What to Expect when You’re 39 Weeks Pregnant
You haven’t seen your own toes for about four months, you constantly have to know where the nearest bathroom is, and it feels like every muscle in your body aches. Oh, and if one more person says, “You’re still here!” or, “When’s your due date?” you won’t be responsible for your own actions!
Welcome to the 39th week of your pregnancy!
Looking on the bright side, your baby is now officially full term and you can expect his arrival any day (just be warned: he or she may have taken a liking to life in utero and stay there for another 2 or 3 weeks!).
Your baby should now be between seven and eight pounds (give or take) and will have filled out with lots of irresistible baby fat. While in the womb, he or she has developed an immune system, nervous system, vital organs and has been busy learning how to breathe, suck, taste, hear, smell and see. In short, he or she is now a fully functional baby and is ready to make the journey through the birth canal…any…day…now…
Symptoms in Pregnancy Week 39
Your body probably feels like it’s all over the place right now. The fact is, it’s working really hard to prepare you for labor, delivery, and motherhood. The major symptoms you can expect are:
Edema: Swollen feet and ankles from fluid build up.
Bloody show: A sign of the cervix dilating.
Diarrhea: Your body making more room for Baby and “clearing out” in preparation for labor.
Incontinence: Caused by pressure on the bladder and decreased sensitivity (you don’t KNOW when you need to GO!)
Leaky nipples: Your breasts are preparing for nursing and are already making colostrum.
Braxton Hicks Contractions: Your uterus “practicing” for labor.
Signs of Labor
Many of the late pregnancy symptoms have the potential to trick you into thinking that you’re going into labor. But you may actually carry for another two or three weeks. However, there are a few sure symptoms that your pregnancy is coming to an end and labor beginning. Look out for:
The Mucous Plug: Throughout your pregnancy, you’ve had this little “plug” in your cervix. Leading up to the start of labor, you may pass this thick glob of mucous, which can be a sign that your cervix is becoming more dilated and labor will begin in the next couple of days.
Waters Breaking: The sac of amniotic fluid that has nurtured your baby throughout your pregnancy may rupture and a flood of water will come from your vagina. Depending on how dilated you are, this may be closely followed by contractions or you may still have a day or two to wait. Contact your professionals as soon as this happens. Be aware that not all women’s waters break without assistance.
Actual Contractions: You’ll be able to tell the difference between real contractions and Braxton Hicks because they come at regular intervals and you can not ease or stop them by changing positions or walking around. If you think you’re having real contractions, get out a timer and measure the intervals between them.
If in Doubt, ask for Help
If you’re ever in any doubt about whether what you’re experiencing is a normal symptom of late pregnancy or the beginnings of labor, it doesn’t hurt to check with your professionals.
To Do List
Have your hospital bag packed and ready to go! Use our handy hospital bag checklist if you’re not sure what you’ll need.
Just hang in there – it may feel like forever, but it won’t be long. Follow your doctor or midwife’s advice. Try to ignore well-meaning advice (take a long walk, eat a spicy curry, have sex) from aunts and workmates. Your baby will arrive when he or she is ready!
Keep busy: Open some windows and air out the nursery. Wash clothes and blankets. Knit some booties. Or do a little online shopping to prepare for Baby’s arrival.
Articles and Advice for the Final Weeks of Pregnancy:
You can’t really plan for the perfect delivery – every woman labors differently and there are so many unknowns! But, knowledge is preparedness. So, to help you prepare for what’s ahead, we take a close look at labor and delivery.
In this article, we look at signs of false labor, how to tell Braxton Hicks contractions from the real thing and the sure signs that labor is actually beginning.
The final weeks of pregnancy can really drag – it feels like forever since those magical 1st pregnancy symptoms, you’re bone tired but you can’t sleep, and the signs of pregnancy symptoms are playing havoc with your bodily functions, your emotions, and your mind! You’re continuously checking the pregnancy due date calculator to see how much longer you have to go. Sound like you? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve got some practical advice on getting through the last month of pregnancy in one (well, soon to be two!) piece.