Week 38 Of Your Baby’s Development!
Your baby is the length of a leek
By week 38 of the pregnancy, your baby will be quite plump, weighing approximately 6.8 pounds. The length of the baby may be close to 19 ½ inches, similar to a bunch of leeks. The organs of the baby have matured and he is swallowing amniotic fluid. Where is all that fluid going? Well, it gets accumulated in his intestines along with other waste products, to be excreted after he’s born.
Baby’s lungs are now producing a greater amount of surfactant, which is the substance that prevents the sticking together of the air sacs in the baby’s lungs once he begins to breathe. So if he was to be born now, he’d likely do just fine when it comes to breathing.
Week 38 Of Your Health, Mind & Body Changes
Yes, your body is still changing in week 38. You will notice an increase in mucus discharge as your cervix softens and prepares for labor. Several women report increased back pain and pelvic pressure because the baby starts moving closer to the birth canal. This discomfort could be alleviated with maternity belts and pregnancy massages.
When you’re in the last few weeks of pregnancy, a bit of swelling in the ankles and feet is normal. However, you must call your midwife or doctor immediately in case there is sudden or excessive swelling in these areas. Any swelling in the face, sudden weight gain or puffiness around the eye area must also be reported, in case it’s a sign of pre-eclampsia.
Week 38 Of Your Next Steps!
- Besides resting, reading and spending time with your partner or kids, you could also use this time and get the baby’s nursery ready. While resting, you could spend some time pondering over your pregnancy journey and write down the highlights in a journal. After all, the nine-month wait is finally over.
- It’s handy to get some books, read some online resources or watch videos on breastfeeding and how to prepare for it. You won’t get time to do this once the baby has arrived. However, you can always seek some assistance from your midwife during postnatal checks.
- You can identify false labor if you know certain signs of actual labor.Actual signs of early labor include:
– rupture of membranes (your waters breaking. Definitely call your caregiver once this has happened)
– ‘the show’ or ‘bloody show’ (mucous blob with vaginal discharge)
– a period type pain that does not go away and intensifies to actual contractions
– Contractions that are regular and continue to intensify ( good indication to go to the hospital is when contractions are 5 minutes apart and lasting about a minute long, but of course always call your caregiver or head up to the hospital if unsure about anything)