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9 Month Miracle
Your Baby: The Final Touches

Nearing the ninth month, your baby weighs 5 1/2 pounds (roughly 2495 g), and measures about 20 inches (50 cm) from head to toe. The baby will continue to grow, putting on about a half a pound per week until delivery.

Baby's organs are all present and formed and will continue to grow until just before birth.

Your Body: Picking a Pediatrician

Now that you're in your last trimester, you should choose a pediatrician for your baby-to-be. You can also go to a family physician who can provide care for your baby. Choosing a doctor to care for your child is an important decision. This person will chart your child's development, address your concerns, and answer your questions about your child's health. You will see this person regularly for sick visits and for well checkups.

To find a good pediatrician, start by asking your family physician, obstetrician, family, and friends. Gather a list of names and numbers, and write up some questions. Then call to set up interviews. When you interview a physician, you should take into account:

  • Professional qualifications -- You can get a list of board-certified pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Viewpoints on issues such as preventive medicine, nutrition, and so on.
  • Office hours -- weekend appointments, evenings, emergencies.
  • Doctor cross-coverage -- who will be covering when your doctor is unavailable?
  • Location -- more than one office?
  • Office environment and personalities of doctors and staff.
  • After hours -- answering service/returned phone calls .
  • Triage system -- who answers your calls when you have a question? Do you speak with a nurse or directly with your doctor?
  • Health plan coverage issues -- how do you pay for visits?
  • Will your family doctor, pediatrician, or OB/GYN doctor perform a circumcision?
On a Different Note: Passing Your Child's First Test

Right after you deliver your baby, your baby will be given a score, called the Apgar. At one minute and five minutes after a nurse or doctor will rate their:

  • Color
  • Heart rate
  • Muscle tone
  • Respiration
  • Reflexes

This score will assess whether she needs extra help making the transition to life outside your womb.

Weekly Tip

Now is a good time to pack your hospital bag and put it by the front door so that you're ready to go when labor begins. Aside from your personal items, make room for these must-haves:

  • A video recorder or camera
  • Toiletries
  • An outfit to wear home for you and your baby

Review Date: 8/20/2019

Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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