Language: Pregnancy Calendar  Enceinte d.une semaine  Settimane di Gravidanza  Die Schwangerschaftswochen
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38 Weeks Pregnant


When a pregnant woman enters the 38th week, various changes are found in the baby as well as the woman’s body. The baby is

38weekspregnant now all set with its head in a ready position for delivery. The pregnant woman may experience labor pain any time. The 38th week of pregnancy could be the last week of pregnancy. The baby is still in the process of growing and is settling down in your pelvis. The baby could buzz the pregnant woman in the lower part of the body. The baby is ready to come out and experience the world.

One needs to pack bags for the hospital. You might have to go to hospital as the baby may arrive at any time. Oftentimes, fathers will want to give some special gifts to his wife and the new baby. It’s the time for you to pack these gifts and everything else you need in preparation for leaving to go to the hospital. This is a great time for the father to show his wife or partner that he loves her so much, appreciates her, and wants to make it a memorable day.

Baby’s development

Week 38

Your Symptoms: You may be very uncomfortable due to your large size. You may be experiencing fatigue, heartburn, indigestion, and constipation.

Baby’s Development: Fingernails reach the end of the fingers this week.

Baby’s Size: 46.2 cm, 2.6 kg.

To Do: Catch up with friends, see a movie, go out with your partner, get your hair done. It may be your last opportunity for awhile.

At the 38th week of pregnancy, the baby grows length wise and also weighs more. Most babies are between 17 to 20 inches long and weight about 6 ½ to 7 ½ pounds. Your baby will continue to grow until delivery.

All the organs of the baby are mature and are functioning completely by this time. The lungs and brain of the baby are the only organs that may not be completely functioning. These two organs start functioning once the baby is out of the womb. The brain and lungs would continue to mature during the childhood of the baby.

One can get a complete idea at how the baby will look like in the 38th week of pregnancy. The pregnant woman will fantasize about her baby having eyes like hers or his father, nose like aunt, face shaped like her and many more. If the baby has brown eyes, then they will stay that way. However, if the baby has any other colored eyes, then chances are the color may change with time.

If pregnancy induced hypertension occurs, then the amount of oxygen and food supply to the baby will decrease. If your baby does not get enough oxygen and food, there is a chance  the baby will lose some weight. The tear ducts develop over the start of this week. All the organs including the sex organs of the baby develop completely by this time. Their sex could be identified easily now. The boy baby is a bitter bigger than the girl baby. Baby girls rest at a lower level in the belly than baby boys. Baby reflexes to all the coordination at the 38th week of pregnancy. Baby blinks his or her eyes, clenches the fists, and reacts to sound as well. The baby also reacts to light and darkness at this stage itself. The deposits under the skin allow the baby to regulate temperature.

Changes in your body

There are several internal as well as external changes occurring in the pregnant woman. The external changes could be noticed by others however, the internal changes are only felt by the pregnant woman.

As you enter the 38th week, you will begin to experience some swelling in your feet. Swelling is a sign of a normal pregnancy symptom in the last stages of pregnancy. However, if you feel swelling in your hands, face or are going through a severe pain, then you should contact your doctor. This could be a sign that you are developing a condition known as pregnancy induced hypertension. Pregnancy induced hypertension is often known as toxemia or preeclampsia. Pregnancy induced hypertension can put off the placenta from getting enough blood. If this happens, your baby will get a decreased amount of oxygen and food. This could be dangerous.

As the baby grows inside your womb, your organs get pushed into every corner. You may suffer from heartburn and very little space for urine storage could be left. You may find yourself visiting the toilet often. However, you should not reduce the consumption of water.

What to expect

Your doctor will discuss certain things with you related to your baby. You should be prepared for what to do when labor pains onset. You can discuss any medical problems with the doctor to keep away any future troubles. One needs to take the proper measures if pregnancy induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, or anemia is present.

Once the woman enters 38th week of pregnancy, she will feel decreased movements from the baby. This is so because the baby has gotten so big that there is less space for it to move around inside the womb. There could be also breech positioning of the baby. If this occurs, then the baby will make its journey outside early. Another sonogram for confirmation may be ordered by your doctor if he finds your baby in a breech position. This would be a last look of your baby before he or she enters this world.

Many pregnant women go through several non-stress tests in their last trimester. This non-stress test could be performed at the doctor’s clinic or at any hospital. Every time you feel the movement of the fetus, you would have to press a button that would be provided to you while undergoing the non-stress test. The monitor would record the heart beats of the baby. While going through these non-stress tests, it could be overwhelming for the pregnant woman and also create a mother-baby bond. Most of the women enjoy this time of pregnancy as they can hear the heart beats of the baby inside their womb. The pregnant woman waits impatiently for her baby to come out.