38 weeks pregnant

38 weeks pregnant

What’s happening in week 38

Week 38 around 80% of babies are born between 38 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. This is often called ‘at term’ or ‘full term’ baby. As your baby’s arrival is now just weeks away, you should  last check or counter check that you have everything you need in your hospital bag. Such as toiletries, clothing for yourself and the baby, nappies, any medication you need, your Medicare Card, Health Insurance details, lists of contact numbers for family and friends and most importantly; your own pillow. Pack your bag if you are going to hospital and don’t need to pack like you’re going on a Caribbean cruise. So if you forget something your partner can always bring it to you.

At a glance

  • Baby is busy shedding the vernix although there may still be some left at birth.

  • Lanugo, the fine downy hair that covered body for warmth, is falling off in preparation for delivery.

  • Your baby’s eyes right now are blue, grey or brown, but once they’re exposed to light, they may change color or shade. 

  • Baby’s lungs have strengthened and her vocal cords have developed.

38 weeks pregnant

Your baby at week 38

Your little baby isn’t small anymore, at this week weighing about 7 lbs and measuring 20 inches in length. Majority babies deliver in between 38 to 40 weeks, so don’t worry only two more weeks or maximum four weeks before your baby makes his/her first appearance. As baby is also waiting for contractions to start which pushed them out so they can finally meet their parents. At this stage baby is considered as full term. Developmentally and size-wise they are absolutely perfect little newborns. All organs are now fully formed and ready for life outside the mother’s womb. One remaining change left to happen is the eye colour of baby which will still be changing due to the lack of pigment. It’s common for babies to be born with blue for grey eyes but for these to turn green or brown after birth.

You at 38 weeks pregnant

  • Feeling shortness of breath in week 38 is quite normal as lungs and diaphragm are being compressed and the baby is sitting high in your belly.
  • At your weekly visit and scan baby is probably lying with its head down by now known officially as a cephalic presentation, if not or baby is lying sideways or even head up now still there is a time for it to move into its correct position before you are due to deliver.
  • Baby’s position will be settled down this week means if previous week scan he/she lying in the breach position hopefully it will turn to head down position. This may give you some relief if that hard and bony head has been sitting up under your ribs. Cephalic presentation means head down is the best position for your baby to be delivered.
  • Colostrum may be leaking from your nipples in this 37 week as delivery is quite near. Your breasts are even heavier and streaked with visible blue veins and pimple like spots around the nipples.
  • Vaginal discharge may be increasing and getting thicker,if the mucous color changes to pinkish, red or brownish after vaginal examination, it means your labor is imminent, because your cervix is sensitive now and may be starting to dilate, has been bruised.
  • It’s become impossible to lie on your big tummy and doctors advised lying on your back is not advisable, so sleeping on your side becomes the only option for last few weeks.
  • Welcome to the last few weeks of gestation. backache, pelvis creaking and bladder can’t hold more than a few millilitres so frequents trips of toilet you may experience.
  • In this week Lanugo, that soft downy hair which has been covering your baby’s skin is being reabsorbed.
  • If you may experience any bleeding or spotting during last few weeks of pregnancy call your midwife on the safe side. They may tell you to rest or ‘wait and see’ because cause of bleeding later in pregnancy can be due to placental abruption. This is where the placenta partially or fully separates from the wall of the uterus. The condition is dangerous and can deprive baby of oxygen and it can also increase the risk of your baby being born prematurely This situation occur one in 200 pregnancies.
  • Heartburn, acid re flux and indigestion are whole pregnancy friends can make its presence felt again right now. As baby is pushing mother’s stomach and intestines up and out of their normal positions. So you don’t being able to digest your meals comfortably. Simply avoid spicy, hot, large meals and take 4 to 6 small infrequent meals.
  • Your vision seems blurry these days,with also decrease in tear production can leave your eyes dry and irritated, especially if you wear contact lenses.
  • Mood disorders may cause you to feel emotionally unstable this week. You could be feeling fed up with your body shape and a little over being pregnant.
  • Signs of labor starting by losing your mucus plug but still have some time left can be hours, days or weeks.

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