasted below, according to the timing of each type of contraction: 

  • Real labor — Actual contractions come at regular intervals and get closer together as time goes on, lasting about 30 to 70 seconds
  • False labor — Braxton Hicks contractions are often irregular and do not get closer together2

Braxton Hicks contractions are often triggered by your baby’s movement inside of your uterus, intercourse, physical activity, and dehydration. 

Call your healthcare provider if you experience any, or all, of the following:

  • Leaking amniotic fluid
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Regular, painful contractions every 5 to 10 minutes for 60 minutes
  • Anything you experience and are unsure about3 

 


 

 Focus On: Breastfeeding

What you need to know!

Thinking of breastfeeding your baby? The following information may provide insight on the benefits of breastfeeding over the bottle.  

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that breastfeeding “provides an infant with essential calories, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for optimal growth, health, and development.”4

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agrees, “Breast milk has the perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates.” The AAP adds that, “Leukocytes are living cells that are only found in breast milk. They help fight infection. It is the antibodies, living cells, enzymes, and hormones that make breast milk ideal. These cannot be added
to formula.”5

There are significant benefits for you as well. The U.S. Surgeon General adds that mothers who breastfeed may maintain a healthy weight if they breastfeed for six months and may decrease their risks of developing breast and ovarian cancers.6 

 


 

Normal to Experience:

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Insomnia

Experiencing insomnia during your ninth month of pregnancy is normal. During this last month,  a good night’s sleep can get disrupted for a number of reasons, including fluctuating hormones, back pain, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, indigestion, hunger pangs, and nausea. At this time, insomnia may also arise due to the constant pressure placed on your bladder from your baby’s weight. This pressure can cause you to wake up at all hours of the night with a persistent urge to go to the bathroom. 

The following suggestions from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) may help ease you into a good night’s sleep7:

  • Try lying on your left side with your knees bent
  • Avoid or limit caffeine before bedtime
  • Avoid exercise just before bedtime
  • Eat crackers before you go to bed to help ease nausea
  • Try to keep a regular wake-sleep schedule 

 


 

Watch Out for:

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Am I really in labor?

Is it time, or just Braxton Hicks contractions? Following are five signs the Mayo Clinic recommends that you look out for:

  1. Dilation – after an examination, your healthcare provider informs you that your cervix has begun to expand
  2. Light spotting – between weeks 37 and 40 of pregnancy signals labor may soon begin  
  3. Nesting – an instinctual urge that drives you to make sure everything is ready at home for your baby’s arrival  
  4. Your water breaking – when the amniotic sac, a fluid-filled membrane that cushions your baby in the
    uterus, ruptures.  
  5. Contractions – that last 30 to 90 seconds, and continue regardless of your activity level or position 7 

 


 

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation.

 References:

  1. Braxton Hicks Contractions. The American Pregnancy Association.
    http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/braxton-hicks/
  2. True vs. False Labor. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Am_I_Pregnant/hic_Labor_and_Delivery/hic_True_Vs_False_Labor
  3. Am I in Labor? MedlinePlus. National Institutes of Health. https://nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000508.htm
  4. Breastfeeding and Breast Milk: Overview. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. National Institutes of Health. http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/breastfeeding/Pages/default.aspx
  5. What’s in Breast Milk? The American Academy of Pediatrics.
    http://americanpregnancy.org/first-year-of-life/whats-in-breastmilk/    
  6. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding Fact Sheet. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/breastfeeding/factsheet.html
  7. Labor and Delivery, Postpartum Care. Mayo Clinic.
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/signs-of-labor/art-20046184?pg=2

 

Month Nine

06/20/2016 - Contributed by: