39th Week Pregnancy
- How many months pregnant are you at 39 weeks?
- How big is the baby at 39 weeks?
- Baby development at 39 weeks
- Fetal movements and position at 39 weeks
- What symptoms of pregnancy do you experience in the 39th week?
- Changes in the body at 39 weeks
- Your OB/GYN visit
- Tips to follow
- Tips for dad-to-be
How Many Months Pregnant Are You At 39 Weeks?
At 39 weeks, you are eight months and three weeks pregnant. The baby is considered full-term now, and you will be close to the due date by the next week.
How Big Is The Baby At 39 Weeks?
Baby Development At 39 weeks
The baby is fully developed by this week of pregnancy.
|Body parts||Development stage|
|Eyes (3)||Puffy and red|
|Brain (4)||Weighs one-third more than its weight at 35 weeks|
|Liver||Continues to develop|
|Skin||Fat deposition continues under the skin layer to keep the fetus warm|
|Vernix (5)||The coating over the skin is completely gone. Some might be left under the arms, chin and in the elbow creases|
|Digestive system||Completely developed and contains meconium (baby’s first poo)|
|Gender||In boys, the testicles are completely descended into the scrotum|
|Umbilical cord (6)||Around 20 to 24 inches long|
The baby is almost grown by this week. As you are just a few days away from your due date, the baby prepares itself for labor by attaining the right position inside the womb. Here is a general overview of fetal position and movements during the 39th week.
[ Read: 38th Week Pregnant ]
Fetal Movements And Position At 39 Weeks
Movements: As the baby is fully grown now, there will not be sufficient space for proper movements. You may notice a drop in the number of movements. However, if the movements reduce more than normal, check with your doctor.
Position: The baby attains the head-down position with its head facing your spine. This is the optimal position for childbirth. If the baby attains a head-down position facing your abdomen, then it is called occiput posterior position. This position can prolong the labor and make childbirth difficult.
In some cases, the baby may attain a breech position, wherein it lies in a head-up and bottom-down position. Sometimes the baby may turn to the correct birthing position just before the onset of labor, but, in some cases, it may not happen and childbirth requires obstetric intervention.
What Symptoms Would You Experience In The 39th Week?
Here are the symptoms you may notice during this week of pregnancy:
- Braxton Hicks contractions: Cramping and tightening of the uterus are common in this week. It’s irregular and less painful and the body’s way to prepare for labor.
- Pelvic pressure: As the baby drops down into the pelvis, some amount of pressure and pain are felt in the pelvic area.
- Lightning crotch: The baby’s kick at some sensitive nerve can make you feel a sharp pain in the pelvis.
- Vaginal discharge: Thick and mucus-like discharge from the vagina indicates cervical dilation.
- Trouble sleeping: All the aches and restlessness make your sleep difficult.
- Bloody show: You might have vaginal discharge tinged pink or brown, called a bloody show. The blood results from rupturing of cervical blood vessels during effacement and dilation.
- Heartburn: The expanding uterus pushes the gastric acids upwards, towards the esophagus, causing heartburn.
- Frequent urination: The urge to urinate increases due to the pressure put by the uterus on the bladder.
- Diarrhea: Hormonal fluctuations could be a reason for diarrhea.
- Hemorrhoids: The pressure put by the enlarging uterus and increased blood flow towards the pelvic area cause the veins in the rectal region to swell.
- Backaches: The extra pressure that the baby puts on the lower back can cause a backache.
- Colostrum: The breast starts leaking the milk, called colostrum, the first milk that your baby will feed on.
The physical and emotional changes take a toll on you during this week, and you may be looking forward to ending this journey as soon as possible.
[ Read: 40th Week Pregnant ]
Changes In The Body At 39 Weeks
- The belly looks bigger as the baby has attained full growth by this time.
- The breasts are enlarged and the areola becomes darker.
- The skin is sensitive and itchy. Applying a moisturizer can help relieve the itchiness to some extent.
- Anxiety, as you could be thinking about the pain during delivery and the well being of the child.
- Mood swing due to hormonal fluctuations.
- The nesting instincts develop as you begin preparations for welcoming the new member.
Since you are closer to the due date, you might experience symptoms of labor. Know how to identify them.
Signs Of Labor In The 39th Week
Here are the signs of labor you must look out for during this week (9):
- Lightening, when you feel the baby drop down into the pelvis.
- Water breaking, with a constant water leak or a gush of fluids.
- Painful and frequent contractions at regular intervals.
- Discharge of a thick mucus plug from the vagina.
- Bloody show, an increased vaginal discharge tinged pink or bloody in color.
- Low, dull backache.
- Cramps with or without diarrhea.
In any case of medical conditions like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, placental problems, or uterine infections, the doctor may suggest labor induction in this week.
When the symptoms are concerning, it is time to call the doctor.
[ Read: 41st Week Pregnancy ]
When To Call The Doctor
Call the doctor right away if you notice any unusual symptoms like (8):
- Bleeding, as you would during the period
- Reduced movement of the baby (less than 10 movements in two hours)
- Slowed fetal movement for 24 hours
- Water break
- Regular or stronger contractions
- Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
- Blurred vision
- Fainting or dizziness
- Pain in the belly or chest
- Sudden puffiness of hands or face
Your OB/GYN Visit
During your visit, the doctor will:
- Check your weight and blood pressure.
- Advise a urine test to check the sugar and protein level.
- Measure the height of the uterus to ascertain your baby’s growth.
- Check the fetal heart rate.
- Perform an ultrasound to check the fetal position inside the womb and to find the gestational age. In the case of twin pregnancy, the ultrasound will be done to check the well-being of the baby (7).
- Ask questions regarding the fetal movements, C-section, labor induction, health issues, and about VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean, if it is not your first delivery).
Tips To Follow
Here’s what you can do to stay healthy and comfortable this week.
- Moderate exercises like walking help you stay active and energetic. Kegel exercises and squatting are great to strengthen the pelvic muscles.
- Get enough rest.
- Avoid deep fried and fatty foods and eat home-cooked meals. The total calorie intake during the third trimester should be 340-450 calories/day (10).
- Stay calm and keep stress at bay.
- Practice breathing exercises.
- Spend quality time with your partner, family, and friends and seek help from them.
- Wear comfortable and loose clothes.
- Wear flats and slippers.
- Sleep on your side and avoid sleeping on your back.
Just as you are, your partner must also be anxious about the delivery of the child. Next, we look at how he can support you and lessen the anxiety.
[ Read: 35th Week Pregnant ]
Tips For Dad-to-be
Here are some tips for the dad-to-be to follow this week:
Keep all the important documents like insurance ready before your partner goes into labor.
Listen to the doctor’s instructions and act wisely as she enters labor.
Try to understand her preferences regarding delivery.
Inquire about the hospital policies and the way they are going to address the patient.
Make sure that the maternity bag has all the essential items.
Make a list of emergency contact numbers of friends and family. It can help her reach out to them in your absence.
The waiting game has begun and you will be soon holding the little bundle of joy in your arms. The journey from pregnancy to delivery may not be easy for you, but all the pain wanes with the arrival of the little one. Until then, relax and enjoy the home stretch.
Do you have any experiences to share with us? Let us know in the comment section.
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