7 Months Pregnant: Symptoms and Foetal Development

Months Pregnant

Now that you’re seven months pregnant, your little one is putting on weight and looking more like the baby you’ll be meeting before long. Your belly is also growing, and you may face some physical challenges as a result. Try to keep in mind that every day that brings you back pain or tiredness also brings you one day closer to meeting your baby. Read on to find out what’s in store for you at seven months pregnant.

Symptoms at 7 Months Pregnant

At seven months pregnant, you might be feeling the effects of your growing belly with symptoms such as:

  • Sciatica. As your uterus grows, it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can then cause hip or lower back pain. If the pain starts in your lower back or hip and travels down one leg, it could be sciatica, but only your doctor can make a diagnosis. A hot or cold pack can help relieve the pain, and your doctor can recommend stretches. If, at any time, you notice numbness in your legs or feet, let your doctor know right away. Sciatica is likely to go away after your baby is born.

  • Pelvic pain. Pregnancy hormones are vital, but sometimes they can cause a few unwelcome side effects. Pelvic pain is one example: Hormones relax the ligaments in your joints to make labour and delivery easier, but in some cases, this can make the bones of your pelvis move in a way that causes pain. The pain might get worse when you do things that involve moving your legs separately, like walking, using stairs, or getting in and out of a car. Your doctor will be able to diagnose and treat pelvic pain. Your options might include manual therapy and doing exercises in water, or the use of a pelvic support belt.

  • Backache. Back pain is common among mums-to-be, as the hormone relaxin loosens up ligaments, putting strain on the back muscles. At seven months pregnant, your expanding belly and your shifting centre of balance may also be changing your posture and causing backache. You might get referred to a physiotherapist or offered pain relief medication. Practicing good posture and using supportive pillows might also help reduce some of the aches and pains. Another way of being kind to your back is to wear flat shoes, which distribute your weight more evenly, and be sure to take the weight off your feet whenever you can.

  • Shortness of breath. If you’re a little puffed out at seven months pregnant, it might not just be from the effort of carrying around the extra weight of your growing belly. As your uterus expands upwards, it can push up against your lungs, leaving you short of breath. Take it easy, and if you’re planning your day, allow more time for little rests to catch your breath.

  • Sleepless nights. At seven months pregnant, your growing belly could be getting between you and a good night’s sleep. Try supporting your bump with pillows. Putting another pillow between your knees can also help. Experts believe that the safest sleeping position when you’re pregnant is on your side. Going to sleep on your back, especially at seven months pregnant or after, may affect the flow of blood to your little one.

  • Leg and foot cramps. Another thing that could be making it harder to sleep is leg cramps as they often strike at night. These painful muscle spasms in the calf or feet are particularly common at around seven months pregnant. You may not be able to avoid cramp completely; but exercising the legs and ankles may help. If cramp strikes, you might be able to ease it by pulling your toes firmly up towards your shin, or by vigorously rubbing the knotted muscle.

  • Braxton Hicks contractions. The occasional, painless tightening of your belly at seven months pregnant is most likely a Braxton Hicks, or ‘practice’ contraction. These are your body’s way of preparing for the real thing. They don’t come at regular intervals, and usually last around 20 to 30 seconds. If you experience contractions that are painful or seem to be coming at regular intervals, call your doctor or midwife as they will want to check you for signs of premature labour.

  • Constipation. Higher levels of the hormone progesterone and iron (if it’s in your prenatal vitamins) can slow digestion, making you feel blocked up. To help alleviate constipation, keep yourself hydrated (water and prune juice are great) and make sure you’re getting enough fiber in your diet. Good sources of fiber include beans, whole grains, fruits and veggies.

Your Baby’s Development at 7 Months

Your little one’s skin is getting smoother as he or she puts on weight, and the eyes can now focus. The sucking reflex is also active, so if you have an ultrasound scan during this period – and you’re lucky – you might be able to see your little one sucking his or her thumb. Your foetus is probably getting pretty active by now. In fact, at seven months pregnant, you may sometimes feel like there’s a party going on inside your belly. Keep in mind, you’ll also notice quieter periods when your little one is resting or asleep. It’s important to be familiar with your foetus’s normal pattern of activity. Every pregnancy is different, so there’s no set number of movements you should be feeling at this time. Kick counting charts or apps can help give you better idea of activity levels, but these shouldn’t be used to ‘self-diagnose’ your foetus’s health. The best policy is to call your midwife or doctor immediately if you think your little one is moving less than usual, even if you’re not sure.

How Big Is Your Baby When You’re 7 Months Pregnant?

So, what’s your foetus’s approximate size when you’re seven months pregnant? At the start of this month, your foetus is about the size of a butternut squash, measuring close to 38.6 centimetres head to heel, and weighing in at around 1.2 kilograms. Toward the end of this month, your foetus is about the size of a napa cabbage, measuring close to 42.4 centimetres from head to heel, and weighing in at around 1.7 kilograms.

What Does a Foetus Look Like at 7 Months?

Check out these illustrations for a glimpse at what your foetus might look like when you’re seven months pregnant:

Changes to Your Body at 7 Months Pregnant

In the next few weeks, your weight could increase by around half a kilogram every week, so it’s no wonder that many of the challenges you might face at seven months pregnant are related to your increased weight and changing body shape. (For more on this topic, read about pregnancy weight gain here.) The good news is that you can help your body adapt to these changes by taking regular exercise. Staying in shape can also prepare your body for labour, and it may even help you recover more quickly after delivery. It’s safe to exercise throughout your pregnancy, as long as you don’t overdo it and you’ve checked beforehand with your doctor. It’s probably OK to continue with an existing routine, but it’s not a good idea to suddenly take on a new, strenuous sport while you’re pregnant. It’s also best to avoid contact sports or other activities with a risk of being hit or falling, such as horse riding, skiing, judo or squash. Swimming and ‘aquanatal’ sessions are a great way of keeping fit, especially at seven months pregnant and later, as the water helps support your ever-expanding belly. You might also enjoy the pace of prenatal yoga at this time. Besides keeping generally fit, it’s important to exercise the pelvic floor muscles, especially if you give birth vaginally, when they play a key role in labour and delivery, as well as in recovery after giving birth. Pelvic floor exercises, sometimes known as Kegels, are simple muscle clenches that you can perform anytime, anywhere, without anyone even knowing that you’re doing them. All you really have to do is clench those muscles that you’d hold if you wanted to stop yourself going to the loo. You’ll get the hang of pelvic floor exercises soon enough, but if you don’t think you’re clenching the right muscles, your doctor or midwife can give you personalised guidance.

How Far Along Are You at 7 Months Pregnant?

Converting the months of pregnancy to weeks is an imprecise science, so there’s no standard answer to this question, but, as a rough guide, seven months pregnant covers 29 to 32 weeks. At seven months pregnant, you’re at the start of the third trimester, which runs from 28 weeks until you give birth.

FAQs at a Glance

Checklist for When You’re 7 Months Pregnant

  • Consider whether you’d like to hire a labour support person called a doula and ask your doctor, midwife or other mums in your area for recommendations.

  • If it’s something you’d like to do, start drawing up a birth plan, setting out all your preferences for labour and delivery. It helps to discuss the various options with your midwife, and birth partner or doula.

  • Ask your doctor or midwife about cord blood banking – storing or donating blood from your baby’s umbilical cord for use in future medical treatments – and think about whether it’s something you’d like to do.

  • If a baby shower is being held in your honour, put the finishing touches on your baby shower registry by checking our comprehensive baby shower register checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten something important.

  • Get started on babyproofing your home.

  • Start researching and getting hold of these baby gear essentials.

  • Make your little one’s room into a truly special place with some of these baby nursery theme ideas.

  • If you still haven’t decided on a name yet, get some inspiration from our Baby Name Generator.

  • Sign up for even more weekly pregnancy tips here:

How we wrote this article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the National Health Service (NHS). The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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