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It’s been a long road, but you still have a lot to look forward to at eight months pregnant. By the end of week 37, your baby is very nearly full term.

Remember, only about 5 percent of babies arrive exactly on their due date, and most women give birth somewhere between week 38 and week 42. That means that toward the end of the eighth month of pregnancy you can start to expect to go into labour at any time.

Of course, although you could go into labour this month, you could still be several weeks away from giving birth, so take the time this month to get ready.

Preparing for Labour

Preparing for labour, and watching for the signs of labour, is key at this point in your pregnancy. You know you’re in actual labour (as opposed to having practice contractions, known as Braxton Hicks contractions) when the contractions are regular and occurring at increasingly short intervals. When going into labour, you might also feel lower-back pain, cramps, or pelvic pressure. Your water might break, and you might see a blood-tinged discharge, known as a “bloody show.”

Don’t panic when you notice these signs of labour. Contact your healthcare provider, who will be able to advise how long you should wait at home and when to head to the hospital.

Common Pregnancy Symptoms at Eight Months Pregnant

During the eighth month of pregnancy, you may experience some pregnancy symptoms, but take heart because you’re nearly there. This month, typical pregnancy symptoms might include:

  • Clumsiness
  • Leaky breasts
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • General discomfort due to the size of your tummy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood changes
  • Itchy skin
  • Weight gain.

Adjusting to Your Pregnancy Body

You’re doing an important job by providing a safe home for your growing baby, but this doesn’t mean you’ll always feel fully comfortable with your new shape. During the second trimester , enjoy getting some comfortable and flattering maternity clothes, either at local stores or online.

You may wonder how to respond when you get advice, questions, and comments about your pregnancy from strangers and loved ones alike. One good strategy is to thank them, letting them know you’ll think about what they've said, and leave it at that.

You may have already chosen to share your news with your boss and others at your workplace and begun maternity leave plans. At five months pregnant, it’s worth starting to plan how you will hand over your responsibilities to your colleagues so that you’re not leaving big, stressful jobs until the third trimester.

Fifth Month of Pregnancy Quick List

  • Sign up for prenatal classes: Many prenatal classes will start in the next month or two, so sign up to get as much support and information as you can.
  • Talk to your baby: Your baby is learning to recognise your voice and can hear better than before. Make a habit of talking, singing, or reading to your baby every day.
  • Know the signs of preterm labour: Now is the time to keep an eye out for the signs of preterm labour [https://www.pampers.co.za/pregnancy/pregnancy-symptoms/article/signs-of-preterm-labor-symptoms-and-causes]. Contact your doctor right away if you think you might be in preterm labour.
  • Use that energy boost: That second trimester surge in energy provides an opportunity to exercise, travel, prepare your home for your baby, and tie up any other loose ends. While you still have plenty of time, start to get those baby essentials. This checklist will help you get the things you and your baby will need.
  • Eat well: Your baby is growing rapidly at this point, and you might feel extra hungry. This is not the time to hold back on eating; instead, continue to eat a variety of healthy, nutritious foods.
  • Get comfortable: Explore comfortable ways to sleep, choose more comfortable shoes (especially if you’re experiencing swollen feet), find maternity wear that gives your growing body plenty of room to move and breathe, and choose maternity bras that support the changing shape of your growing breasts.