Pregnancy: What To Expect The Seventh Month

How a baby develops and grows during the seventh month of pregnancy, and how a mother's body changes.

As you approach your seventh month and the beginning of your third trimester, there is much going on in your baby's development and with your own body. You are on the home stretch of your pregnancy and you and your partner are probably getting nervous and antsy thinking of the impending birth. There is so much to plan as your birthing day begins its final approach, but for now, you are only focused on two things: how your baby is developing and what you should expect out of your own body.

Your Baby

Your baby is getting larger and larger as each week passes; by the end of the seventh month, she will weigh anywhere from two to four pounds and will be as much as fifteen inches long. Your baby is now able to fully hear most external stimuli despite the sound of your heartbeat. She can hear voices and music and respond to most sounds. In addition, she can sense light and pain. Her muscles are strong and limber enough that she can flex her hands and suck on her own thumb. She has her own schedule of sleep and awake time. If you saw a snapshot of your baby's brain waves, it would be almost identical to a newborn's. As your baby sleeps, she is beginning to dream. Also, her lungs are maturing. Since your baby is growing and starting to slowly fill up the womb, she is kicking, but she can no longer toss and turn like she used to, since there is limited space. If you remember, in month six, your baby's skin was wrinkled since she had not yet grown into it. Now, she is growing chubbier and her body is becoming more proportioned, in terms of her head and body. She is also getting a full head of hair.

Your Body

At your seventh month visit with your physician, your weight, blood pressure and urine will be tested and checked. You will want to discuss any abnormal symptoms you may be experiencing as well as ask questions concerning your upcoming labor and delivery. Some common symptoms include bloating, constipation, headache, faintness and heartburn. The white vaginal discharge you have been experiencing may be getting more pronounced and you may also be experiencing leg cramps and swelling, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, clumsiness, varicose veins, insomnia and a general shortness of breath. Many women also report painless contractions. These are called Braxton Hicks contractions and are quite common. Some women also become irritable and tired, wanting the baby to just be born so they can return to their normal selves. Most women gain approximately one pound per week during this seventh month. As your stomach grows, you may feel pain in your rib cage and on the sides of your abdomen. Stretch marks are becoming more pronounced and you will find yourself needing to go to the restroom to urinate more often, since your baby may be pushing on your bladder. If you are feeling uncomfortable, especially in your abdomen area, just remember that your baby should be coming soon and all the discomfort you are feeling will be completely worth it when you first hold your baby in your arms.

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