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Week 39

Week 39

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In your 39th week, you may be feeling false labor contractions quite a bit or it could be the real thing! Almost 95% of babies are born within two weeks of their due date, so you could be heading for the hospital any time now. False labor contractions can be felt in your back, groin and abdomen, while true labor contractions spread across the entire abdomen starting from the uterus, and can be alleviated by changing positions.

Your baby is up to around seven pounds, and is 20 inches long. In the past few weeks, the muscles and lungs have gotten stronger, and he or she would survive just as a full term infant would outside of the womb. The fingernails and toenails have grown, and meconium increases baby's first bowel movements. If your baby hasn't already dropped to the head-down position for delivery, he or she will this week.

The lanugo and vermix, which both protected your baby's skin from the fluid in the womb, have also disappeared. The baby is feeling very cramped in your womb, and can hardly move at all. You'll probably feel off balance and clumsy as the baby settles into the birth position and your uterus is now really pushing on your bladder. You might find yourself in the bathroom much more often this week, or suffering from urinary incontinence.

Even with antacids and medicated hemorrhoids pads, you might find you can't find much relief from painful indigestion or hemorrhoids. The baby has grown so much and is pressing hard against your internal organs. Your appetite lessens, but make sure you're getting enough nutrients each day even if all you can manage is a bowl of whole grain cereal or a glass of low fat milk, focus on eating healthy in these last few weeks. Constipation can get very bad during the last few weeks, as your rectal muscles are extremely relaxed due to the weight of the baby. Avoid straining when you have a bowel movement, as this can cause or worsen hemorrhoids.

Use this time to rest up, as once your baby comes you'll likely be very sleep deprived! If you have other children, make sure you have made childcare arrangements for them while you're having the baby. You should definitely have everything you need to get you through baby's first few weeks at least: a car seat, stroller and crib.


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