Congratulations! Your baby is finally considered full-term. This means that any time from now, you could be getting into labor. Your baby is ready to join you. Here is what is happening to your baby and your body as everything shifts to helping you with labor and delivery.
Your Baby at 39 Weeks Pregnant
At 39 weeks pregnant, your baby has grown to about 21 inches from the toe to the top and weighs about 7.5 pounds. Between now and delivery, your baby will not record much growth. Indeed, this could be the weight that will be registered after delivery. However, the brain and the lungs are still developing and will continue even after birth.
Unlike a couple of weeks ago, your baby’s kicks have reduced because the space in utero has shrunk. Besides, he should also have taken a head-down (birthing position) by now ready for delivery. During your 39th week checkup, the doctor will check the position of your baby to ensure everything is okay.
Your Body at 39 Weeks Pregnant
It has been a long journey, 39 weeks since the start of your pregnancy. Therefore, you are likely to be very tired and feeling that you want to deliver your baby now! More than any other moment of your pregnancy, your body feels exhausted, walking is a problem, and sleeping is a nightmare. Amidst all the exhaustion, the pain and all the challenges will be gone when you finally hold your baby in your arms. Indeed, not so long from now, maybe hours or days, it will be tears of joy.
Around this time, your uterus has continued to grow and reached about 2.5 pounds. Remember it started at only two ounces around week one of your pregnancy. After delivery, the uterus will shrink to the original size as it retracts below your pelvic bone. This will take approximately six months after delivery.
39 Weeks Pregnant is How Many Months?
At 39 weeks pregnant, it implies that you are in the eighth month and three weeks. This means that next week will mark the full-term of your pregnancy. But hold on! It might not even get to next week, because labor could start any minute. This is really exciting!
39 Weeks Pregnant Ultra Sound
During the 39th week prenatal checkup, an ultrasound is not common. However, it will be perfectly in order if your OB wants to take a closer look at the performance of your baby before delivery. An ultra sound for your baby at 39 weeks pregnant will reveal your fully grown baby. Look at the images again and tell your baby, “Say hi to mom.”
The ultrasound will show the strengthening muscles on the legs, hands, and fat deposits under the skin of your baby. All of these give your baby a smooth and cute appearance. Well, try to relax because not so long from now, your baby will be resting in your arms.
39 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
By the time you hit 39 weeks pregnant, it appears that all the symptoms that you have had in the third trimester come back and pile together. At times, you might feel like it is too much and start wondering; “what is the best way to induce labor?” Well, try to relax as much as possible, and everything will be fine. So, here are the symptoms you should anticipate:
Braxton Hicks Contractions
While Braxton Hicks contractions, practice contractions, started a few months ago, they are now different and will finally turn to true labor. Unlike in the past, the contractions are now more frequent and tighten your muscles so hard, irrespective of what you do.
Around this time, your baby has taken a head-down position, which is putting a lot of pressure on the pelvic area. If your baby presses the nerves when rolling and wiggling, you are likely to feel a sharp pain that starts in the pelvis and extends like lightning to other parts.
As your baby drops down to the pelvic area, a lot of pressure is exerted on the bladder. This will make you feel like rushing to the washroom regularly. Although this symptom might have started in the second trimester, it will peak around this time.
Losing your Mucus Plug
At 39 weeks pregnant, your body is busy dilating the cervix in preparation for delivery. The contractions help to remove the mucus plug that had sealed your cervix to keep your baby free from infections. You will continue losing the mucus plug until the cervix opens completely during delivery. Note that the mucus plug could have a bloody show. Although this is okay, consider talking to your doctor if there is a lot of blood.
One of the things that you should expect when the delivery time finally comes is the water breaking. This means one thing: the time for delivery has finally come! The discharge is a gush of fluid that means the amniotic sac has ruptured. If water breaks and you are at home, head to the hospital immediately!
Things to Do at 39 Weeks Pregnant
- Learn about safe sleeping positions. As your baby bump reaches optimal size, you need to learn about the best sleeping positions. Make sure to avoid sleeping on the back because it is associated with stillbirth. Instead, you should sleep on the side and support the bump with a soft pillow.
- Prepare how you will travel to the hospital. Because labor can start anytime, you need to be prepared to head to the hospital. Notably, you might not be able to drive yourself to the hospital. Therefore, make sure to have your partner or a close friend ready to take you to the hospital when you need to. Also, have several emergency numbers that you can use for help. Having several options is important if one method of transport fails.
- Make sure to learn about the stages of labor. This is perhaps the most practical thing that you should do around the 39th week of pregnancy. Understanding the stages can help you articulately time contractions so that you head to the hospital the right time. Note that if you are unsure about the contractions, simply talk to your doctor or check into the hospital. It is better to go to the hospital instead of risking at home!
- Take time to relook at your birth plan. You should also discuss the plan with your doctor. Based on the progress of your pregnancy, the doctor will tell you what options might work and those that might not. This will be a great time to explore the alternatives. Remember that your OB will have the option to go for the best option in the case of an emergency. For example, if your birth plan indicates that you want a vaginal birth, but a complication arises during labor, the doctor can recommend the use of Caesarean section (CS).
39 Weeks Pregnant Checklist
At 39 weeks pregnant, your focus should be ensuring that every item that you need during labor, delivery, and immediately after delivery is packed. So here is your checklist for the week:
- Start by scheduling the 40th-week prenatal visit.
- Have a journal, pen, and your smartphone next to you to note signs of labor. For example, you should time the contractions to know when they become regular, stronger, and last longer. This is likely to mark the start of labor.
- Read some mom birth stories from a book or tablet.
- Add a protective sheet, preferably waterproof cover, on your mattress in case the water breaks.
- Check your hospital bag one more time to ensure that everything is well packed.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor at 39 Weeks Pregnant
- What should I expect when I enter into the delivery room?
- What complications are common during delivery? Am I at risk?
- Who will be present in the delivery room?
- What happens if labor does not start by the last week of pregnancy?
- What is an episiotomy? Is it necessary? Will it tear my vagina?
Every journey has a beginning and an end. For you, your pregnancy journey is finally approaching the end. Therefore, the 39th week of pregnancy is a time to relax while being on the lookout for signs of labor. The time to hold and look at the lovely eyes of your baby is only a step away!
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