38 weeks of pregnancy is the 9th month or 3d trimester.
What to Expect at 38 Weeks Pregnant
The body of the baby prepares itself to the birth, and the closer the date of birth is, the more significant the changes in its body are. The baby’s skin becomes smooth, the vellus disappears, and the formation of vernix caseosa stops. Every day, the child's weight increases, but now not more than in 30 grams a day. After the birth, the colon is cleared of dead cells that fill it completely. They are easily removed together with the first stool, sometimes it happens in the mother’s womb, dead cells are covered by mucus with a greenish tinge. It is nothing wrong and causes no harm both to mother and baby. In the 38th week of pregnancy, the baby weight is approximately 3100 grams.
According to the statistics, only 5 % of pregnant women give normal birth to their babies in time, determined by physicians. In other cases, delivery may occur much earlier, so the future mom needs to be ready to go to the hospital immediately. The first signs of the coming childbirth are contractions. Usually, the contractions are accompanied by pain in the lower part of the belly. The contractions are the main messenger of childbirth, and they require visiting a doctor as soon as possible. In the last stages of the pregnancy, the mother's abdomen begins lowering down and causing discomfort, which can be compared to the electric shocks in the lower part of the belly.
The 38th week of pregnancy is often the last one, and every woman should remember this. It is interesting that in this week the girls are born more often. Boys, on the contrary, prefer to stay in the womb until the last day of the 40th week, and sometimes even longer. Also, if the pregnancy is not the first in the life of the woman, the childbirth is more likely to happen in the 38th week.
Only a small percentage (about 5 %) of women carries their second and following babies up to such a large period. Babies who are born in the 38th week are not considered prematurely born; such delivery is perfectly healthy and absolutely natural. There is a delivery model, which includes three stages. In the first stage, uterine wall turns very thin and stretchable, thanks to the contractions. Only with the help of such uterus the baby can be born.
The second stage is characterized by bearing-down pains. On the third, final stage, there comes bursting of the waters and childbirth itself. Usually, by the end of pregnancy, the expectant mother has already had all the necessary tests and ultrasound, and she is fully confident in the health of her baby. Now, she needs only to wait for the baby’s coming into the world. But in the case of suspicion of a threat to the baby’s life, doctor may prescribe ultrasound, which shows the development of the baby in the womb, and its position relative to the umbilical cord.
What Happens to the Baby at 38 Weeks Pregnancy
In the 38th week of pregnancy the baby’s organism is completely developed and formed. The child is waiting for the birth.
If the delivery has not occurred in the 38th week, and the baby stays in mother's belly until the very end of the period, nothing will happen to it, except a small increase in weight.
Our baby weighs 3 kg, and its tiny body’s length is about 50 cm: it is much bigger than in the previous stages of pregnancy. Vernix caseosa is gone, and the skin is smooth, protective hairs disappeared. The baby’s skin turned pink. Meconium (first stool) is completely formed and, after the birth, the baby can easily get rid of it.
But in the rare cases, the meconium escape may happen before the baby’s birth. In this case, meconium comes out together with bursting of the waters that acquire a greenish colour; this causes no harm to mother’s or baby’s health. In the 38th week of pregnancy, boys’ testicles finish their formation. The doctor must track the correct formation of the testicles in order to prevent possible problems in the future.
How the Belly at 38 Weeks Pregnancy
In this period, the expectant mother is looking forward to the birth of her child. The child in the last weeks of pregnancy is relatively large, compared with the previous periods, and the woman feels inconvenience.
The belly seems incredibly large; woman’s weight increases, thus increasing the stress on the legs becomes higher – this is the reason of frequent leg swelling. It is hard for woman to move, her belly causes pressure on the internal organs, making it difficult to breathe, and causing frequent urination. The belly skin is strongly stretched, itching and dry. Sleep also becomes restless.
The navel is not tiny anymore, on its place there is something like taut leather pouch. Do not worry about this, after a little while after the delivery the stomach will be as attractive as it was before.
When the belly is lowered, it means that inside of it the baby rests his head on the pelvic floor. If the expectant mother feels her belly lowering down, she needs to understand that the delivery begins.
38 Weeks Pregnant Belly Pictures
What is the Normal Weight at 38 Weeks Pregnancy
The weight of the pregnant woman should increase depending on the term. Pregnant women should track their weight, due to the fact that excess weight may cause problems. Normally, a pregnant woman to the end of the 38th week of pregnancy gains on the average 14-15 kg, because the weight of a pregnant woman increases only due to the development of the baby inside of her.
Feelings at 38 Weeks Pregnancy
During the pregnancy, the feelings are always the same, regardless of the sex of the unborn child. After 35th-36th week of pregnancy, expectant mother can feel the activity of the child, feel its every movement. With increase of the pregnancy period, the baby’s activity reduces, as with each week there is less and less free space left in the belly.
In the last stages of pregnancy, the baby is slow and makes light movements. In the later stages of pregnancy, the expectant mother should be careful about the inhabitant of her belly, and keep track of each, even barely noticeable baby’s movement. If a kid makes 10 turnovers and pushes a day, it can be characterized as healthy and active. Otherwise, a pregnant woman should visit a doctor as soon as possible. If the baby does not move, then its life could be at risk, and it needs medical assistance.
In the last stages of pregnancy, the women are very tired and exhausted, because they are looking forward to the birth of their baby. Every movement of the expectant mother recalls that soon the long-awaited moment will come.
After the belly "lowered down", the expectant mother can literally take a deep breath. Now, her internal organs are free of uterine pressure, heartburn and belching disappears, and the digestion turns normal.
38 Weeks Ultrasound Pictures
Pain at 38 Weeks Pregnancy
The last weeks of pregnancy, compared with the previous ones, are quite painful, and the pain in this period is a common phenomenon. In the 38th week of pregnancy, the birth canal starts forming. The ligaments turn elastic, soft, and joints become weaker and more open. Due to the relatively large weight of the child, the centre of gravity displacement occurs. There is pain in the lumbar region and sacrum. If there is pain in the calves, it means that the woman has calcium deficiency.
The 38th week is also characterized by the beginning of contractions. But these are not Braxton Hicks contractions. These uterine contractions will stop, if you change the position of the body or lie down comfortably. They are called contractions of false labour. If, on the contrary, the pain intensifies, it is time to go to the hospital.
In the 38th week of pregnancy, there is swelling, and this condition affects the overall well-being of women. If the swelling has undesirable effects, such as diarrhoea, vomiting, or dizziness, you need medical attention, as these are symptoms of preeclampsia that is an interference with proper blood flow.
The vaginal discharge in the 38th week of pregnancy is normal. Often, this discharge is milky white, homogeneous, with slight sour smell. In the 38th week of pregnancy, due to the opening of the uterus, the mucus is discharged. If the mucus has blood blotches in it, or if it is of pinkish colour, the childbirth will come very soon. All this means that the mucous plug is discharged.
If the smell of the vaginal discharge confuses you, if they are green and have cheesy consistency, if there is pus – this situation requires an immediate solution. Most likely, it is an infection that needs to be treated immediately.
In the 38th week of pregnancy you need to be alert and attentive. In this period there are high chances of the placental abruption. This can be understood by blood in discharge. The more abundant such discharge is, the more the placental abruption is. In this case you should visit a doctor. The baby’s life can be saved, but the presentation is excluded. If the discharge is not dense and opaque, it means the bursting of the waters.
If there is such discharge, it means:
- It is the beginning of the delivery, and the baby will soon be born;
- Lack of fetal membrane is characterised by discharge of turbid liquid.
Delivery at 38 Weeks Pregnancy
The childbirth on stage of pregnancy may start right now, today or tomorrow, or they can even "wait" for about one more month. All of these are absolutely normal. The newborn girl is usually in a hurry to please her mother with the early birth. The expectant mother should not stay alone for a long time, or at least she should be able to make a phone call in any moment. The delivery in the 38th week of pregnancy is considered to be full-term and timely.
38 Weeks Pregnant: Your Pregnancy Has Reached Full-Term
Sex at 38 Weeks Pregnancy
Sexual desire is not going away in the 38th week of pregnancy. You can and should have sex in this period, not only because this way a pregnant woman will be pleased, but also because it is useful for the baby: sex improves blood circulation, so the baby will never suffer from oxygen deprivation.
Besides, this way the joy hormone is released, and this also has a good impact on the woman’s well-being. Another interesting fact: having sex may prompt the childbirth. During sex, the already lowered and very sensitive cervix is stimulated, so orgasm may cause uterine contractions. So, if you are tired of being pregnant, the solution is always there! But do not hurry; firstly you need to visit their doctor for consultation.
- If the there is swelling, you feel dizzy, you have unstable blood pressure or diarrhoea – these are signs of pre-eclampsia;
- The delivery is approaching, if you feel pain in the lower part of the belly, similar to the electric shocks. This happens because the child touches the nerve endings, moving through the birth canal. Deliveries begin.
Recommendations for Women
- Consider your diet: it must be well balanced, and full of products rich in calcium. Eat more cheese, fish (even chalk is useful) - then your bones will be strong.
- Take vitamins, and try to relax more. Avoid resting on your back. Bustle around the house less; let the future father take care of everything.
Twin Pregnancy at 38 Weeks
At this point, the twins are not so free to move, as they have grown considerably, and the intrauterine space is reduced greatly. In the 38th week of pregnancy the kids cause a tremendous stress on the placenta, therefore most likely every week the mother is under the close supervision of a physician. Fluff, which appeared during the children’s development now disappears, their appearance is improved.
Toward the end of the term, somewhere in the 37th-40th week, the babies are fully formed, mature; their internal organs are getting ready for the complex process of birth and adaptation to the new environment. Children, born in this period, are considered to be full-term, but their weight is slightly less than of those, born in singleton pregnancies.
Ingestion organs are more passable, intestinal villi are formed and gradually start fulfilling their peristaltic functions, the first stool – meconium – passes to the lower channels. The microflora begins to fill with bacteria, necessary for digestion, only after the first feeding by breast milk or artificial lactation aid.
The sucking apparatus is ready to fulfil its role in a child's body. The process of food absorption will begin immediately after the birth, while feeding the baby. Thanks to the special rolls on the lips mucous membrane, the newborn is able to suck milk easily.
By the end of pregnancy, the babies weigh from 2.5 to 3.7 kg, are from 47 to 55 cm high, and there is about 1-2 litters of amniotic fluid. It has been a long, difficult period of pregnancy – and here it is, the long-awaited double miracle. Now you will have all the pleasant cares – the best thing that can happen in a woman's life!