Welcome to week 38 of your pregnancy journey. At 38 weeks pregnant, we’re deep into the third trimester. As per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the baby is considered “early term.” The baby is about the length of a mini watermelon, and the due date is fast approaching. Labor could start today, tomorrow, or in the next two weeks. This is entirely normal, and many women find themselves eager for the baby to arrive. It’s important to remember that the condition of your body during this pregnancy week is crucial, so stay hydrated and avoid staying alone for extended periods.
Baby’s Growth and Development at 38 Weeks Pregnant
The baby’s development is nearly complete by the 38th week of pregnancy. The baby has reached a length of approximately 49.8 cm and weighs around 3.1 kg – a healthy birth weight. Head circumference is about 32.8 cm, and the abdominal circumference measures around 34.2 cm. The baby’s brain is maturing, baby’s skin is getting less wrinkled, and baby’s lungs are nearly developed. During this last week, the baby’s body has slowed down in size but is undergoing important developments in preparation for birth.
Symptoms and Feelings Experienced at 38 Weeks Pregnant
Most women, at 38 weeks pregnant, feel a mixture of anticipation and anxiety. Pregnancy symptoms may include Braxton Hicks contractions or “practice contractions,” a sudden increase in vaginal discharge due to the mucus plug releasing, and trouble sleeping. You may also experience feeling cooped up and an overwhelming urge to clean and organize your home, known as the “nesting instinct.” These symptoms are all a normal part of this week of pregnancy.
Optimal Diet for Moms-to-Be at 38 Weeks Pregnant
Moms-to-be should focus on staying healthy and gaining a suitable amount of weight. Eat small meals regularly to avoid constipation, and ensure your diet is rich in protein, potassium, and calcium. You can consume these from dairy products, fish, eggs, and broccoli. Remember to drink plenty of water and don’t limit your intake. Avoid inducing labor by avoiding certain foods, but under no circumstances should you starve. Now more than ever, it’s essential to fuel your body.
Ultrasound Observations During the 38th Week of Pregnancy
The doctor or healthcare provider will check the baby’s position, the condition of the amniotic sac and fluid, and ensure the baby’s development is on track. While the baby is about the size it’ll be at birth, there are still important developments happening. If the baby’s head is down, it’s a sign the body is preparing for labor. In some cases, if the baby’s position isn’t ideal, the doctor may discuss the possibility of inducing labor.
Wrapping Up: Nearing the End of Your 38-Week Pregnancy Journey
As we conclude our 38-week guide, remember that every woman’s experience is unique. Embrace the changes your body is going through and look forward to the birth of your baby. It’s a good idea to have your hospital bag ready at this point and maintain regular contact with your healthcare provider. Regular check-ups will ensure your body is ready for labor, and your baby is ready to enter the world. Be sure to continue breathing exercises and get fresh air to reduce swelling and discomfort. The 38th week of pregnancy is a significant time, and it’s all leading up to the moment your baby arrives. So, sit back and let nature take its course as you near the end of this journey.
Questions and Answers
What should you be feeling at 38 weeks pregnant?
At 38 weeks pregnant, you may experience various physical and emotional changes. This includes increased sluggishness, shortness of breath, and stomach discomfort due to the baby’s size. As your body prepares for labor, you may also experience changes such as your belly dropping, the baby’s head gradually descending, and characteristic pains in the pelvic area and pubic bone. Your breasts may become fuller and secrete colostrum, and there could be noticeable changes in vaginal discharge. You might also feel a mix of excitement and nervousness as the day of labor nears. Be sure to monitor these symptoms and keep in regular contact with your healthcare provider.
Is delivery in 38 weeks safe?
Yes, delivery at 38 weeks is considered safe as it falls within the “full term” period of pregnancy. This means the baby is fully developed and ready for birth. At this point, the baby’s organs, including the lungs and brain, are well developed and functioning. The baby’s skin is filled out and the reflexes are developed. However, every pregnancy is unique, so it’s essential to discuss your specific situation and any concerns with your healthcare provider to ensure the safest possible delivery.
Elizabeth Baker is a mother of three, wife, and the passionate mind behind this pregnancy and baby development resource. She balances her love for understanding every stage of child growth with her duties as a parent. When she’s not sharing her experiences or studying child development, Sarah enjoys family time, reading, and practicing yoga. She believes in the power of shared knowledge to enhance the beautiful journey of parenthood.