As you enter into the 38th week of pregnancy, you may start to feel some changes. The baby is getting ready to be born; their head is now in the down position. Labor is a real possibility now so it is best to stick close to home and avoid driving. You should be getting plenty of rest and relaxation at this point. You should have all of your phone numbers handy and your bags packed for the hospital.
At this stage of pregnancy, you should avoid stress at all times. If your partner works, you may have someone stay with you during the day in the event that you go into labor. Make sure that a friend or family members are able to access all of your phone numbers too. During this stage of pregnancy dad to be can come down with a case of the jitters. They worry about becoming first time dads and they may need to discuss their fears with their friends and family rather than with the new mom to be. Most dads do this because they don’t want to put any additional stress on the new moms to be.
Some new dads to be often hide small gifts in the new moms hospital bag. When the new mom goes into the bag she finds a surprise gift on the day the baby was born. It really is a romantic and sentimental thing to do.
The baby is going to continue to grow in weigh and in length. The baby will be anywhere from 17 to 20 inches long and 6-1/2 to 7 pounds. Until the baby is ready to be born, the baby will continue to grow. All of the baby’s organs are now mature and functioning at 100%. It is interesting to know that though the baby’s lungs are mature, the lungs and the brain do not fully function until they are out of the womb. Both will continue to grow and developing even after they are born.
The baby will be born with blue eyes and they can change weeks after the baby is born. If in the course of the pregnancy you have developed hypertension the amount of oxygen and food will have decreased from the baby. If the baby shows signs of losing weight or not gaining weight it could be due to the hypertension. The doctor would have addressed this concern with you by now if you did develop hypertension.
The baby blinks and clenches their fists at this week of pregnancy. The baby will react to light and to the sounds of the moms voice and familiar sounds. The baby fat is now developing to keep in the baby’s body temperature both inside the womb and outside as well.
Changes in You
At 38 weeks pregnant, you may start to worry about the labor and delivery process. If you haven’t already, you should visit the birthing facility where you plan to deliver your baby, so that you have time to find out where everything is.
Have you packed your hospital bag? If you haven’t, you better sit down and do it today. You could go into spontaneous labor at any point now.
Not sure what to pack? There are many schools of thought regarding the hospital bag, but here are some of the more common items that moms-to-be pack:
- Robe or other cover up if you plan on walking during labor.
- Slippers or warm socks.
- Lotion or massage oil.
- Lip balm (your lips will get very chapped during the pushing phase).
- Snacks or drinks (in case you deliver at 3 am and find yourself ravenous).
- Watch with a second hand (to time your contractions).
- Camera and video recorder.
- Magazine or book to read.
- Personal toiletries such as a hair brush and toothbrush.
- Nursing bras.
- Breast pads.
- Change of clothes to go home in.
You might also consider packing a change of clothes for your partner sometime during pregnancy weeks 38 and beyond. When packing the clothes you plan to go home in, be sure you pack something that is the right size. You will need to bring clothes that fit you when you were about five months pregnant, as you will not magically lose all the weight you gained simply by giving birth. Your belly will still be a bit round for a while after delivery.
What To Expect
Now your doctor would discuss certain things with you related to your baby if you have not yet discovered. Who would you think of when the labor pain occurs also when the call should be made should be planned. Sometimes early labor can be completed at home also. You can discuss any medical problems with the doctor to keep away any future troubles. One needs to take care if pregnancy induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, and anemia, intra uterine growth restriction is occurring and take proper measures.
One the woman enters 38th week of pregnancy she would feel decreased moments of the baby. This is so because the baby grows and 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 would 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 lok of your baby before he or she enters this world. Many pregnant women go through several non-stress tests at the last pregnancy stage. This non-stress test could be performed at the doctor’s clinic or at any hospital easily.
Every time you feel the movement of the fetus, you would have to press a button that would be provided to you while going under 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 also it would 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.
Continue to listen to your body. Only you can know when there is something wrong. Continue to attend doctors’ appointment, you can still hear the heartbeat at every appointment and the doctor will still monitor you until the day you go into labor. So don’t worry about anything at this stage. Let the doctor worry about things, all you have to do is rest and relax in these next few weeks. The end of the pregnancy is in sight. Your doctor will let you know if there is something to worry about. Until it is time to go to the hospital, take it easy and relax.