Welcome to the 38th week of your pregnancy journey! You have made it through the longest stages, and now it is time to wait for your baby to decide to come! You might even meet your baby by this week, only 5 percent of babies arrive on their scheduled due date, your baby gets the final say on when he decides to come.
Your baby’s eyes are now colored gray, brown, or blue. Still, this is not the final color of their eyes as once they are exposed to the light, they might change color or shade. By the time your baby is one year old, you will have a solid idea of what his true eye color is.
Your baby is now shedding his first hair which is called the lanugo. This is a downy hair coating that covers your baby’s body for warmth, it is now starting to fall off in preparation for his birth.
By this week, your baby’s lungs are strong and fully matured and his vocal cords have now developed, this means that he is ready to cry and wail his way to your heart once he is born.
Changes Happening in Your Body by Your 38th Week
You should be having an antenatal appointment with your doctor or midwife around this stage of your pregnancy, even if you feel too tired to move anywhere, this is essential to make sure everything is on the right track.
At the next appointment, your doctor will measure your bump size using a tape measure, check your blood pressure, and most importantly he will look for any sign of protein in your urine, protein in your urine could be an indication of a dangerous condition known as the pre-eclampsia.
This condition tends to hit in the second half of your pregnancy or even after the baby is delivered.
If you are planning to have a c-section, then it is probably scheduled around the 39th week of your pregnancy, this is to give your baby the best chance to have his lungs fully matured and developed to make sure he is completely healthy after birth.
If you have chosen to have a natural vaginal birth, then you will have a chat with your doctor about something called induction, which is something that might be necessary in case you go beyond your 40th week of pregnancy without a sign of labor.
Induction means to artificially start your labor, it is done by putting a gel or a tablet in your vagina, around 1 in 5 labors start this way.
Having a Home Birth?
Many women choose to have their baby in their homes, this is done by the support of midwives and maybe even a doctor. If you plan to have a home birth, make sure you have organized every little detail after the delivery.
This includes diapers, towels, breast pads, nursing bra, and maternity pads. Also, make sure you go shopping to fill your fridge with a stock that can be enough for your household for a long time so that you don’t have to leave for the market a few days after the delivery.
Decide what kind of pain relief you would like to take with your midwife. Ask her about the different pain relief methods, the pros and cons of each method, and choose what you feel most comfortable with.
Make sure to stock up some waterproof sheets and some towels as you will need plenty of those to soak up the fluids, the carpets should be the last thing to worry about.
Figure out what atmosphere you would like to give birth in, you can choose to play your favorite music or even light some scented candles.
And last but not least, have a bag packed and ready to go by the door in case of any complications that might occur and you need to leave for the hospital in a hurry, it’s better to be safe than sorry in such situations.
Symptoms of the 38th Week of Pregnancy
The only annoying symptom you might be having now is boredom, just patiently waiting for your baby to decide when he will finally arrive, but no need to worry, he is almost here!
Your 38th week of pregnancy symptoms might include:
- Sleeping problems
- Baxton Hicks
- Bleeding gums
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Random pain around muscles
- Sore breasts
- Leg cramps
- Stretch marks
- Thicker hair
- Swollen gums
- Urine infection
- Bloating or constipation
- Spotty skin
- Feeling too warm
- Greasier skin
- Vaginal infection
- Thicker hair
Your Baby’s 38th Week Development
Your baby is growing graciously day by day, making it tighter and tighter in there, but you can still feel all of his kicks and movements. By your 38th week, your baby is now around 3kg in weight and is about 49.8cm in length from head to toe.
Your baby is now storing up some kind of sticky slim in his tiny bowels. This slime is made of everything he swallowed in your womb. This will be coming out as his first poo after he arrives. In case he poops during labor, it could be a sign of distress and your baby will need some close monitoring for a while.
This Week’s Tip
Do Some Squats at Home!
Rumor has it that women who do squats help them to give birth faster, this rumor actually has some truth to it as it turns out, squatting speeds up labor because it increases the opening of your pelvic which provides your baby with more room to descend.