After reaching the 38th week of pregnancy, you are about to reach the full-term phase where the baby is fully grown. You feel ready to give birth to a child. It is the third trimester of pregnancy i.e. 8 months and 2 weeks.
The size of the baby
At week 38, the size of the baby resembles Swiss chard or a bunch of leeks.
Weight/height of the baby
The height of the baby at this stage s around 18-20 inches with a weight ranging between 6-7 lbs or 2.9 -3.2 kgs.
About your baby
The baby continues to increase in size with an increment of around 0.5 lbs. per week during the final few weeks of pregnancy. The baby initiates to accumulate surrounding the shoulders, knees, and elbows. The essential organs of the baby continue to develop till the end of pregnancy i.e. lungs, brain and liver. It is therefore important that the baby should be delivered near or at the end of the full-term stage. The soft hair which covered the baby is nearly gone or will go completely till the time of delivery. The bowel of the baby starts storing the first poop known as Meconium which will pass out after delivery.
About your body
The most important change which you’ll notice during week 38th is that there is an increased amount of pressure over the lower abdomen region. The baby starts to adopt a cephalic position i.e. the head facing downwards. You’ll feel clumsy and uncomfortable during this stage. Try wearing comfortable clothes with a lighter bra to accommodate the increased size of the breasts. At this stage, nipples start leaking a liquid known as colostrum which a nutrient-filled liquid. The belly at this stage appears dropped down towards the lower side of the pelvis.
The symptoms that you might experience during the 38th week include fatigue, tiredness, insomnia, heartburn, indigestion, swelling over the feet and hands, headaches, backaches, dizziness or lightheadedness, constipation, bloating along with increased discharge from the vagina.
Do & Don’ts
• Braxton hick’s contractions are also experienced during this stage which is false contractions.
• Stay hydrated during this stage and eat nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
• Try enjoying the last weeks of pregnancy, stay relaxed and stress-free.
• Perform some light exercises in order to stay active and super healthy.
• Get the baby room ready.
• Practice relaxation and breathing techniques that will help you during labor.
• Prepare your hospital bag.
• Keep your birth plan ready, where you will go, who will you call and what time you’ll need.
• Create all the contacts to whom you can call during an emergency.
• Once you are about to reach the end of week 38, get excited as the baby has reached the full-term phase now so you will deliver the baby within next week or after that.