Your Baby’s Development
After a long 38 weeks your baby is now completely ready to be born! At 38 weeks pregnancy, the average baby weighs around 7 pounds, and all of their organs have finished developing. The only thing your baby needs to do now is meet mom and dad!
Your baby is now roughly the size of a winter melon, and they are producing surfactant (a solution that helps them to take their first breaths once they are born). Your baby is now very low down in your tummy, with their head engaged. They are ready to meet you soon, and they are just waiting for your body to release hormones that start your contractions.
One of the only remaining changes left is the eye color of your baby. Due to a lack of pigment, it can take a while for babies to fully develop their eye color, and it is totally normal for babies to be born with blue or grey eyes that later change to brown or green.
Your Body’s Development
You are probably starting to feel a little impatient now! It is time for you to relax, but many expecting mothers feel like they have too much to do. If you feel this way, remember that your new-born will be here in roughly two weeks, and things will become hectic then. Try to relax and put your feet up as much as you can – while you still can!
Your body is starting to prepare for birth by making the final few essential changes. You may be able to feel some of these changes, such as your baby dropping down into your pelvis in preparation for birth. This should make it easier for you to breathe as there is less pressure on your lungs, but you may notice an increased pressure in your pelvis.
Some of the changes are less obvious, such as cervical dilatation and effacement. This is when your cervix becomes thinner and smaller in preparation for birth. When this happens, blood vessels in the cervix rupture, which may result in a light pinkish discharge.
Your body has also started to produce colostrum, which results in leaky breasts for some women. Colostrum is a thin yellowish liquid that your breasts produce before milk. It is filled with antibodies to protect your baby. Don’t worry if you are not leaking colostrum; your body is still producing it for your baby!
If you are leaking colostrum, you may want to invest in some nursing pads to put in your bra. They will conceal the leak so that you don’t have to worry. You can also re-use them if you continue to leak after your baby is born.
Week 38 Pregnancy: Tips and Advice
Go through your bag for the hospital to make sure everything is ready. Make sure that the clothes you packed still fit you comfortably, and that you have lots of snacks and books to pass the time.
If you have the time, try to stock up your fridge and freezer before your baby is born. Things will be so busy after your baby is born that you will be glad you don’t have to go out to the shop!
If you have an itchy belly, cover your stomach with vitamin E oil. It will help to sooth your skin.
If you are struggling to sleep at night, avoid pregnancy forums and reading about labour. It will keep you awake for even longer – instead, try reading a book or enjoying a bath.
If you are experiencing swelling in your feet and ankles, consider buying some support hose to help. Put the hose on first thing in the morning and try not to spend too long on your feet – right now you should be resting!
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