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At week 39, the baby is completely developed and ready to step into the world. It is quite common that you will experience discomforts and aches during this period. Your body will go through a few minor but important changes such as regular contractions which will prep you up for delivery.
Your Baby’s Growth During Pregnancy – Week 39
During the 39th week of pregnancy, the baby will reach his/her birth size and weight. This baby can now be taken into consideration as a full-term foetus. Here are some of the strides your baby is making during this week:
- At this stage, the baby’s brain is still developing rapidly. This rate of brain development will continue for the initial three years.
- The baby will also have accumulated sufficient body fat which will help him/her remain warm after birth.
- During the period, nutrients and antibodies are continued to be supplied to the baby by the mother’s placenta which will help the baby fight against any illness.
- The baby also grows new skin as the outer layers of the skin begin to shed.
What is The Baby Size
39 weeks pregnant baby size will be around 3.1 to 3.6 Kgs and the length of the baby from head to toe will be around 19 inches to 21 inches.
Common Body Changes
It is nearly the end of your pregnancy by the 39th week. These will be the final few days of experiencing pregnancy. The common body changes during pregnancy in the 39th week, include a heavier uterus which can cause discomfort to you.
Symptoms Of Pregnancy At Week 39
Most of the symptoms are labour signs that are soon to happen. These are:
1. Braxton Hicks Contraction
During this period, tightening or cramping of the uterus will occur frequently, despite all the care taken. Such false alarms of labour begin at the body’s front side and tend to ease up upon switching positions. A real labour can be recognized by the cramps that begin at the upper portion of the uterus and occurs so regularly and frequently
2. Pressure in the Pelvic Region
During these final few days, the baby may have descended low into the pelvis, giving an uncomfortable and heavy feel in your lower torso.
3. Lightning Like Sensation in the Crotch Area
Due to the lowered position of the baby, any movements by the baby can hit various nerves that are quite sensitive. Because of this, you may experience sharp sensations that feel like a lightning bolt in the pelvic region.
4. A compulsive Feeling to Nest
Quite a few of you to-be-mothers will get an urge to clean the house before the baby is born.
5. Discharging Mucus and/or Blood
During the 39th week of pregnancy, you might develop a mucus plug. This is a thick discharge that might have some blood. Although some people consider this is a sign that pregnant women will soon go into labour, there isn’t any science to support this theory.
What Are The Signs of Labour
There are a few signs which are the body’s way of making you aware of the baby’s arrival. It is essential to know these signs, although there is nothing to stress about if you go into labour without realizing it. Usually, these symptoms will be very different and quite strong as compared to the other pregnancy symptoms and are thus easily recognisable by you. You will need to call your obstetrician or visit the hospital if you experience the following symptoms:
1. Breaking of Water
You may feel a slow trickle of water down your legs. This could mean that your amniotic sac is ruptured and are most likely to enter labour within a couple of hours.
2. Frequent contractions at Regular Intervals
If you experience contractions frequently, you need to time these contractions and check to see a decrease in the interval between them. If they are regular, it means that you are in the starting stages of labour. It is unsure though, how long this stage will last. During the 39th week, some pregnant women do not experience any labour symptoms, which is fine as well.
While some pregnant women experience labour symptoms including dilated cervix, frequent contractions, etc., a few days or even weeks before delivery, there are many who dilate from 0 to 10 cms within just a few hours.
Inducing Labour At 39 Weeks
During this period of pregnancy, you might want to know the natural methods that you can try at home to induce labour. There are a few safe methods one can try:
Taking a long walk might work. This method does not have any scientific proof, but experts believe that gravity helps in pushing the baby down into the mother’s cervix and this pressure will dilate the cervix.
This is another method that does not have any scientific proof. This age-old practice is said to regulate the blood flow, thereby stimulating the cervix dilation.
Experts believe that experiencing an orgasm might help begin the labour contractions. It wouldn’t hurt to give it a try!
The doctor might also advise you to go through medical induction by giving you some Pitocin. The reasons for this include various complications such as gestational diabetes, heart conditions, preeclampsia, placental issues, and uterine infections. Doctors also recommend medical induction to pregnant women who are in their 39th week of pregnancy and are carrying twins, or if the pregnant woman hasn’t entered labour even after the water has broken.
Belly At 39 Weeks of Pregnancy
During the 39th week of pregnancy, your belly will have almost no space inside due to the continuous growth of the baby. The skin over the belly will be completely stretched. To ease the discomfort, it is recommended to do cat stretches (hands-and-knees) as well as pelvic tilts.
39 Weeks Ultrasound
An ultrasound check-up is usually recommended to ensure that the baby is in the best possible position for a normal and safe delivery. This is when the baby is in the head-down position. During this week, the sonographer will get a 75% view of the baby’s face and the baby’s eyelashes are usually visible in it.
What to Eat?
There is no scientific evidence that foods can induce labour. 39th week pregnancy food includes those items which can be digested easily. It is advised to stay away from fatty food, dairy products, and meat.
Tips & Care
Here are a few tips to follow during this period.
- Consume food that can be digested easily as the digestive system will be strained otherwise
- Ensure your transportation to the hospital is in top condition and ready at a moment’s notice.
- Do not consume dairy products, meat, and fatty food during this period as it strains the digestive system.
- Many of you would experience a symptom called ‘nesting’ as the due date approaches, and tend to overexert themselves. While there is nothing wrong with making the house tidy, just make sure you ask help from your family or hire a cleaning person.
What You Need to Shop for
Here are a few things you could shop for during the 39th week of pregnancy:
- Breast pumps
- Baby wipes
- Breast milk storage bags
The approach of the due date may cause some anxiety, and reading up on what to expect is the best way to gather the information needed to handle the last few weeks of pregnancy. Stay relaxed and prepared as it is almost time for you to meet your baby.
Read this article in Arabic: الأسبوع 39 من الحمل