At 9 months pregnant, the time to meet your little one is almost upon you. We’ll take you through what you can expect at this exciting time.
If you’re 9 months pregnant, congratulations!
You’re soon to meet your marvel.
And as mightily miraculous as this all is, you may also feel a fair amount of strain as you carry around your precious cargo.
Sleeping may be pretty difficult, peeing may be all too easy, and you may be feeling aches and pains in parts of your body that you didn’t know you had.
Plus, it’s not unusual for your baby to be sharing your belly with a whole lot of butterflies as you anticipate this new chapter in your life.
Know that you’re not alone.
Your Peanut community is here for you.
We’ll take you through what you might expect as your baby prepares to make their entrance.
In this article: 📝
- How many weeks is 9 months pregnant?
- Is 36 weeks considered 9 months pregnant?
- Is 9 months pregnant full term?
- What is my baby doing at 9 months pregnant?
- 9 months pregnant symptoms
- What should I not do at 9 months pregnant?
How many weeks is 9 months pregnant?
Here’s a well-kept secret — for all the talk about pregnancy being 9 months long, it’s actually often closer to 10.
So here’s where you’re at when you’re 9 months pregnant:
Is 36 weeks considered 9 months pregnant?
Yep, by 36 weeks, you’re 9 months pregnant.
(Basically, if you divide 36 by the four-ish weeks in a month, you get 9.)
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at the end of your pregnancy.
Is 9 months pregnant full term?
Technically, not quite.
The average pregnancy is around 38 week, 2 days.).
And yep, that’s between 9 and 10 months.
But average is a funny word when it comes to pregnancy (and life in general).
- Full-term babies are born between 39 and 41 weeks.
- A baby born between 37 and 39 weeks is an early-term baby.
- After 41 weeks, they’re considered late-term.
If your baby is born before 37 weeks, it’s considered preterm and comes with more risks.
But even a baby born at 24 weeks has a chance of survival outside of the womb if they get the right medical care.
The bottom line?
There are many ways to have a pregnancy and to deliver your baby into the world — and often there are surprises along the way.
If you’re keeping in contact with your healthcare team and looking after yourself, you’re nailing this.
So what’s your baby up to at this late stage of pregnancy?
We’ll take you through the details.
What is my baby doing at 9 months pregnant?
Since about 6 months, your baby’s organs have been fully formed. By the time they get to the 9-month mark, they’re learning how to use them more effectively.
Their eyes, for example, are getting more developed by the day, and their pupils are now able to get smaller when exposed to light.
Your baby is also growing as much as they can in preparation for their grand entrance.
Other interesting things?
The lanugo (that’s the fine hair that’s been protecting their brand-new skin) starts to disappear.
For some babies, it will be gone before you meet them, while others may still be sporting a thin coat when they’re born.
And here’s what might be happening for you:
9 months pregnant symptoms
Wondering how you’ll be feeling at 9 months pregnant?
Here are some of the most common symptoms:
All sorts of fluids
For starters, you may have noticed that you’re heading to the bathroom more often right now.
Yep, frequent urination in late pregnancy is a thing.
It’s down to a combination of:
- Your kidneys working super efficiently to accommodate this huge task your body is undertaking.
- Your baby pushing against your bladder.
And there are other fluids at this party.
As labor approaches, you might notice a sticky blood-streaked vaginal discharge.
This may be because you’ve lost your mucus plug — the protective barrier that developed at the opening of your cervix (between your uterus and vagina) early in your pregnancy.
Up to now, it’s been there to keep your baby safe from bacteria and infection.
As your cervix begins to get ready for delivery by softening and opening up, this mucus plug could get the hint that it’s time to hit the road — and it will exit through your vagina.
This usually only happens after 37 weeks.
While it’s totally normal to experience discharge that is slightly bloodied, if you have any severe bleeding, it’s important to get medical attention right away.
It may signal a pregnancy complication like placenta previa (where the placenta is covering the cervix) that needs your health team’s input as soon as possible.
Yep, yet another fluid-related symptom here!
Nothing to worry about, though — just your boobs getting ready for the task ahead.
At this point, you may have already been experiencing the wonders of breast leakage for weeks.
(It’s common for it to start in the second trimester.)
If you’re curious about what they’re leaking, it’s called colostrum.
AKA liquid gold, this magic fluid is perfectly formulated to give your baby the nutrition they need to kickstart their lives on planet earth.
Also known as dropping, there’s a good chance your baby will, well, drop lower down towards your pelvis.
This can happen a few weeks before you give birth or just as your labor begins.
Some women notice that their 9 months pregnant belly changes shape after lightening has happened, but this is not the case for everyone.
And there’s some really good news here — if you’ve been experiencing heartburn and shortness of breath as pregnancy symptoms, lightening may help alleviate these.
The downside (excuse the pun)?
There may be added pressure on your bladder now.
And yes, that means frequent urination.
Back and pelvic pain
The combination of pregnancy hormones loosening up your joints and the weight of your baby can put a lot of pressure on your back and pelvic region.
If you’re feeling it most strongly in the region between your anus and vagina — called your perineum — it’ could be what’s known as pelvic girdle pain (PGP).
And while it’s usually not harmful to your baby, it can be very uncomfortable for you.
Talk to your doctor about available treatments, which can range from using a heating pad and/or sleeping with a pregnancy pillow to medication if the pain is severe.
Fewer movements from your little one
Your baby may be moving around less in there simply because there’s a bit of a real estate problem.
The reality is, they’re getting bigger, and there’s only so much room.
If you’re concerned at all about their movement, speak to your doctor.
We give you the full lowdown on decreased fetal movement here.
What should I not do at 9 months pregnant?
The most important thing right now is to listen to your body and talk to your healthcare team if anything is worrying you.
With that in mind, here are some of the common don’ts:
Steer clear of cigarettes and alcohol at all stages of your pregnancy.
Food that is not cooked (or not cooked well) comes with a higher risk of food-borne illnesses like listeriosis.
These can be particularly dangerous when pregnant, so best to lay off the sashimi and deli meats for now.
(Head here for our full list of foods to avoid while pregnant.)
You’re also off the hook when it comes to cleaning the cat’s litter box, as it’s not a great idea to come into contact with bacteria and parasites right now.
The CDC also suggests adjusting your physical activity to meet the demands on your body.
These include reducing or avoiding:
- A lot of bending and squatting
- Lifting heavy objects from the floor or overhead
- Standing for three hours or more
Talk to your doctor before taking any new medications.
Some are outright no-nos.
Others, like Tylenol and Unisom, for example, may be worth taking if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Also, be careful when it comes to hot tubs during pregnancy.
While the research findings are a little mixed on this, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you don’t let your core temperature go above 102.2º F when you’re pregnant — and hot tubs may get you there quite quickly.
Other than that, rest when you need to.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
And move according to your body’s needs — and always under the guidance of your doctor.
You’ve got this, mama!
And we’re rooting for you every step of the way.