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  • Meet Your Baby At 8 Months: He Is Practicing How To Breathe And Swallow In The Womb!

    Can you safely deliver baby at this stage?
    by R.M. Mauhay .
Meet Your Baby At 8 Months: He Is Practicing How To Breathe And Swallow In The Womb!
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Panumas Yanuthai
  • You are finally in your eighth month of pregnancy! You’re just a month away from introducing your baby to the outside world and you might be feeling excited and anxious at the same time, since your due date is so near.

    Well, mom-to-be, you need to brace yourself because this month may be more challenging than the past months you’ve gone through. Managing your pregnancy symptoms — which have reached their peak — can be a bit difficult at this stage.

    Celebrity mom Coleen Garcia recalls feeling heavy and finding it difficult to sleep during her eighth month of pregnancy. “I’ve been slowing down a lot now so the laziness has been kicking in,” she shares in SmartParenting.com.ph’s Celebrity Chat.

    But how is your fetus at 8 months? Is your little one getting impatient now, too, to see the outside world?

    Is it safe to deliver at 8 months?

    If it’s your first pregnancy, you are probably hearing about risks associated with delivering your baby at eight months. The survival rate for a premature birth is high at this stage, but expect your baby to spend some time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for a routine check.

    Why is the 8th month of pregnancy crucial?

    The third trimester of your pregnancy is quite crucial for fetal development. Although your baby’s organs and senses are already fully-developed, it doesn’t mean that these organs have matured enough for your baby to function independently after birth.

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    Part of this stage is the full development of your baby’s essential organs: their lungs, eyes, heart, immune system, and kidneys. This is also the stage where your baby’s brain is in the process of being fully developed.

    At the start of the eighth month of pregnancy, your baby’s lungs are still immature. They still cannot function well enough to breathe on their own — a skill essential to survival.

    By week 34, surfactant starts to be produced inside your baby’s body. These are proteins essential for your baby’s lungs to prevent it from collapsing, and allowing your baby to breathe independently. 

    But don’t worry — the baby inside your womb is already practicing the skills they need to survive once they are born. This includes breathing, swallowing, kicking, and sucking. This means your baby’s digestive system is also ready — once you give birth, your little one is all set to get breast milk through their mouths.

    Remember Coleen saying above that it’s getting difficult to sleep at eight months? That’s because your little one is keeping you more awake with his movements. The good thing is that it is easier to count kicks and become more aware of his activities inside the womb.

    Watch your baby bump closely: it might become misshapen whenever your little one kicks, punches, and moves. Pretty cool!

    At this stage, your baby’s brain development starts to accelerate at a rapid pace. Your baby’s cerebral cortex — which is the center of the brain for thinking, remembering, and feeling — rapidly enlarges. Your baby’s brain, which was once so smooth, starts to develop grooves and indents. What makes it crucial is that despite the increased pace of your baby’s brain development, its cerebral cortex only starts to function well by the time it has been born full-term.

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    In addition, the high placental transfer of an important nutrient needed to support the first six months of a baby after being born, takes place at this stage.

    Your little one is also looking more and more like a newborn: As fat accumulates under her skin, her skin becomes more pinkish and opaque. Lanugo, the small fine hair that kept them warm in their early weeks, are now shedding since they have enough fat to protect them from the cold.

    These are the progressive developments in your baby’s body which makes the 8th month of pregnancy crucial. If at eight months you are not experiencing any problems, and your pregnancy is progressing smoothly, you have nothing to worry about.

    Make sure to accomplish your prenatal checkups with your doctor, and seek immediate help should you feel any abnormalities in happening in your body. It’s also best to know the signs that you are going into labor (read up on it here) so you can head to the hospital just in case you will give birth prematurely.

    Hang in there, mom-to-be. Your pregnancy journey is almost over!

    Smart Parenting is always here to help guide you in your motherhood journey. Click here for our week-by-week guide so you know what to expect in your pregnancy.

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