38 & 39 weeks pregnant is a long way through the term. Isn’t that wonderful that you are about to see your baby very soon?
You may be wondering when labor contractions will start, or what to do if water breaks?
Do not get stressed. Relax, you are a well-prepared mom-to-be. Just make sure you have all necessities ready to bring to the hospital.
At pregnancy week 38 and 39, you may be confusing early signs of labor with Braxton Hicks Contractions. They may feel the same, specially during the first stage of labor. You must pay attention and be prepared if you have intense contractions coming three to five minutes apart and last for more than 30 seconds, which may in fact be a sign of labor.
According to the World Health Organization, 39 weeks pregnant marks a full term stage of pregnancy and baby development. The American College of Obstetricians and gynecologists consider a full term even at 37 weeks pregnant which means that your baby can be born anytime.
Some women are also afraid about water breaking at 38 weeks pregnant, let me tell you that only 15% of labors start with water breaking, it is more common to feel contractions before water breaks. Nevertheless, if your water breaks, don’t panic! Put on a sanitary pad for protection, and go quickly to the hospital.
Mom and Baby Changes
Mom: At pregnancy week 38 and 39 you may still have heartburn and constipation. Drinking water can relieve constipation, and try keeping a little something in your stomach at all times to avoid heartburn.
Considering that your baby has very little room to move, generally at 39 weeks pregnant your baby’s movements slow down. Don’t be afraid, your baby needs rest for the big event, but if you notice absence of movement completely, call your doctor or midwife immediately.
Your uterus is now 7 to 8 inches, and you may be going to the bathroom more often because your uterus is pressing on your bladder.
Baby: At 39 weeks pregnant your baby is still gaining weight. In fact, the doctor has to continuously monitor the weight and size of your baby. If your baby is too big and stages of labor have not started, your doctor may decide to induce labor or even perform a C-section.
Your baby’s eyes are developed, but their neural networks are still maturing. In fact, his/her eyes will be fuzzy a couple of weeks after arrival.
The length of your baby is around 37-38 cm (14.5 to 15 inches) and its weight is about 7.5 pounds.
Dad: At pregnancy week 39, your baby is coming and your responsibilities will be more than before. From now on you have to re-organize all your activities to help your partner and prepare to care for your baby.
Be with your partner as much as possible these weeks.