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Pregnancy At Week 39

Pregnancy At Week 39

When you are pregnant and at week 39, you know that this is where some major changes start happen and may be a little nervous about it. If you are approaching this stage of your pregnancy, keep reading, go over the main points carefully and start preparing accordingly.

1. Baby’s growth during the full term

The week 39 is a full term when the baby has started to create a layer of fat, which has the role of controlling their body temperature after birth. The baby’s outer layers of skin slough off, while new skin appears underneath. The baby should be the size of a small watermelon at this point, but boys are usually a bit heavier. In the following week, your baby will be the size of a small pumpkin.

2. Body changes and what should you expect to experience

Week 39 pregnancy ordeals are stressful, as there is always a possibility of going into labor during this week, and you will probably experience the following symptoms:

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  • Swelling
  • Breasts are growing and becoming more sensitive
  • Colostrum leakage
  • False labor contractions

At this point it is probably very hard for you to get up when sitting or lying. It is completely normal, as your body is swelling. Also, your breast will become even more sensitive and bigger, and you will start leaking colostrum, a nipple discharge that many mothers experience during their pregnancy. It lasts until you start making milk, about 2 days after birth. Your body is preparing for the delivery, so in the 39th week it is completely normal and expected to leak colostrum.

Many women don’t experience false labor contractions until this week, so if you are one of them, don’t be scared and try to figure out if they are false or real. The easiest way to determine if you are about to deliver or you are experiencing false labor contractions is the fact that when you have real labor contractions you are unable to talk and walk properly.

3. What if your water breaks?

If your water breaks and you feel real labor contractions, immediately call your caregiver or healthcare provider, and go to the hospital. Don’t panic, you won’t give birth at that very moment – it usually lasts longer and can even reach 12 hours, but don’t wait too long to go to the hospital. Have a bag with clothes and other essential items that you will need at the hospital ready to go during this week, because you can never know when your water will break.

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4. Will the baby be healthy if born now?

As all the organs are mature by week 39 and already functioning on their own, your bundle of joy will be perfectly healthy. Your baby will begin to use its lungs right after the birth. On the other hand, if you don’t give birth during this week, your baby will continue to grow. That being said, it’s best to give it time and not rush things.

5. Tips for week 39 pregnancy

Giving birth is a wonderful, but also painful and a pretty scary experience. When week 39 comes, moms can’t wait to greet the newborn, but they are still scared of the whole process, especially if it is their first child.

You aren’t alone, and every woman experiences different difficulties. Let’s go through the most common problems and some tips every future mom needs:

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  • Trouble sleeping  – the most common problem pregnant women have is this one, and the best solution is sleeping in a recliner;
  • Drink a lot of water and keep on eating healthy food;
  • Escape from stress and enjoy your favorite music or any other stress-relieving activity;
  • Go for a walk – physical activity is very important at this stage;
  • If you are wondering whether you should continue to use some beauty products or if you should dye your hair, know that many of these products can do you no harm; however, if you have any doubts, consult with the professional.

If you experience any pain, make sure you contact your caregiver immediately.

6. What happens to mother’s body after giving birth?

After the delivery your body will need some time to go back to the way it looked before. You will definitely start losing weight immediately, but you won’t look as you did before getting pregnant after just a few days. After some time, you will definitely have the same figure as before, but that pregnant belly might not go away just like that.

So, if you want to lose it, then you should start exercising and eating a bit less, but take things gradually. Start with walks and slowly introduce more challenging exercises, and be sure to keep eating healthy food. Avoid restrictive diets while you are breastfeeding, and just focus on eating in moderation.

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After birth, the cells of your uterus will start to slough off and cause lochia discharge, which is menstrual-like. It will feel like you are on your period, but with time it will change in color – from red to white – until it stops.

7. Baby blues

This is very important for daddies, as well as mommies. As you just gave birth, your emotions will be a bit mixed, so you will feel exhausted, sad, weepy, anxious and moody. This doesn’t last long, but it will happen and you need your husband’s or family’s full support.

Before this happens, daddies should start educating themselves. The best way to do it is by consulting with a professional and other fathers who have already went through all that. If you don’t have friends who had a baby, then search for some daddy stories online and get the needed information. Baby blues usually lasts for two weeks, so these mood swings and possible cravings will disappear in no time.

You might not experience some of these symptoms, because everything is individual, but the problems and experiences mentioned here are the most common. If you feel any pain, or if the baby starts moving less call your caregiver. React on time and don’t wait for the pain to go away.

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Published on September 21, 2018

11 Smart Pieces of Advice to Help You Thrive as a Single Mother

11 Smart Pieces of Advice to Help You Thrive as a Single Mother

Becoming a mother is one of the most difficult challenges a woman can take on in her life. Whether this happens the “natural” way, with the help of science, or through adoption, being in charge of nurturing another human being is a herculean task to take on.

Typically, when we think about parenthood, we imagine two parents sharing the responsibility and having each other to lean on. However, according to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 4 children under the age of 18 are being raised by a single mother.[1] This is a significant portion of the population that often gets overlooked.

If you are one of these mothers raising your children on your own, you are undoubtedly aware of the additional challenges that motherhood has placed upon you, including the constant struggle to find sufficient time, energy, money, and support.

For single mothers who find themselves bogged down by their daily responsibilities and struggle to stay afloat, don’t be fooled by the belief that you have to do all. It is possible to thrive and live as a single mother if you take advantage of all available resources and adjust your priorities based on your situation.

1. Find your community and ask for help

As the sole caretaker of your kids, going through the successes and struggles of parenthood can feel isolating and lonely. You have probably developed a strong sense of independence because you’ve had to go at it alone.

Being self-reliant is necessary in many situations that you have to face, but do not fool yourself into thinking that you don’t need support from others. If you have family nearby, strengthen your relationship with them by visiting and talking more often. Find time to catch up with old friends or co-workers, and don’t assume they don’t want to hang out if they are not parents themselves.

Would you prefer finding mom friends[2] who have more in common with you? Use resources like apps, Facebook groups, and community events to meet local moms in your area.

After you have established a support group that you can depend on, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is NOT a sign of weakness or incompetency to admit you can’t do it all, and others are probably more willing to lend a hand than you think.

If you feel uncomfortable burdening others, suggest trading favors such as taking turns babysitting. Because after all, helping is each other is what community is all about.

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2. Make peace with the past

Before you can move forward, you must make peace with your past and not let it define you or rule your life. Whether your journey to single motherhood was through divorce, death, or never having a relationship the father, it is crucial that you leave behind the feelings of abandonment or betrayal you may be struggling with.

You cannot change the past and the hurt you had to endure, but you can use the strength that you gained from overcoming those obstacles to work towards making the best life for yourself and your child. Learn from the past but live in the present and look towards the future.

3. Make plans and set goals

The daily repetition of trying to balance work and home life can make you feel like you are on operating on autopilot. However, it is imperative to set goals for yourself and to keep working towards self-improvement.

In your personal life, you can set a fitness goal (train for a 5k), a reading goal (read 20 books in a year), or a travel goal (take a trip to Europe). At your job, you can set career goals such as gain leadership experience, get a promotion, or earn a degree or certificate.

Spend time creating a realistic plan to on how you can go about achieving these goals. Not only will working towards these goals make you a more well-rounded and successful person, they will bring more purpose and fulfillment to your life.

4. Look for role models

A great way to jump start your plans for the future is to find a role model or mentor who is further along in their life or career experience. This person can be a great resource when you need guidance on what types of goals to set for yourself and how to achieve them.

It’s also important to have people to turn to for encouragement during difficult seasons of life. Someone who has been through it before can provide the most genuine reassurance that tough times will get better and that staying positive is best approach.

5. Rethink your priorities

Single parents have twice as many responsibilities to take care of, so priorities and expectations must be adjusted accordingly.

Know that you are not superwoman and striving for a perfectly clean home, no dirty laundry, and home-cooked meals for your kids every day is not a reasonable expectation. It’s okay to take shortcuts sometimes, like serving your kids cereal for dinner or waiting until the next day to wash the dishes.

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Don’t compare yourself to anyone else and let go of the guilt that you feel for being the only parent that your kids can count on. Give yourself a break and don’t sweat the small stuff.

6. Make time for me time

Even though it can be difficult to find, making time for yourself is critical to maintaining your sanity and well-being. Without a built-in partner to take over, finding time to be away from the kids must be done intentionally and planned in advance.

If you are sharing custody, use the time away from your kids not only doing productive things but also making sure you are taking care of yourself. Sleep, exercise, and balanced diet are not things that can get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Also make time for fun activities, such as hobbies and creative outlets.

Even though being a mother is the most important job you have, don’t let it be the only thing that defines you. Time for yourself is more difficult to find if you are the sole caretaker of your kids.

Use the resources that you have to devote time to self-care, and you and your kids will thank you for it in the long run.

7. Stay organized

With so many things to juggle, great organizational skills are an absolute must in order to keep everything moving smoothly. Use apps such as Mint for your finances, Mealime for meal planning, and Cozi as a family organizer for everything from appointments and shopping lists to after school activities.

Maintain constant contact if you are sharing custody so that it is clearly communicated who will be responsible for what when it comes to your kids. Follow consistent routines in the morning and nighttime so that your kids also know what to expect on a daily basis.

8. Be flexible (Don’t be a control freak)

Although it is important to be prepared and stay organized, things don’t always go according to plan.

When kids get sick and have to stay home or babysitters cancel at the last minute, allow for flexibility by having a contingency plan for childcare and with your employer.

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For example, make a list of people you can call when you need last minute childcare, or talk to your boss in advance about working from home when emergencies come up.

Most of all, don’t let unexpected changes stress you out and ruin your day.

9. Learn to say no (Don’t feel guilty)

Single mothers have limitations in time, energy and resources that families with two parents wouldn’t be able to understand. Because of these circumstances, it’s important you let go of feelings of guilt and stop trying to do everything and be everywhere.

You don’t have to say yes to every single birthday party your child is invited to. Your kids don’t have to be involved in sports and extracurricular activities every night of the week.

Limit the things you do to only the ones that are the most enjoyable and meaningful for you and your family. Doing more things does not make you a better mother; simply a more tired one.

10. Live within your means

When you have to raise your family on a single income, budgeting and spending within your means becomes more important than ever.

If you have outstanding debt that is accruing interest, make it a priority to pay those off as soon as possible. Outlining a budget is the best way to visualize how much money is being spent every month on various things and what is left over.

Find ways to save money on the necessities by looking for sales at the grocery store, buying some things secondhand, planning out meals.

After the necessary bills are paid, determine how much can be spent on luxury items such as eating out, vacations, and going to the movies.

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Don’t let finances be a source of anxiety for you and your family. Keep your bank account in good shape while teaching your kids how to spend money responsibly at the same time.

11. Spend quality time with your kids

The time you spend with your kids is so precious and much more limited as a single mother. Make the time that you spend with your kids count.

Rather than sitting in front of the TV, take them on fun and budget-friendly outings to the park, the playground, or a museum. Use meal times as the perfect excuse to ask them about what they are learning in school and the friends they spend time with.

When your kids ask you to play with them, look at it as a privilege and an opportunity to bond with them, rather than a distraction or waste of time. Be present when you are with them, with no work or multitasking on your mind. Your relationship with your kids will absolutely reap the benefits.

Final thoughts

Being a single mother is not an easy job. That’s why it’s important to use all the resources available to you in order to make this job a little bit easier.

Using technology, an organization system and a supportive community are just a few examples of things you should utilize to your benefit. It’s also important to shift your mindset and be more practical when it comes to things like priorities and finances.

Most of all, don’t forget about your own self care. Only when you take care of yourself can you best take care of the people you love.

Single mothers are some of the most hard-working people out there, and you deserve to have a happy and fulfilling life.

Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

Reference

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