39 Weeks Pregnant

What’s happening this week? How is my baby developing?

At 39 weeks pregnant, your baby is fully formed and ready for life outside your womb and will probably decide to make an appearance any time from now until you’re 42 weeks pregnant.

If your baby hasn’t arrived by then, your doctor will have to induce as the placenta starts degenerating and may become dangerous for the baby.

Your baby’s eyes are fully formed, but their connections to the brain are still developing, which means your baby will have blurred vision for a few weeks. Your baby probably weighs over 3.5 kg and measures 50-52 cm.

How is my body changing?

You’re 39 weeks pregnant, and by now your tummy will not change much until your baby is born. You should be seeing your healthcare provider every week now, to check your baby’s position and well-being.

As an early sign of labour, 1-2 days before its onset your may have diarrhoea and flu-like symptoms, nausea and vomiting. You may also notice increase vaginal discharge, and if you see any blood, it indicates that you’ve lost your mucus plug and labour is starting.

To protect your baby during labour, his heart will be monitored throughout to detected early signs of stress. Your doctor can use external or internal monitoring, depending on what it suits you best.

After delivery, hormones in your body drop quickly and you may feel postpartum depression. Typically this only lasts a few days, but if you start noticing excessive anxiety and depression that doesn’t go away, contact your healthcare provider.

Your weight gain may be between 25-35 pounds.

How will my baby look as a newborn baby?

While you wait at 39 weeks pregnant, you start wondering what your baby is going to look like? All newborns have a few things in common – head disproportionate to the body, short neck and swollen abdomen.

Also, if labour was long, your baby may be born with a “cone head”, which will disappear in a few days. You need to be very careful with your baby’s fontanelles – openings in the skull where the bones haven’t fused completely.

Your baby may be born with spots in his skin, or maybe birth marks. Finally, your baby may be born with no hair or with a head full, only to lose it in the first few days. And it’s not uncommon for the hair to change colour as your baby grows.

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