pregnancy week 38

Pregnancy Guide: Week 38

Your baby’s eyes don’t have much pigment yet, so they’re likely blue, grey, or brown. Once they develop more pigment and see the light, they will change. The fine hair that used to cover your baby’s body for extra warmth has now been replaced by fat. 

She may have some soft hair left when she’s born, but it will go away. Her lungs and vocal cords are ready for crying, which will be the primary way she communicates for a few months.

38 weeks pregnant is how many months?

You are eight months and two weeks pregnant. You have two weeks left until your due date, but your doctor will likely let you go a week or two past your due date to see if your baby will come out by herself first.

Your Baby at 38 Weeks

You’re both getting ready for your baby’s arrival. Her vernix continues to disappear and maybe almost or completely gone at birth, replaced with fat to keep her warm. 

She’s breathing and swallowing amniotic fluid. This fluid is accumulating in her bowel and beginning to form her first bowel movement, called meconium.

Her lungs are continuing to mature and are producing surfactant, which helps prevent his air sacs from sticking together once he starts breathing. There are other small, but important changes this week, including adding fat and the final developments of her nervous system.

How big is a baby at 38 weeks?

Your baby isn’t so little anymore. She weighs 3236 grams and is 49.9 centimetres long. She may grow a little longer, but most of the growing she’ll do between now and birth will be in weight. She’s as big as a watermelon, but luckily not as round.

Your Body at 38 Weeks

You have two weeks until your due date, and your baby could come at any time now. Your body is preparing just like your baby. Your baby has likely dropping farther down into your pelvis, and you’re feeling a lot of downward pressure.

It may be easier to breathe, but your hips and back are probably hurting worse. You can feel these types of changes happening; others can’t. Your cervix may be dilating and effacing, which you won’t know until your doctor checks you.

You are experiencing plenty of sleepless nights as a dress rehearsal for your baby’s arrival. You also have some anxiety, which is normal, and leaky breasts. You are producing colostrum, which is the first food your baby will eat.

It has antibodies and protein for her. She will find it easier to digest before the rest of your milk comes in with more fat and sugar. Try stocking up on nursing pads now if you have this problem.

pregnancy week 38


Your bladder is feeling the pressure, which means you are, too. Frequent trips to the bathroom are normal as your baby’s head descends into your pelvis.  Drink plenty of fluids and try not to hold your bladder for too long to prevent UTIs.

Your vaginal discharge may be tinted with a little pink now as your cervix dilates and the blood vessels in it break. This is normal. 

You may also pass your mucous plug or have some bloody show. It could indicate that labour is close, or it could still be weeks away.

If you have diarrhea rather than constipation now, that means labour could be close! This is your body’s way of eliminating everything to make room for the baby to be born. Drink a lot of water in preparation and eat light food.

Your belly may feel like it’s reached the point of no return. It’s stretched pretty far, and it may be dry and itchy. Use vitamin E oil – which coincidentally is great for sore nipples later – to soothe the itch.

Nesting is a pretty common symptom among pregnant women, so if you feel the urge to get organised, use it. You want to make sure you are ready for the baby when she comes, so set up a changing station or fold clothes.

Braxton Hicks, or perhaps even real contractions, will start getting stronger now. Your body is getting ready for labour, which means you may feel some discomfort. 

Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and typically go away if you change positions or drink some water. If they become more regular, stronger, and don’t go away, contact your doctor. You may be in labour.

Tips/Things to do

Prepare some meals now before you head to the hospital. You won’t be back up on your feet right away, and you can save some money on eating out if you cook some meals to freeze or prepare some ingredients for the slow cooker.

Check your hospital bag to make sure it still contains the items you want to take. The pyjamas you packed a few weeks ago maybe a little too tight now, or you may have a sudden aversion to the snacks you packed.

Walking is a great exercise for this late in pregnancy because it’s easier on your ankles and knees than anything with higher impact. As a bonus, walking can induce pregnancy and make labour easier. You can find out when to stop working out when pregnant.

Practice using some distractions to get your mind off the anxiety you feel and the discomfort of labour. Many childbirth classes will teach you how to rely on distractions to keep your mind off the pain. This may include breathing deeply, visualisation techniques, or meditation.

The best thing you can do is remember that rest and relaxation are going to help you stay positive. Each painful contraction accomplishes something and brings you closer to meeting your baby.

Squats can actually be a beneficial exercise, too. It stretches your pelvic opening and can speed labour. Building toward a stronger squat can help you when you need to start pushing during delivery.

By now, it’s safe to try some things that may induce labour, like spicy foods. Kind of like taking a walk, this falls into the category of can’t hurt and might help. There’s nothing scientific about it but getting your body excited with spicy foods could induce labour.

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