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As you enter the 39th week of your pregnancy, you are likely feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety. You are so close to meeting your new little one, but you may also be wondering what to expect in these final days and weeks. This guide will provide an overview of common pregnancy symptoms at 39 weeks, a checklist of things to do before baby arrives, a look at what your 39 week pregnant belly may look like, and information on the development of your baby at 39 weeks.
Your Baby is the Size of a Gym Bag
Head to Toe
Highlights of the Week
- Your baby is considered full-term and is ready to be born at any time.
- The average baby at 39 weeks is about 19.7 inches long and weighs around 7.5 pounds.
- Your baby’s skin is becoming less transparent and more opaque, and the fine hair that covered their body, called lanugo, is starting to fall off.
- Your baby’s digestive system is becoming more mature and ready for their first feeding.
- You may experience symptoms such as back pain, pelvic pain, mood swings, and increased discharge.
- Your healthcare provider will continue to monitor your baby’s movements and development in the final weeks of pregnancy.
Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 39
At 39 weeks pregnant, you may be experiencing a range of symptoms as your body prepares for labor and delivery. Some common symptoms include Braxton Hicks contractions, increased fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. You may also notice a change in your baby’s movements as they settle into a head-down position for birth.
Increased Braxton Hicks contractions:
You may feel occasional tightening or hardening of your uterus, which are known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These are normal and help your body prepare for labor.
Shortness of breath:
As your uterus expands, it may put pressure on your diaphragm, making it more difficult to breathe.
The hormone progesterone relaxes the muscles in your digestive system, making it easier for stomach acid to flow back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
The same hormone that causes heartburn can also slow down your digestive system and make it more difficult to have a bowel movement.
Your body is working hard to support the growth and development of your baby, which can lead to increased feelings of fatigue.
As your body retains more fluid, you may experience swelling in your hands, feet, and ankles.
Changes in skin pigmentation:
You may notice dark patches on your face, known as melasma or the “mask of pregnancy.”
Increased vaginal discharge:
Your body is producing more discharge to protect your baby from infection.
Change in fetal activity:
You may notice changes in your baby’s movements as they settle into a comfortable position for the remainder of your pregnancy.
You may experience a small amount of bloody discharge, which can be a sign that labor is imminent.
Loss of mucus plug:
The mucus plug that seals your cervix may come out, indicating that labor is starting.
You may experience a gush of fluid from your vagina, which could be a sign that your membranes have ruptured and labor is starting.
Hormonal changes can cause digestive upsets, such as diarrhea, during pregnancy.
The increased pressure in your pelvis from your growing uterus can cause veins in your rectum to become swollen and painful, resulting in hemorrhoids.
As your baby descends into your pelvis in preparation for birth, you may experience pelvic pain and discomfort.
The added weight of your growing baby and changes in your center of gravity can cause back pain.
Changes to cervix:
As your cervix prepares for delivery, it may start to soften, thin out, and shorten, which can be seen during a cervical exam.
You may experience a small amount of fluid leakage, which could be a sign of premature rupture of membranes.
Hormonal changes and the stress of preparing for a new baby can lead to mood swings and changes in emotions.
If you experience any symptoms that concern you, it is important to contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation.
39 Week Pregnancy Checklist
As you approach your due date, there are a few things you should do to prepare for your baby’s arrival. These include:
Attend prenatal appointments:
Regular prenatal appointments with your healthcare provider will help monitor your health and the health of your baby.
Pack your hospital bag:
Make sure you have all the essentials you’ll need for your stay at the hospital.
Prepare for labor and delivery:
Discuss your birth plan with your healthcare provider and make sure you understand the different stages of labor and delivery.
Keep yourself and your baby healthy:
Eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and get regular exercise to help keep yourself and your baby healthy.
As you approach your due date, make sure you’re getting plenty of rest to prepare for labor and delivery.
If you experience any contractions, time them and report them to your healthcare provider to determine if labor has started.
Know the signs of preterm labor:
Understanding the signs of preterm labor, such as regular contractions or leaking fluid, can help you take action quickly if needed.
Stay in touch with your healthcare provider:
Make sure you have your healthcare provider’s phone number on hand and keep in touch with them throughout the remainder of your pregnancy.
Shop for post-birth supplies:
Stock up on essentials such as diapers, wipes, and baby clothing to be prepared for your baby’s arrival.
Gather some entertainment for labor:
Bringing items such as books, music, or a tablet can help you pass the time during labor.
Write down pregnancy memories:
Take some time to reflect on your pregnancy and write down your thoughts and experiences to remember in the future.
By following this checklist, you can help ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and prepare for the arrival of your baby.
Your 39 Week Pregnant Belly
At 39 weeks pregnant, your belly is likely to be large and noticeable. It’s not uncommon for women to feel self-conscious about their growing belly at this stage of pregnancy, but it’s important to remember that your body is doing an amazing job of growing and nourishing your baby. The size of your belly at 39 weeks can vary greatly from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy, but on average, it will measure about 42cm from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus.
The growing size of your belly can put pressure on your back, hips, and pelvic area, leading to discomfort and even pain. Additionally, your belly may make it difficult to sleep comfortably and make simple tasks, like getting up from a seated position, more challenging. To help relieve these symptoms and take care of your belly at 39 weeks, try the following:
- Practice good posture: Keep your shoulders back and your spine straight to reduce pressure on your back.
- Exercise regularly: Gentle exercise such as walking or prenatal yoga can help strengthen your muscles and improve your posture.
- Use a pregnancy pillow: A pregnancy pillow can help support your growing belly and improve your sleep.
- Wear comfortable clothing: Opt for clothes that are loose and comfortable, rather than tight or restrictive.
- Take breaks and rest: Make sure to take breaks throughout the day to rest and avoid overdoing it.
It’s also important to continue to nourish your body with a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and avoid any activities that could be dangerous for you and your baby, such as heavy lifting or contact sports. With a little care and attention, you can help ensure a comfortable and healthy pregnancy for both you and your baby.
Baby Development at 39 Weeks
At 39 weeks pregnant, your baby is considered full-term and is ready to be born at any time. On average, babies born at 39 weeks are about 20 inches long and weigh around 7.5 pounds. However, every baby is different and some may be larger or smaller.
In the final weeks of pregnancy, your baby continues to gain weight and prepare for life outside the womb. At 39 weeks, your baby’s skin is becoming less transparent and more opaque, and the fine hair that covered their body, called lanugo, is starting to fall off. Your baby’s digestive system is also becoming more mature and ready for their first feeding.
It’s important to remember that full-term babies are not considered overdue until they reach 42 weeks. If your baby is born before 39 weeks, they may need special care in the neonatal intensive care unit, but with proper care, most preterm babies go on to have healthy and normal lives.
Your healthcare provider will continue to monitor your baby’s movements and development in the final weeks of pregnancy. If you have any concerns about your baby’s health or well-being, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider.
In conclusion, at 39 weeks, your baby is fully developed and ready to be born. While every baby is unique, at this stage, your baby is likely to be about 20 inches long and weigh around 7.5 pounds. With proper care and monitoring, most babies born at 39 weeks will go on to have a healthy and normal life.
How Many Months is 39 Weeks Pregnant?
39 weeks pregnant is approximately 9 months pregnant.
As you near the end of your pregnancy, remember to take care of yourself and enjoy these final days with your growing baby. Trust in your body’s ability to give birth and know that you are surrounded by the support and care of your loved ones. Good luck!