This is the time you have been waiting for. The baby can be born anytime now. It is more important than ever to try to stay close home and get as much rest as possible. At this stage of pregnancy, you should understand exactly what to look for with regards to contractions. The baby is taking up more and more space inside the womb. Baby will be wanting to make an appearance very soon. At this week of pregnancy, the baby has reached their growth potential in the womb. All of the baby’s organs are functioning and their lungs are fully matured now.
You should be preparing a checklist of everything that you want to have done by the time the baby is born. You want to have the nursery done. Organize help for after the baby is born. Have all phones charged with important numbers loaded kept close. The only thing you can do now is to relax and wait for your baby. Don’t panic about the birth, you should have discussed all of the procedures and concerns with your doctor. If you go into labor and there is no one around to take you to the hospital, don’t try to drive yourself. If you feel like you cannot wait to go to the hospital, then call an ambulance.
The baby at this week of pregnancy should weigh about 7 pounds. This is just an average, some babies will weigh less and others will weigh more. The lungs as we mentioned are mature and the surfactant is increasing at week thirty-nine. If the baby was not born this week, the baby will still continue to grow and you may start to feel more uncomfortable than you already do. You will still want to continue to document the baby’s movements until the time comes to go into labor.
Your baby at birth may look a bit different than you imagined but all babies do. The baby’s head may be misshapen and the skin may look more red than normal. After a day or two the baby will start to look more like a baby. The baby’s features will change and become more prominent after a few days. Your baby is also still trying to regulate their body temperature outside the womb.
Changes With Your Body
You will continue to notice the changes within your body. As we mentioned earlier, you will become more uncomfortable as the baby has little room in the womb left. You will start to feel awkward and clumsy. Your entire center of gravity is off. You will find even the simplest tasks hard to do, such as standing up, sitting down, lying down, sleeping and even eating. It can seem very dismal at this point because you feel miserable and you don’t want to be pregnant anymore. But stay positive and remember the long part of the pregnancy is over and it is literally a matter of time before the baby is born.
You find it easier to wear very loose fitting clothes, slip on shoes and sleeping in a reclining position. You may have noticed that your hands and feet have swollen too. This is a sign of water retention but if the swelling comes with nausea and headaches, contact your doctor right away.
You may be experiencing false contractions at this stage of pregnancy. This happens to most new moms to be and you shouldn’t worry. A sign of real labor is if you have severe pain with difficulty in changing the position you are in. This may be real labor. Remember, don’t wait for the water to break because there are plenty of women out there that it doesn’t happen to. If you do start to feel a bit of water dripping or gushing then you should call your doctor, because even though your water breaks it could be hours before you start feeling any contractions.
What To Expect
You can expect to try to image what the baby is going to look like. You are now envisioning the birth and delivery. Giving birth is one of the most joyous miracles of life and you should embrace it and not be afraid of it. Continue to monitor the baby’s movements and keep track of them. If you notice a change in the pattern then you should call your doctor and see what they recommend. They may recommend that you come in for a special appointment and it would be a good idea. It is better to be safe than sorry. At this stage of pregnancy, about 15% of women encounter a rupture in the membranes. This may require a C-Section birth.
You may have a last sonogram before the baby is born, asks your doctor about the 3D sonogram. You can see what your baby will look like before he or she is born. You should have a plan for the delivery as to who is going to go into the delivery with you and if you have other kids, who is going to watch them. You should have a list of people who you want to call and a changed cell phone. Make sure your hospital bag is packed and ready to go.
At this stage of pregnancy, you want to rest and relax. Do not do anything that you are going to exert yourself. If you live in a home with a staircase, set yourself up on the first floor. Climbing the stairs at this rate may not be the best idea for you. You should have everything ready to go and your doctors’ name and phone should be on your speed dial. Some women in labor often forget to call the doctor so make sure that everyone around you knows that the doctor has to be called. The reason why this is is that the doctor can meet you at the hospital so you won’t have to wait for him to arrive. It is a part of the coordinating effort for a safe delivery.