In the 38th week of pregnancy, 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!
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!
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’s what is happening to the mother in the 38th week of pregnancy-
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!