A baby born in the ninth month of pregnancy has a very high chance of survival. After your 37th week, your pregnancy is considered full-term, so can start expecting your baby to arrive at any time. However, it is quite normal for your pregnancy to extend beyond the ninth month, even until a couple of weeks past your due date.
During the ninth month of pregnancy, your baby will be gaining about a half pound every week. His or her lungs have matured, but your baby’s immune system is still immature, so your body is sending antibodies to your baby to boost the immune system and prepare him or her for life outside the womb. Your baby is waking and sleeping just like a newborn during the ninth month of pregnancy. Your baby’s movements will be feeling more like rolling and squirming than kicking, since your baby has less room to move around now. At the end of the ninth month, your baby will measure between eighteen and twenty-one inches long, and will weigh between six and ten pounds.
Your doctor or midwife will most likely want to start seeing you once every week during your ninth month of pregnancy. They will be checking the position of the baby, as well as any progress in dilation or effacement in your cervix. Make sure all of your labor and childbirth plans are in order with your doctor or midwife.
If it hasn’t happened already, in the ninth month your baby will probably move deep into the pelvis and engage, which is also called lightening, in preparation for birth. This position will put extra pressure on your pelvis and bladder, but it may help alleviate any shortness of breath. It is common during the ninth month of pregnancy to have difficulty sleeping. Try different sleeping positions or even different places. You might suddenly find the couch or the guest room bed much more comfortable during the ninth month of pregnancy. It is common during this month to feel both energized or weary at different times. You may experience nesting, a desire to do extensive cleaning and organizing. Just be sure not to wear yourself out. Save your energy for labor and childbirth. You may also notice appetite changes in the ninth month of pregnancy. A sharp increase or decrease in appetite is normal during this month.
Mixed emotions make a comeback in the ninth month of pregnancy. You are probably feeling excited about your baby’s upcoming arrival, nervous about childbirth, and just plain tired of being pregnant. It is also common for women to wish that they could be pregnant forever, even in the ninth month of pregnancy. Your concerns about childbirth and parenthood may have you wishing pregnancy would never end. Having someone supportive to talk to will help you get through these final days of pregnancy.