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A Complete Information Guide on Pregnancy Week 38
By Pregnancy week 38, the lanugo and vernix have disappeared.
You are eight months and about two weeks pregnant. Get ready with your hospital bag and essentials. For many of the pregnant ladies, around this week multiple questions arise in their mind about their labor, postnatal care, etc. And so are you! You too are more anxious about your baby’s birth.
But do not worry, your situation is understandable. Read this post and learn what you can expect this week of pregnancy.
Fetal Development in Pregnancy Week 38:
In Pregnancy week 38:
- Size of baby – 19.6 inches (49.78 cm)- from crown to heel.
- Weight of baby – around 6.8 pounds (3.08 kg)
- Baby is as big as Winter Melon.
The weight of a baby varies between a boy and a girl. A baby boy weighs more than a baby girl.
- At this stage, amniotic fluid starts to decrease its level. Though there is a less space left for your baby to show his skills, still his kicks are stronger and more distinguished. Keep a deep analysis of fetal counts and kicks and notify to your doctor if there is a sudden drop in numbers.
- Your baby is still practicing breathing and swallowing.
- Every organ of your baby is matured except for lungs, as they are still maturing to perform well, even outside the womb. It is still continuing to produce surfactant (a fluid secreted from the cell that helps in airways to open and not collapse).
- The reflux system is responsive and the hairs and nails are fully grown up to the desired level.
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Image courtesy: www.babycenter.in
Moods & Symptoms in Pregnancy Week 38:
You may experience the following changes and symptoms during your 38th week of pregnancy:
- Leaky boobs – Your breasts may start leaking colostrum (yellowish in color) which is a first milk for the baby.
- Braxton Hicks contractions – You may experience Braxton Hicks contractions more often and they may be painful to you as your body is preparing for delivery. They can be mistakenly taken as a labor pain. To crosscheck, change your position. If the pain is stopped then it is a contraction, otherwise contact your doctor immediately.
- Swollen feet and ankle – This happens when your growing uterus starts giving pressure to your pelvic bone and veins which results in the restriction of a normal flow and circulation of blood. Do not stand for prolonged hours at a stretch. Sit by keeping your feet elevated.
- Feeling full of energy, all of sudden – This is called nesting. You may feel that there is a sudden urge to clean your messy room and get your home ready for your new member. But do not take much stress while cleaning your home.
- Discomfort while sleeping/Insomnia – Hormonal changes and your large belly creates the discomfort in your body which results in sleepless nights. Your anxiety is also not letting you sleep.
- Frequent Urination – The urination intervals may increase. But it doesn’t mean you should stop having water. Drink plenty of water.
- Dry and itchy skin – You may have dry and itchy skin as your belly is getting stretched so much. Stay hydrated always. It is advisable to use creams having cocoa butter or Vitamin E on itchy skin for good results.
- Anxiety and Restlessness – You may be very anxious about your delivery and baby. By this time, you may have lost patience and just eagerly waiting for the D-day. Don’t stress yourself. Spend quality time with your husband and near ones.
Some above mentioned symptoms can be confused with the signs of labor. Stay calm and don’t hesitate to ask/call your doctor if you have any doubt!
Signs of labor in Pregnancy Week 38:
Being in 38th week of pregnancy, you can expect true labor pains rather than false pains which was there in your previous weeks.
Below are few signs of labor that you can expect during your 38th week of pregnancy which indicates you will go into labor soon (thought it can’t be defined how soon as every pregnancy is different):
- Diarrhea – Having this symptom means an impending labor and thus, anytime you can deliver your bundle of joy.
- Nausea or Vomiting – These symptoms are again an indication that you are meeting your baby soon.
- Mucus Plug – This week you may release the mucus plug which has been protecting your cervix all along. It is a stingy mucus with blood either in red, brown or pink in color. As your cervix dilates (opens), the mucus plug is released to make way for baby. Losing mucus plug can happen at a different time for every woman and is a sign that labor is very near. But still how much near you are to labor can’t be defined as losing of mucus plug can happen weeks, days or hours before labor begins.
Below are the signs which indicates you are going through real labor. Yes! Time has come to meet your baby. So, rush to the hospital right away if you notice any sign mentioned below:
- Contractions – If the contractions are stronger, frequent and longer in duration, and the time between them keeps getting shorter, then you are in labor. You will feel pain also. Start noting down the timings of contractions. As your uterus contracts, it’s dilating your cervix so baby can pass into the birth canal at delivery. So, therefore, if you feel this type of contraction, immediately contact your doctor. Your doctor will check if your cervix is dilated and its effacement (thinning). Established labor is when your cervix is dilated by more than three centimetres. The cervix becomes very thin before the delivery. If it is dilated and thin then you are very close to meet your baby. He will also examine the position of your cervix and baby in relation to your pelvis. If the position of your baby is very low then delivery may happen anytime now.
|[icon type=”icon-lamp”] Your cervix should be dilated to 10 centimetres, so baby can pass into the birth canal at delivery.|
- Breaking of water – Oftentimes after the contraction, water break occurs and you may feel a leakage from your vagina. This water is an amniotic sac. The moment you feel this situation, contact your doctor immediately as you will go into labor within hours.
- Constant Back pain – If you are experiencing severe back pain then you may be in labor. Rush to the hospital immediately.
|[icon type=”icon-lamp”] If you deliver your baby this week, still he/she is considered early term. A baby is considered full term if born between 39 and 40 weeks, and post-term used to describe babies who are born after 42 weeks. |
So, this week inducing labor naturally isn’t recommended. But if you have complications such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, a uterine infection, or a placental problem then inducing labor may be medically necessary.
However, if your doctor has advised you to go for C-section delivery, then the 39th week of pregnancy is the safer option unless and until there is a medical emergency.
Do’s and Don’ts in Pregnancy Week 38:
- Avoid wearing high heels at this stage as they can be very painful and risky.
- Avoid standing for prolonged hours.
- Take proper rest and continue having a healthy and nutritious diet.
- Stay away from stress.
- Be active as much as possible. At the same time, do not exert yourself.
- Prepare the bag for your stay in the hospital beforehand. Carry the basic necessities and baby essential products in your bag.
|[icon type=”icon-lamp”]Don’t know what all should be there in your hospital bag? |
Carry the basic necessities and baby essential products in your bag. Prepare the bag for your stay in the hospital beforehand to avoid last minute panic.
Here are things that should be kept in your hospital bag:
Make sure to wash baby’s new clothes and towel in soft and mild detergent as newborns skin is very sensitive and vulnerable to skin rashes and itchiness.
Gear up to embrace the feeling of motherhood with all the love affection and joy. Do read about postpartum depression and warning signs to watch out for.
For your reference- Pregnancy Week 38:
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