You can safely heave a sigh of relief when you reach week 39 of pregnancy. With only a week or so before you get to your expected due date, you can relish your last remaining pregnancy symptoms. Bear in mind that the chances you will deliver before your expected due date are higher when you reach week 39 of pregnancy than in the weeks before. Therefore, it is always good to live every day of your pregnancy by week 39 as though it is your actual due date. Most importantly, you must check and make sure that everything you and your baby need are all set for D-Day!
You have, by now, carried your baby to full term. This means that even if you deliver on this day, which might be days before your due date, your little one is ready for life outside of your womb. All of her vital organs and almost all of her bodily systems are already formed and functioning.
Symptoms, Developments, and Tips for Week 39 of Pregnancy
Your baby will be weighing anywhere between three and four kilos and will measure about 20 inches in length by week 39 of pregnancy. Although your baby is not likely to grow and gain any more weight during your pregnancy by week 39, that is still one hefty baby you have in there. This explains why your belly feels really full at this time.
An observable symptom of pregnancy week 39 is the feeling that you are experiencing regular episodes of “pounding” within your belly. This is because your baby has turned into a small hiccup machine. The hiccups are produced whenever your baby does breathing exercises in your womb. The lack of air around him is causing the amniotic fluid to back into his windpipe. The recurring baby hiccups are almost a trademark of pregnancy week 39.
You can expect your baby’s skin to have changed, from a reddish pinkish color to a bluish pink hue during week 39 of pregnancy. This is because your baby is putting on additional fat. There is no need to worry about obesity or seeing a blue-hued baby though. Your baby is just preparing her natural line of defense for her internal organs and the capillaries under her skin. Once your baby becomes exposed to air, and as soon as she starts to breathe on her own, her skin color will improve and most likely mimic your own because of genetics.
If this is your first pregnancy, chances are your baby will “drop” during your week 39 of pregnancy. This means that your baby will have turned inside your belly, and her head is now facing down while her feet are positioned towards your ribs. By moving further down toward your pelvis, your baby is getting ready for birth.
Pay close attention to your baby’s movements. Though your baby may be cramped in your womb, you should still feel his regular movements. Immediately report to your doctor or caregiver any change (slowed down, weakened, or worse – his movements have suddenly stopped) you notice in your baby’s movements during week 39 of pregnancy. This could be a potentially serious problem that needs a medical expert’s attention right away.
It is around week 39 of pregnancy when, aside from the Braxton Hicks contractions that you are probably experiencing more frequently than before, you are likely to observe symptoms that signify the approach of your impending childbirth.
For one, you may experience losing your mucous plug. Don’t look beneath you though, as you won’t find any old cork lying around. Losing your mucus plug simply means that your cervix is starting to thin and open. Sometimes it means seeing a huge gush of fluid; in other cases, there is only a slow leak which is hard to notice. This could mean that you are about to give birth or are weeks away from giving birth.
Another symptom you may experience during week 39 of pregnancy is a “bloody show” due to the capillaries rupturing from the dilation of your cervix. The discharge is pink or red-tinged. It should be considered a red flag which indicates that you are a day or so away from labor.
This week of your pregnancy is also the time for you to finalize the decision regarding how you will feed your baby, and make the necessary preparations. If you are planning to breastfeed—and there are a lot of reasons why you should – now is the time to buy yourself some nursing bras (if you still haven’t). Your breasts are larger now compared to pre-pregnancy, and they are likely to grow from one to two sizes more when you are nursing. Thus, when you buy your nursing bras, take into account that your bust size will increase. Buy bras with breast pads that absorb milk leaks and some natural ointment for tender nipples during your week 39 of pregnancy.