At 7 months pregnant, you’ve officially entered the third trimester. You’re at the beginning of the final stretch of pregnancy, though you may be feeling like this journey is never-ending. Between the body changes and discomfort, as well as the overall anticipation about meeting your baby, the seventh month can feel like it’s dragging on.
But, like every month of pregnancy, you may notice some differences from months prior.
Your Body At Seven Months Pregnant
By the seventh month, many soon-to-be moms have experienced a variety of pregnancy symptoms. And while every woman’s body is different, you may encounter some of these changes this month:
Leaking nipples: Regardless of how you choose to feed your baby, you might notice that your body is gearing up for your baby’s arrival by producing colostrum. This “liquid gold” is the first form of milk that breastfed babies receive, and a mother’s body will begin making this nutrient-dense nourishment well before baby’s due date. For pregnant women, this can often mean that the third trimester brings along leaking nipples. Some women notice small amounts of colostrum discharge, especially common in situations where the nipples are stimulated, such as in the shower.
In these situations, some pregnant women opt to wear reusable or disposable nursing pads, though the leaking is usually minimal. Nipple sensitivity or chapping can also be common, and some moms-to-be remedy this by using small amounts of soothing lanolin or nursing balm.
Abdominal discomfort: Depending on your baby’s size and position, you may have noticed a very distinct appearance from your belly button — even through clothing! While you may have heard the joke that your belly button now resembles a Thanksgiving turkey timer, what moms find most annoying is the slight pain associated with its protrusion. You can ease some of this discomfort by wearing a maternity back brace, moisturizing, or gently rubbing the area.
Increased vaginal discharge: Many pregnant women discover that vaginal discharge increases during pregnancy, but as your due date inches closer, it may seem excessive. Heavier vaginal discharge is common as your body prepares for labor, though it can feel uncomfortable.
Practice contractions: No, that’s not a real contraction you’re feeling. During the seventh month of pregnancy, some moms-to-be feel practice contractions, also called Braxton Hicks contractions. These fake contractions may feel like heavy-duty menstrual cramps or just feel like an intense tightening of your uterus, but they’re nothing to be worried about. These practice contractions are helping your body prepare for the big task of labor.
The dreaded pregnancy waddle: Because your body is now working to redistribute the weight of your baby, it’s possible that walking feels a bit different. Research confirms that many pregnant women bend their knees less, but lean further back when walking — often deemed the pregnancy waddle — which can greatly impact their balance. Even with this adjustment, it’s important to stay mobile for as long as possible, so long as you keep in mind that you may not be as steady as you once were.
Your Baby’s Development At Seven Months
Your baby’s body is working hard as it prepares for life on the outside. By the seventh month of gestation, you can expect these changes for your little one.
Gaining weight and body fat: Up until this point, your baby has been growing in so many ways. But by the seventh to eighth month, they’ll begin to gain body fat. You may have noticed on early ultrasounds that your little one looked boney or skinny — that’s because of a lack of fat. Starting this month, they’ll be working on developing those tiny, plump cheeks that you can’t help but love.
Getting deeper sleep: If you’ve been counting your baby’s kicks and movements, you may notice this month that there are longer periods of rest between times of activity. This is because baby is now beginning to have Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which is important for developing healthy sleeping patterns.
Developed respiratory system: Your baby’s lungs are working hard to mature, and by the seventh month of pregnancy, it comes as a relief to many moms that their baby’s lungs are advanced enough to function outside of the womb.
Staying Healthy At Seven Months Pregnant
The seventh month of pregnancy can be hard because your body can surprise you with unexpected changes, not to mention the countdown to delivery day is still two months away. Practicing self-care at this stage is so important. Know that during this life-changing adventure, it’s okay to feel anxious, have mood swings, and feel conflicted about your changing body. Take time to relax and enjoy your favorite activities in the time before baby arrives.
As your baby’s birth creeps closer, you’ll also want to think about the particulars of the event. Many parents-to-be create a birth plan together that outlines their wishes in a variety of birthing situations, including topics like how they want to labor and who gives baby their first bath. Creating this plan can also help relieve some pregnancy and birth-related anxiety.
It’s also important to continue taking prenatal vitamins and consuming a nutrient-rich diet (though giving in to pregnancy cravings is okay, too). Exercise is still recommended through the seventh month of pregnancy, and some forms of movement and stretching can help prepare you for delivery.