38 weeks description


You are now 38 weeks pregnant (or in your 39th week if that’s how you prefer to count it).

How your baby’s growing

Your baby is now ready to greet the world. At this point, the average full term newborn is still building a layer of fat to help control body temperature after birth. Most babies are between 2.7 and 4.3kg/6 and 9 1/2lb at birth and boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls. All your baby’s organs are developed and in place though his lungs will be the last to reach full maturity. Read more information on your baby’s development this week.

How your life’s changing

You may be feeling huge and uncomfortable during these final weeks. Try to take it easy — this may be your last opportunity to do so for quite a while. See a movie, read a book that has nothing to do with pregnancy or babies, have your hair or nails done, or just spend time with your partner. Neither of you will have much time for cooking in the few weeks after your baby’s born, but you could prepare some home-made frozen meals to enjoy when you need them. What else can you do? Make sure the car’s filled up with gas, and read our fun baby star signs.

Your partner should try to relax too and enjoy some activities there won’t be time for after the baby arrives. Suggest some inspirational reading — he may need it when you go into labour. Is he worried about how he’ll cope with a new baby in the house? Read our new dad’s survival guide and debunk five myths of fatherhood.

Be prepared

This is a good time to have an in-depth conversation with your doctor or midwife about pain relief in labour. On the practical front, make sure you know where to park and which entrance to use to get to the labour and delivery ward quickly and ask about what happens when you arrive at the hospital, if you don’t already know. Make sure you take plenty of change with you for vending machines and telephone calls (cell phones sometimes have to be switched off in hospitals because they can interfere with medical equipment). If you have other children, make back-up plans for childcare when labour begins.


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