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Pregnancy 38 Week

Week 38 of Pregnancy: Preparing for the Big Day

As you enter the final stretch of your pregnancy, your body and baby are undergoing remarkable changes in preparation for the upcoming birth. Week 38 marks a significant milestone, as you are now considered full-term and your baby is ready to make its grand entrance into the world.

Your Body at Week 38

  • Increased Braxton Hicks contractions: These practice contractions become more frequent and intense as your body prepares for labor. They may feel like a tightening or hardening of your uterus.
  • Pelvic pressure: Your baby’s head is now engaged in your pelvis, putting pressure on your bladder and rectum. This can lead to increased urination, constipation, or hemorrhoids.
  • Weight gain: By this week, you may have gained around 25-35 pounds. Most of this weight is due to your growing baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid.
  • Swelling: Fluid retention can cause swelling in your hands, feet, and ankles. Elevate your feet and drink plenty of fluids to minimize swelling.
  • Mood swings: Hormonal fluctuations and the anticipation of labor can lead to mood swings and emotional sensitivity.

Your Baby’s Development at Week 38

  • Size and weight: Your baby is now about 19-20 inches long and weighs approximately 6-7 pounds.
  • Physical appearance: Your baby’s skin is smoother and less wrinkled, and its hair is growing thicker. Its fingernails and toenails are fully developed.
  • Lung development: Your baby’s lungs are mature and ready to function independently outside the womb.
  • Brain development: The baby’s brain is rapidly developing, and its senses are becoming more refined.
  • Position: Most babies are head-down in the pelvis by this week, ready for birth.

Preparing for Labor and Delivery

  • Attend prenatal appointments: Continue attending your regular prenatal appointments to monitor your health and your baby’s growth.
  • Pack your hospital bag: Pack a bag with essential items you will need during labor and delivery, such as comfortable clothing, toiletries, snacks, and entertainment.
  • Create a birth plan: Discuss your preferences for labor and delivery with your healthcare provider and write down your wishes in a birth plan.
  • Consider pain management options: Talk to your healthcare provider about pain management options available during labor, such as epidurals or nitrous oxide.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Learn and practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, to help you cope with labor pain.
  • Stay active: Continue to engage in light physical activity, such as walking or swimming, to promote circulation and prepare your body for labor.
  • Get plenty of rest: As you approach your due date, it becomes increasingly important to get enough rest. Take naps when you can and establish a regular sleep schedule.

Signs of Labor

  • Regular contractions: Contractions that occur at regular intervals and gradually increase in intensity and duration.
  • Water breaking: The rupture of your amniotic sac, which releases a clear or slightly pink fluid.
  • Bloody show: A discharge of blood-tinged mucus from your vagina, which indicates that your cervix is dilating.
  • Back pain: Persistent back pain that does not go away with rest or position changes.

When to Call Your Healthcare Provider

  • If you experience any of the signs of labor, call your healthcare provider immediately.
  • If you have any concerns about your health or your baby’s well-being, do not hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider.


Week 38 of pregnancy is a time of both excitement and anticipation as you prepare for the imminent arrival of your little one. By understanding the changes your body and baby are undergoing, and by taking the necessary steps to prepare for labor and delivery, you can ensure a smooth and rewarding birth experience. Remember to stay informed, stay active, and stay positive as you embark on this extraordinary journey into parenthood.

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