Now that you’re 7 months pregnant, you enter your third and last trimester. This is the time between 25 and 28 weeks of your gestation when your baby’s growth in the womb is fastest. Aside from the bodily changes, the increased discomfort caused by the growing pregnancy belly and feelings of excitement and anticipation at the impending delivery may make this a stressful month. This post discusses the physical changes and baby development that occur during the seventh month of gestation and the precautions and advice to keep you safe and comfortable.
What Symptoms Do You Experience In The Seventh Month Of Pregnancy?
- You may have difficulty walking, as the protruding baby bump puts pressure on your bladder and legs.
- You could experience pain in your lower back due to the added pressure of the bump and increased weight.
- You might have mood swings and anxiety pangs.
- With the stretching uterine muscles and the bump squashing your tummy, there is a chance of having frequent contractions and abdominal cramps.
- The increasing metabolism makes the body warmer, and you might feel hot even in cold weather. You may start to sweat and experience shortness of breath at times.
- The center of gravity shifts downwards with the growing baby, and the pressure on the uterus results in frequent urination.
Some pregnant women may develop anemia, hemorrhoids, upset tummy, frequent heartburn, and spasms in the tummy this month.
Body Changes During The Seventh Month Of Pregnancy
- Breast changes: Your breasts will become tender, heavier and denser with visible veins and darkened nipples and areola. They will also start producing milk, and could sometimes leak. You should wear a comfortable and well-fitting bra for the required support.
- Gait changes: Your gait changes and your feet will involuntarily part while you walk, to support the growing tummy. You will be walking like a ‘pregnant woman’ from now.
- Swelling: The increased blood supply might cause puffiness and swelling of your hands.
- Fatigue: The heavy bump puts extra strain during certain activities, tiring you very easily.
- Varicose veins: The increasing blood supply enlarges the veins in the legs, thereby causing varicose veins.
Baby’s Development In The Seventh Month Of Pregnancy
|Body Parts||Developmental Stage|
|Brain and nervous system||Grows faster and is now sensitive to sound, smell, and music|
|Sleeping and waking patterns||Are more pronounced|
|Eyes||Eyelids slowly open, and eyes respond to light and darkness|
|Lanugo||Starts to disappear|
|Skin||Red and wrinkled, fat accumulation begins|
|Tongue||More taste buds develop where baby can distinguish different flavors|
|Gastrointestinal tract||Starts to function|
|Bones||Begin to harden|
How Does A Seventh Month Baby Look Like In The Womb?
By the seventh month, your baby weighs around two to three pounds (900-1350gm) and measures 15in (38cm) in length (7).
Baby’s Movement In The Seventh Month
You will experience frequent kicking and stretching movements by this month. This time, you can also connect with your little one through touch and sound (5).
Baby’s Position In The Seventh Month
The baby lies vertically with the head towards the cervical region, to prepare for birth. This is considered to be the safest position for a normal delivery (8).
Dos And Don’ts In The Seventh Month Of Pregnancy
- Consider walking regularly, with small breaks in between. Also, avoid standing and sitting in the same position for prolonged hours. Keep your body active and flexible.
- Continue regular exercise with your doctor’s approval. Go for regular walks, yoga, swimming or any other workout of your choice. An active lifestyle helps in easy delivery and in recovering faster after childbirth. Basic stretching exercises help.
- Get a hobby. Read a book, paint, sing, or try gardening. It will keep you calm, relaxed and take away any unnecessary thoughts and tensions.
- Rest as much as possible. Sleeping on the back might be difficult with the growing tummy, so try sleeping on your side. Placing cushions against your tummy and between your legs can make it more comfortable.
- Wear cotton clothes as they are comfortable and breathable since you are likely to perspire more due to an increase in the basal body temperature. Use simple deodorants made of natural ingredients.
Go for regular blood tests, especially if you belong to the Rh-negative blood group, to check your hemoglobin levels.
- Quit smoking and alcohol completely. Also, avoid passive smoking as second-hand smoke is also dangerous for you and your baby.
- It would be difficult to bend now, owing to the growing bump. Do not try slouching, and always maintain the right posture.
- Do not lift heavy objects as it can put pressure on the tummy and affect fetal growth.
- Avoid loud music and exposure to excess noise. Your baby’s hearing is formed fully now, and anything loud could startle the baby.
Diet tips for the seventh month
- Include omega-3 fatty acids as they enhance the growth of the baby. This is also the period where the baby develops cognitive and visual abilities. Foods such as eggs, seafood and walnuts help.
- Take fruits and vegetables rich in iron and vitamin C. Also include natural iron sources such as spinach, eggs, meat, and green leafy vegetables.
- Have small, light and nutritious meals at frequent intervals. Avoid heavy meals and greasy food.
- Increase fluid intake and reduce salt intake from canned foods, sauces, ketchup, chips, and pickles. This helps you get rid of water retention and swelling.
- Include fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains. They help in preventing constipation.
- Avoid spicy, acidic, and fatty foods as they ease the symptoms of indigestion and heartburn.
What To Expect During Your Visit To The Ob/Gyn?
Starting this trimester, you should visit your doctor twice a month. Follow the doctor’s advice and instructions without fail. You might have to get the following tests and checks done (3).
- Physical examination: Your weight and blood pressure are checked. Also, the breasts, abdomen, and vagina are examined.
- Ultrasound scan: This is conducted to analyze the changes in baby development. It is also the time for your first growth scan.
- Heartbeat: Doppler ultrasound is used to check the fetal heartbeat.
- Rhogam shot: If you belong to the Rh-negative blood group, and your partner is Rh-positive, you may have to take Rh immune globulin injection during the seventh month, provided the indirect Coombs test is negative. It helps build antibodies against the Rh factor (11).
- Glucose tolerance and blood test: You may go for a oral glucose tolerance test and complete blood count (CBC) at 28 weeks.
Ultrasound During The Seventh Month
The optimal time for the ultrasound scan is between 24 and 26 weeks where all the organs are visible. The ultrasound helps monitor the baby’s growth, checks amniotic fluid levels, determines the fetal position and assesses the placenta (12).
What Are The Common Concerns During The Seventh Month Of Pregnancy?
If you experience the following situations, or any other unusual symptoms causing discomfort or pain, consult your doctor.
- Extreme pressure or pain in the lower back
- Reddish brown colored vaginal discharge
- Bleeding gums
- Excessive mucus formation and saliva secretion
- Headache, fatigue, and dizziness
- Gastric problem and constipation
- Frequent forgetfulness
- Heartburn and hemorrhoids
Tips For The Dad-to-be
- Get your partner to set up the baby’s nursery. Although the safe place for the baby in her first six months is your room, you might not get a chance to prepare nursery later. Setting up now means less worry later.
- Go with you to sessions and practice relaxation techniques that help to ease labor. Practicing these techniques every day before bedtime helps.
- Help you make a list of baby essentials. Buy them beforehand so that it will be easier during the time of delivery.
- Communicate with other dads or dads-to-be in person or online forums to deal with any fears and feelings. Getting a few helpful tips before the baby’s birth helps you stay prepared.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who kicks more, baby boy or girl?
According to study findings, male fetuses displayed a higher number of leg movements in a minute when compared to female fetuses (13).
2. Can a baby survive at seven months premature?
A premature baby’s chances of dying and having long-term health problems reduce by 26 to 27 weeks of gestation. The survival rate of babies born at 28 weeks is between 80 and 90 percent, and they have only a 10 percent chance of experiencing long-term health problems (14).
The third trimester marks its beginning when you are 7 months pregnant. The rapid fetal growth during this stage brings about a new set of challenges, including lower back pain, abdominal pain, and shortness of breath. However, the good news that your baby is now developed, and you may hear from them through their kicks, is exciting. Understand that these discomforts are only for a few more months, and prepare yourself for your baby’s birth. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and engage in activities that keep you and your baby safe and comfortable.
Infographic: Stretches 7 Months Pregnant Women Can Do To Relieve Backache
Studies indicate that lower backache usually occurs during pregnancy’s 5th and 7th months. This infographic provides information on some basic stretching exercises you can try to strengthen your upper body muscles and relieve backaches.
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3. Pregnancy by Trimester; UCSB SexInfo (2017)
4. Pregnancy; California State University Long Beach (2019)
5. How Your Fetus Grows During Pregnancy; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2018)
6. Elizabeth Fenwick; The Complete Book of Mother and Babycare; page 23
7. Normal Growth of a Baby During Pregnancy; RelayHealth and/or its affiliates (2008)
8. Antenatal Care Module: 11. Assessing the Fetus; The Open University (2019)
9. Do’s and Don’ts During Pregnancy; Sutter Health (2008)
10. Caring for Yourself During Pregnancy and Beyond; UCSF Medical Center
11. Rh Incompatibility; Health Sciences Library Upstate Medical University (2008)
12. Ultrasound During Pregnancy; Beaumont Health
13. C. Almli, et al.; Human fetal and neonatal movement patterns: Gender differences and fetal-to-neonatal continuity; Semantic Scholar
14. WHEN IS IT SAFE TO DELIVER YOUR BABY?; University of Utah