Pregnancy week 38 could be the last week of your gestation. Contractions can happen at any time and if you have booked for a C-section, you may have only one week left before welcoming your new baby.
For the baby, all his organs are almost operational. The brain and lungs remain the only ones that keep maturing. At this time, the Lanugo – a thin downy hair that covered the baby’s body – will normally disappear.
Symptoms Of Pregnancy Week 38
Your belly is very prominent and your back is more arched. It becomes more difficult for your legs and back to support this weight. You have an urge to urinate frequently, and your breasts are swollen and actively prepared for breastfeeding.
You will occasionally feel contractions, mostly in the evening. These so-called Braxton-Hicks contractions are neither regular nor painful, unlike labor ones. They contribute in particular to cervix maturation, which will make it easier to dilate during delivery.
Pregnancy hormones used to prepare your body for childbirth will ensure you experience many of your symptoms for the next two weeks. Most of these are quite normal, although check for pink-tinged discharge, as it could be your waters breaking!
Even if his growth is slowed down, the baby will keep gaining weight. Basically, it gains 250g and 1.5 cm per week. And now, it is about 46.5 cm long and weighs almost 3 kg. With so little space in the womb to move and relax, he probably feels a little squashed, just like your poor bladder.
By now, almost all its organs are operational and shouldn’t have any difficulty picking up the pace upon delivery. Only the brain continues to develop (its maturation takes 18 to 20 years), and its lungs still have a few days to be ready for their first breath.
Pregnancy Week 38: What To Do?
During and after the 38th week, the baby may move less due to his own growth. Moreover, the baby may be in a breech position. In such cases, it usually comes to an earlier birth. If you suspect a breech position, your doctor will probably have an ultrasound done.
Keep in mind that childbirth is a massive shock for your baby who has only known the comfort of your uterus all his life. So if he doesn’t breathe right away, or cry immediately, you don’t have to panic, he may need a little second to come to it.