With the right advice, pregnancy and motherhood can be a carefree experience.

9th month

Your baby is already sufficiently well developed that a premature birth at this stage would probably not involve any major complications. The lungs are practically developed, and subcutaneous fat continues to build up. At this stage the increasing weight of the baby and uterus will cause increasing tiredness in the mother and the taut skin of the belly can start to itch unpleasantly.

The baby:

By the end of this month your baby will be around 45 centimetres long, or roughly the length of a pineapple. Because of its size, it is now a real squeeze in the uterus and the baby therefore moves more slowly – although you can feel it more strongly. You can have fun guessing what part of the body is resting against your belly and at your next check-up ask your doctor if you guessed correctly. Enjoy every movement, but pay particular attention if the movements stop.
In the coming weeks leading up to the birth, the baby will gain a further third of its final weight. Now it can turn its head left and right. Some babies can already have quite long hair. Beneath the hair the bones of the skull are still separate and joined by connective tissue. This allows the skull to adapt to the birth canal during birth. At the same time it allows the brain to continue to grow unimpeded.

The mother:

Your growing belly has by now probably already surprised you with the occasional unpleasant situation. Don't worry: you are by no means the only pregnant woman to underestimate her size and bump into the furniture from time to time. Just laugh it off and keep on going.

The lack of sleep and the increasing weight that you are carrying are the main cause of the tiredness you may be feeling. It is quite normal to feel fed up with being pregnant and impatient for the baby to arrive. The increasingly tight skin of your belly may start to itch. In severe cases the itching can spread across your entire body. In the case of problems you should consult your doctor without delay. It is also a good idea to start discussing possible birth options – find as much information as possible on pain relief during labour and the effects the various options can have on you and your baby.

Was it hard saying goodbye to everyone at work? Write it in your diary! Write it in your diary!

Did you know:

During this period you may feel Braxton-Hicks contractions, or they may become stronger if you have already felt them before now. These are still "false" contractions and do not mean you are going into labour. You should, however, pay attention to them. If you start to feel stronger pain, consult your doctor..