Welcome to week 38 of pregnancy — it’s been quite some time from conception, isn’t it? What to expect at 38 weeks pregnant? Your baby has plumped up a lot, and he’s still piling on layers of fat. With your belly absolutely huge right now, sleeping is probably out of question — or at least, partially. When you're 38 weeks pregnant, Braxton-Hicks contractions are very frequent, and there’s plenty of discharge coming out of your vagina. Your tiny human’s kicks are also more intense right now, although he can’t really take any more somersaults. Read on to find out more about the 38th week.
Neck and back strain? That’s absolutely normal since your baby is getting bigger by the day. As your center of gravity has shifted at a great deal over the last weeks, your back works harder to maintain good posture — and so does your neck.
Your legs might feel quite painful at times, and fatigue is probably setting it before you have had a chance to drink your morning coffee. If sleeping is troublesome, try resting when your baby isn’t moving, and make sure to use a specially-shaped pregnancy pillow for extra comfort and good support for both you and your tummy.
Have you noticed an increase in your vaginal discharge lately? If you haven’t had your bloody show yet, then you’ll probably have it sometime this week. Don’t panic if there’s some pinkish or bloody discharge on your undies — that’s just the mucus plug, and it means that labor is just a few days away. However, if you experience abnormal bleeding, contact your midwife immediately!
Swelling in your feet and ankles is also very likely to occur during week 38. Make sure to inform your midwife or caregiver immediately if you have headaches, blurred or changed vision, temporary loss of vision, light sensitivity, intense upper abdominal pain or tenderness, or nausea and vomiting. All these are signs of a serious condition called preeclampsia.
Your Baby at 38 Weeks
How big is a baby at 38 weeks? So how is your baby doing this week? Except for the usual bulking up, not much! He weighs around 6.8 pounds, and measures 19 1/2 inches — around the size of a celery.Most of his organs have already matured, except for the brain, which is still in the process of building up trillions of connections. The engaged position contributes to the development at a great deal, as it allows blood to flow to the brain.
One remaining change left to happen is eye color, which will be grey or blue for the first few months after birth regardless of the baby’s inheritance. However, if the baby is born with brown eyes, they’ll likely stay brown. You won’t know at first — and it will be such a thrilling experience to find out! With his head engaged, your tiny human is waiting for the release of hormones that will get the contractions started. Get ready for D-day — it can happen at any time!
Ultrasound Images of 38 Week Pregnancy
Bellies at 38 Weeks
Since eating a normal-size meal can make you uncomfortable, it’s best to switch to smaller and more frequent meals instead.
Also, sleeping on either side with one or both knees bent and one size tucked under your stomach can be more comfy and get you through the night. By now, you should have been able to identify patterns in your baby’s activity, so you know when he’s sleeping and when he’s up. Make sure you try to get some rest when he’s “asleep” as no kicking will disrupt you.
It’s also the best time to invest in a nursing bra — it will be of great help with your breasts producing colostrum, and will make breastfeeding easier once your baby is born. Prepare yourself for contractions when they kick in, and keep emergency numbers as well as your phone at hand.