38 Weeks Pregnant- What To Expect? Symptoms, Baby Development, And Tips!

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38 Weeks Pregnant

In the 38 Weeks Pregnant, while your anxiety and anticipation peaks, the baby is now ready to talk as their vocal cords would now be fully developed! An average baby in the 38th week would measure about 19.6 inches long and weigh 6.8 pounds. To put things in perspective, this would be right about the size of a bowling pin!

38 Weeks Pregnant: So What Else Is Happening To Your Baby In The 38th Week Of Pregnancy?

Since you are almost nearing your term, most of the baby’s organs develop to their best by the 38th week. Having said that, the baby’s brains and lungs, though, would still continue to grow as these two organs anyway continue to develop in childhood and adulthood.

Here’s what else is happening to your baby in the 38th week of pregnancy-

1. The vocal cords fully develop Yup, the baby is now fully ready to communicate and to cry!

2. The baby, by this time, would also have that big baby head, almost about the same circumference as their abdomen!

38 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms Not To Ignore: What Happens To A Mother’s Body In The 38th Week Of Pregnancy?

Since the delivery is now approaching, you might be experiencing a lot of emotional and physical turmoil. These are commonly felt emotions and worry you not, you are never alone mamma! Here are the 38 weeks pregnant symptoms not to ignore

1. Mild swelling

While mild swelling in your body parts like hands and feet is common at the 38th week of pregnancy, unannounced severe swelling is not. Do remember: sudden swelling in hands, feet, ankles, or on the face, could point to the possibility of you having preeclampsia. Reach out to your doctor immediately.

2. Contractions

One of the most welcomed symptoms of childbirth! Braxton Hicks contractions aka fake contractions or mild tightening or cramping across your pregnant belly are common at this time.

3. Back pain

Blame it on all that swaddling! A painful, sore back is common due to the change of posture and the extra weight of the baby in the 38th week. Immense or piercing back pain could also point to a possible approaching labor!

4. Stress

Anxiety about the unknown is common as well as obvious in pregnancy and postpartum. Take some time to ponder and to educate yourself about what could happen, find a friend to talk to, cuddle your partner, and just relax for the rest- it’s gonna be fine!

5. Nausea

Since the baby starts to crowd the digestive system after dropping, nausea and other tummy problems are common.

6. Vaginal discharge

Your mucus plug might fall out in the 38th week as the cervix starts to dilate. You might also experience a very watery discharge which would be your amniotic fluid. Hence, keep a close eye on your discharges and contact your doctor if you have a reason to believe your discharge is unusual.

38 Weeks Pregnant: What Do Hospitals Test Newborns For Before Leaving The Hospital?

Now that you are nearing delivery, as some good to know information, there would be some tests recommended by your doctor before you leave the hospital. In most normal cases, these tests would include a blood test, a hearing test, and a screening test for the detection of potential congenital heart defects. All of these, needless to say, is just to determine the overall health of the baby.

Also, in case you’re having a boy and you want to have him circumcised, this will also be recommended by your doctor before you leave the hospital.

38 Weeks Pregnant: What Does A 38-Week Pregnant Belly Look Like?

By the 38th week, you would have gained your total possible pregnancy weight and so, your belly would be in its full force! Your doctor, by this time, will start taking closer and more frequent examinations of the belly just to make sure everything is going well inside there. Having said that it also becomes your responsibility to make sure that you reach out to your doctor if you feel anything even slightly unusual with regards to your baby’s movement and being.

Final Takeaway

Brace yourself, mamma, it is about time! You might be feeling too overwhelmed and looking for all the information and education you can possibly get your hands on at this time which is totally understandable. As for some last words of advice, prepare yourself well for the baby’s arrival.Your life will be nothing like what it was pre-baby and the sooner you accept that the sooner you can prepare for it.

Remember, this is a whole new life entering your life and you need to make enough space for them in your heart and house. Get your house deep cleaned before you leave for the hospital to come back to a germ-free baby safe house. You might also want to add an empty tote to your hospital bag for all the free goodies the hospital is going to shower you with. Stay hydrated, snack enough, prepare your mind, and let the congratulations overflow!

38 Weeks Pregnant FAQs

1. What is full dilation for birth ?

The magic number is 10! Your cervix will be completely closed and it starts at 0 cm, however, during labor, it begins to dilate and it is only at 10 cm that you will be ready to give birth. Reaching from 0 to 10 might take a few hours for some mothers while some others might even take a few days to get to the 10 cm. For a vaginal birth, your cervix needs to be 10 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced.

2. When can breastfeeding start ?

A mother can ideally breastfeed right after giving birth, even while delivering the placenta. The pre-milk or colostrum is what the baby feeds on for the first one or two days after birth, which later transitions to breast milk. However, this is only in the case of an ideal birthing situation and only your doctor can advise what’s best for you and your baby.

3. How long after delivery can a mother and baby go home ?

In the case of a typical natural birth, the mother and the baby are usually discharged within 48 hours. In the case of C-section delivery, this timeline stretches to 3 days.

4. How long after delivery can a mother and baby go home ?

Here are the 38 weeks pregnant signs of labor that you must be well aware of:
  • Mucus plug
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Contractions
  • Back pain
  • Water breaking
  • 5. 38 weeks pregnant symptoms, what to look out for?

    Here are a few symptoms to look out for when 38 weeks pregnant:
  • Painless contractions felt around the baby bump or the Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Tiredness
  • Stretch marks
  • Bleeding and swollen gums
  • Piles
  • Backache
  • Headaches
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