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39 Pregnancy Week

Week 39 of Pregnancy: Preparing for Labor and Delivery

Congratulations! You’re now in the final stretch of your pregnancy journey. Week 39 marks the beginning of the 40th week, which is considered full term. This is an exciting time filled with anticipation and preparation for the arrival of your little one.

Physical Changes

As you approach the end of your pregnancy, your body undergoes several physical changes to prepare for labor and delivery:

  • Cervical Effacement and Dilation: The cervix, the opening of the uterus, begins to soften and thin (efface) and widen (dilate) in preparation for the baby’s passage.
  • Increased Braxton Hicks Contractions: You may experience more frequent and intense Braxton Hicks contractions, which are practice contractions that help your body prepare for labor.
  • Pelvic Pressure: As the baby descends into the pelvis, you may feel increased pressure on your bladder and rectum.
  • Weight Gain: Most women gain around 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. By week 39, you may have gained most of this weight.
  • Swelling: Fluid retention can cause swelling in your hands, feet, and ankles.
  • Increased Discharge: You may notice an increase in vaginal discharge, which is usually clear or slightly milky.

Emotional Changes

In addition to physical changes, you may also experience a range of emotions during week 39:

  • Excitement and Anticipation: You’re likely feeling a mix of excitement and anticipation as you get closer to meeting your baby.
  • Anxiety and Nervousness: It’s normal to feel some anxiety or nervousness about labor and delivery.
  • Mood Swings: Hormonal fluctuations can lead to mood swings, including irritability, tearfulness, and moodiness.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty sleeping is common in the last few weeks of pregnancy due to physical discomfort and emotional excitement.

Preparing for Labor and Delivery

Week 39 is an important time to prepare for labor and delivery:

  • Attend Prenatal Appointments: Continue attending your regular prenatal appointments to monitor your health and the baby’s progress.
  • Pack Your Hospital Bag: Pack a bag with essential items you’ll need during labor and delivery, including clothing, toiletries, and any comfort items.
  • Create a Birth Plan: Discuss your birth preferences with your healthcare provider and create a birth plan that outlines your wishes for labor and delivery.
  • Arrange Childcare: Make arrangements for childcare for any other children you have if you’re planning to have a hospital birth.
  • Rest and Relax: Get plenty of rest and relaxation in the final weeks of pregnancy. This will help you conserve energy for labor.

Signs of Labor

Be aware of the signs of labor, which may include:

  • Regular Contractions: Contractions that occur at regular intervals and gradually increase in intensity and duration.
  • Water Breaking: A sudden gush or trickle of fluid from the vagina, indicating that your water has broken.
  • Bloody Show: A discharge of blood-tinged mucus from the vagina, which indicates that the cervix is dilating.
  • Increased Pressure: A feeling of increased pressure in your pelvis or rectum, as the baby descends into the birth canal.

When to Call Your Healthcare Provider

If you experience any of the following, call your healthcare provider immediately:

  • Severe Abdominal Pain: Persistent or severe abdominal pain that doesn’t go away.
  • Vaginal Bleeding: Heavy or bright red vaginal bleeding.
  • Premature Water Breaking: If your water breaks before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Decreased Fetal Movement: A significant decrease in your baby’s movements.


Week 39 of pregnancy is a time of both physical and emotional preparation for labor and delivery. By understanding the physical changes, emotional challenges, and necessary preparations, you can navigate this final stretch with confidence and excitement. Remember to stay in close communication with your healthcare provider and follow their guidance to ensure a safe and healthy birth experience.

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