What to do when you're 38 weeks pregnant? We'll help you answer all your questions about Pregnancy in Week 38.
In this article:
Your Baby in Week 38
All grown and ready for the big world
As your baby continues to grow, he is slightly bigger than 20 inches now but weighs about the same at two kilograms and a half. If the fact that your baby has not put on any weight bothers you, here is something to put your mind at ease. Most babies weigh up to about three kilograms on an average when they are born. So, your baby’s weight is completely normal if he is still just at two kilograms and a half
By week 38, your baby must be already sporting an inch of hair on that tiny little head of his. If your baby has not shed off the layer of vernix caseosa that is covering his skin, he may do so this week. However, you may still see fragments of it on his body after he is born. Most babies settle themselves into the upside-down position, which makes it easier for him to maneuver in the birth canal. However, if he is not in that position yet, keep in mind that you could still go into labor any minute now, so you have to stay constantly prepared.
Your baby’s lungs continue to develop and produce more surfactant. Do you remember surfactant? It’s the substance that keeps the air sacs in your baby’s lungs from getting stuck to one another after he starts breathing. As he continues to slowly accumulate more fat in his body, his nervous system is maturing as well. His vocal chords are also now all good to go.
What is still undecided even at week 38, is the color of your baby’s eyes. It still looks blue-ish due to lack of pigmentation. His eyes will soon take on a definitive color only after he is born. If your baby is born with brown eyes, it will most likely stay that way forever.
Week 38 Symptoms
Are you spotting blood along with normal white discharge? Don't you worry, your cervix is dilating or opening up.
This happens when your body has more liquid in the system than it normally does. Basically, you can place the blame for the swelling on water retention. You may notice that with every hour, the swelling probably becomes worse and you may find evenings difficult to handle. It is supposed to increase in warmer weather. External factors such as weather changes could also have an impact on your body now.
Braxton Hicks contractions
Braxton-Hicks Contractions are like a tightening sensation happening in your uterus. These contractions are practice sessions in order to get your uterus in form to give birth. Do note the frequency and get to the doctor immediately, now that you are 38 weeks.More frequent urination
Do you feel every time you go to the washroom, the baby may just pop out? His head is pressing your pelvis and is making less room in your bladder. Do not cut down on fluids because of this.
Your breasts may be bigger than ever and constantly leaking colostrum. But if they are not leaking don’t be concerned. There is no proof that this will have an impact on breastfeeding.
By now, you probably know that Vitamin E oils help to sooth an itchy stomach? Stock up on Vitamin E, you may need it while breastfeeding your little one.
We understand that sleep is almost like a distant dream now. Hang in there, it is just few more days!
Wow! From all that constipation, now you have moved onto diarrhea? Loose bowel movements are a definite sign on labour. Up on your feet, right away!
About this time, your mucous plug may fall out though you may not notice it. It just means that the big moment is just around the corner. Hang in there!
Your Body in Week 38
Watch out for the warning signs!
Feeling those contractions hitting you up as you continue to read this? If you have noticed that these contractions occur at an alarming rate now and last up to at least five minutes, then you could actually be going into labor. Don't exactly know what going into labor feels like? Keep an eye out for these symptoms.
There may be a mucus-like discharge from your vagina. It may come out in one huge dollop or trickle down little by little. You maybe wondering what this is; it's the mucus plug which has been protecting your cervix. As the cervix dilates, the plug opens.
Another thing to keep in mind is bouts of vomiting and nausea. Most pregnant women start feeling extremely nauseous right before they go into labor. Another way to find out if you are going into labor is if you have diarrhea. As your hormones prepare your body for delivery, it stimulates your bowels as well.
The most obvious sign of them all is your water breaking. You will have no control over the gushing flow of water (which is the amniotic fluid) coming out of your vagina. Most women go into labor after a period of 12 hours or lesser once the water breaks.
This is nothing but a present that your partner gives you to mark the big moment. We hope you are already giving hints to your partner about what you want. Ask for the moon if you want, because you truly deserve that!
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