Congratulations, you’ve reached the finish line! At 39 weeks, your little one is considered full term, so it’s time to let them know that they’re being evicted. Ensure that your hospital bag is prepared and set for departure.
While your due date technically falls at 40 weeks, if you have gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or another high-risk condition, your ob-gyn may suggest inducing labor.
At this stage, contractions are the name of the game. You’ll feel your belly hardening throughout the day, especially after physical activity. If you notice your contractions becoming more intense and frequent, it might be time to head to the hospital. Don’t forget to brush up on other signs of labor too!
It’s common to feel impatient and uncomfortable around this stage of pregnancy. This might be nature’s way of mentally preparing you for delivery.
“At this time , you’re likely eager to get this baby out and ready to embrace the next phase of your journey with your little munchkin.”
Pregnancy Week 39 Quick Facts
- At 39 weeks, you’re nine months and three week pregnant
- You have 1 weeks until your due time “Calculate Your Due Date”
- This is your third trimester
Your Unborn Baby’s Size at 39 Weeks
How Big is a Baby?
At 39 weeks pregnant, your baby weighs approximately 7.3 pounds or 3.3 kilograms and measures about 20 inches or 50.8 centimeters in length. To put it in perspective, your little one is about the size of a pumpkin! Despite the limited space inside your belly, your baby continues to grow as you approach delivery.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 39
Continue to monitor your baby’s kicks and movements, and if you notice a decrease in activity, promptly inform your doctor or midwife. It’s important for your baby to remain active until delivery, and a significant reduction in movement could indicate a potential issue.
During a prenatal checkup, your healthcare provider may perform an internal exam to assess the ripening of your cervix. This involves checking if it has softened, thinned out (effaced), and started to dilate (open). However, even with this information, it’s impossible to accurately predict the exact timing of your baby’s arrival. Some women experience rapid progress in labor even without prior dilation, while others may wait for days or even weeks after the cervix has started to open before labor begins.
One of the reasons for changes in the cervix is the increase in a hormone called prostaglandins, which prepares the cervix for labor and birth. However, prostaglandins can also cause loose stools.
There is a belief that diarrhea can indicate the onset of early labor, with some people thinking it could be a sign that labor will begin within the next 24 to 48 hours.
Discovering Your Body After Giving Birth
It’s completely normal to still have a pregnant-looking belly after delivering your baby. After all, it took nine months for your body to undergo these changes. Take the time to learn about what you can expect from your body during the postpartum recovery period.
- Prepare for Entertainment
During the long hours of early labor, you might find it helpful to have some light entertainment on hand. Create a list of shows to stream, gather magazines and books, or even subscribe to new podcasts. Having these distractions can be beneficial during this phase.
- Ensure You Have Post-Birth Essentials
After giving birth, there are several items you may need that you may not have encountered before. Stock up on these postpartum must-haves, such as peri bottles, donut-shaped cushions, and hemorrhoid pads. While hospitals typically provide some postpartum care items like squirt bottles and disposable underwear, it’s still a good idea to have your own supply.
- Maxi pads: You will experience postpartum bleeding (known as lochia) for several weeks following delivery. Although the hospital will provide you with extra-large pads initially, it’s a good idea to have a stockpile of pads at home with varying levels of absorbency since the flow decreases over time.
- Postpartum underwear: As you progress in your recovery and no longer require large maxi pads or disposable hospital underwear, you’ll want more comfortable options. Look for big and cozy underwear, often referred to as “granny panties,” that will provide you with the necessary comfort.
- Nursing bras: It’s recommended to bring nursing bras to the hospital as they offer both comfort and support while breastfeeding.
Preserve Your Pregnancy Memories
The end of pregnancy can be an emotionally charged time for many expectant parents. If you’re dealing with overwhelming emotions or simply want to capture this unique moment, consider journaling. Writing down your thoughts and experiences, whether directed towards your baby or for personal reflection, is a wonderful way to document your pregnancy journey. These memories will be cherished when you look back on them in the future.
Prenatal Tests and Doctor’s Appointments
During your weekly visit to your doctor’s office, you can expect to have your weight and blood pressure checked, urine tested, swelling monitored, and your baby’s position and heartbeat checked. Your healthcare provider will also check your baby’s
- fundal height
- discuss any symptoms you may be experiencing
- perform a cervical examination
- answer any questions you may have
This is a great opportunity to inquire about labor and delivery and address any lingering concerns you may have. If you have additional questions after the appointment, don’t hesitate to call the office.
As you near the end of your pregnancy, it’s normal to have gained around 25 to 35 pounds, but this can vary based on your unique situation and your healthcare provider’s recommendation.
Can’t wait to see your new born? too much excitement!!!!
As the days pass, it’s natural to become more and more eager to finally hold your baby in your arms. However, it’s important to keep in mind that many first-time moms (and others) often go past their due date.
While this may seem disappointing, it’s important to remember that pregnancy can last up to 42 weeks, even though the countdown to 40 weeks is a common milestone. If your due date has passed, your healthcare provider may suggest inducing labor soon. This is a safe and routine procedure, with some providers even recommending induction at 39 weeks to prevent certain complications, while others may choose to wait longer.
After reaching the 40-week mark, your healthcare provider will closely monitor your pregnancy and may request that you come in for visits and testing twice a week.
By the time you reach week 39 of pregnancy, your baby’s organs have fully developed and are capable of functioning outside the womb. However, these final days before birth are still crucial. During this period:
- The baby’s brain and lungs continue to grow and mature.
- The baby continues to gain approximately half a pound each week.
- The baby prepares for labor and delivery.
Your baby’s immune system is also becoming stronger. Throughout pregnancy, you pass antibodies to your baby, which help them develop their own immune system and protect against illnesses and infections. While the baby has been receiving antibodies from the placenta since week 13, the majority of these antibodies are transferred during the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Still gaining weight
Your baby is in the process of gaining more fat to regulate their body temperature once they are born. At this stage, your little one is likely measuring around 20 inches in length and weighing slightly over 7 pounds. (Boys tend to have slightly higher birth weights compared to girls.)
Ready for interaction
Your baby’s developing motor skills are evident as they have a firm grasp. You will soon have the opportunity to experience this firsthand when you hold their hand for the first time! Additionally, your baby now possesses coordinated reflexes, can turn their head, and will be able to see your face once they enter the world. Newborns have a visual range of approximately 6 to 10 inches, allowing them to focus on your face during those precious moments.
At 39 weeks, your baby is considered “full term.” Full term refers to babies born between 39 weeks and 40 weeks 6 days of gestation. Babies born during this timeframe generally have the best health outcomes.