What To Expect When You’re 38 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is the size of a winter melon!
In The Guide
At the end of this week, you will be wrapping up your first trimester.
By now, you are likely starting to feel better and are ready for the next phase of pregnancy.
So, let’s see what’s in store for you this week!
At this point, length is still a better measurement than weight simply because your baby weighs so little.
Coming in at 1/3 to 1/2 ounce ( 8 to 14 g), your baby’s crown-to-rump length is almost 2 1/2 inches (6.1 cm). Looking unquestionably human, your baby is about the size of a lime.
Carbohydrates – Carbs are well-known among both pregnant and non-pregnant women for a quick pick-me-up.
They’re banned from many diets and are considered an evil word to some people. But, carbs aren’t the bad guy they’ve been labeled as.
In fact, pregnancy is not at all the time to go cutting carbs. They can offer you energy as well as being an excellent source of fiber. Though, it’s important to choose your carbs wisely.
For instance, shy away from simple carbs like starches and sugars that only give you a quick burst of energy. Instead, reach for the complex carbs like whole grain, fruit, and brown rice.
Lifting – In the past, lifting was considered a huge no-no for expecting moms. Not that times have changed all that much concerning lifting, but we do know more about the fundamentals of the pregnant body now.
Because your ligaments are expanding to accommodate your growing baby, it’s likely that you will feel some cramping or discomfort in your abdomen. Lifting will only exacerbate this feeling.
In addition, your joints are loosening to allow your hips to widen for birth. What this leaves you with is a more unstable bone structure.
Although lifting doesn’t have a full green light, if you must lift (laundry, other children, etc.) then lift correctly by keeping your back straight and using your legs to do the most work.
Acrylic Nails – Acrylic nails have become a staple in many women’s fashion style. It’s normal to want to continue this trend when you’re pregnant. And, that’s perfectly okay.
Also, skin changes during pregnancy, so if yours has become more sensitive, you might see some extra redness around your nails.
Simply listen to your body and step out, reschedule, or forego altogether if the fumes are getting to be a little too much.
Yeast Infections – What most women know about yeast infections is that they are very uncomfortable. But, they’re not dangerous.
They’re merely an imbalance between the natural bacteria and yeast currently abiding in the vagina.
Pregnancy increases your risk for a yeast infection. Thank the hormone estrogen for that one! Remember to watch your vaginal discharge.
If it changes from the typical white, milky leukhorrea to a lumpy discharge accompanied by burning or itching then you can turn to an antifungal cream to treat it. Here are a few ways to prevent them, as well.
You are officially two months and three weeks pregnant.
Week 12 is the last week of your first trimester. While each trimester might present you with its own unique challenges, many women claim that the first is the most difficult.
But, it’s nearly over. And with the end of the first trimester also comes the end to one of the riskiest parts of your pregnancy.
The further along in your pregnancy, the more distinguished your baby’s heartbeat becomes.
At this point, you’re able to hear it by listening with a fetal doppler monitor. Your doctor will likely do this during each prenatal visit.
Your baby’s structures are all formed. From here on out, those structures will be growing at a rapid pace.
You’ll likely be able to see some movement on an ultrasound as your baby is wiggling and moving inside your uterus.
There’s a strong chance that if you experienced morning sickness that it’s waining about now. Thankfully, the level of hCG in your body is leveling off providing you with some much-needed relief.
You might still be wearing regular clothes, especially if you’re a first-time mom. But, there’s no doubt you’re growing.
Actually, you’re likely growing in more places than just your baby bump. So, it might be more comfortable for you to wear loose-fitting clothing.
Along with your expanding belly, your breasts are probably getting bigger in addition to your hips and thighs.
Darkening Skin – Pregnancy can do funny things to your skin. It’s not uncommon for expecting moms to notice pigmentation changes on their skin.
Because of the hormones progesterone and estrogen, your body produces more pigment. This change can leave your skin an array of different colors.
Most women experience a darkening of their skin in certain places. One of the most popular forms of this is the linea nigra or the dark line that appears on a pregnant belly.
Leg Cramps – Another notorious and often unwelcome pregnancy symptom is leg cramps. Mostly because of fatigue, the concoction of hormones, and compression of blood vessels, leg cramps during pregnancy are normal.
They feel like a spasm and are usually in your calf. They’re most often felt at night. The fastest way to get rid of them is to stretch your leg by pointing and flexing your foot or by standing on a cold surface. Getting a prenatal massage will offer some added relief, as well.
Mood Swings – In addition to being excited about your pregnancy, you’re probably nervous and overwhelmed, too. So, your mood might be functioning like a zooming roller coaster going up and down.
This is normal. Not comforting, but definitely normal.
You can blame fatigue, stress, hormones, and metabolism. Remember to lean on your circle of support and don’t try to manage everything by yourself.
You’re doing the job of a goddess right now in growing another human. So, be mindful of the mental and physical load you carry and embrace a reprieve now and then.
PUPPPS – Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy or PUPPPS is not incredibly common during pregnancy as it affects less than one percent of expecting moms.
If it does impact you, it’s likely to do so in the second or third trimester. PUPPPS typically accompanies stretch marks and is more dominant in moms carrying baby boys.
It’s a red itchy rash that often begins on your belly then spreads to the lower body. It can even spread to your arms, legs, chest, neck, and face.
There isn’t a way to prevent it, but a helpful tip is simply to keep your skin hydrated with lotions, mild soap usage, and drinking lots of water.
On an ultrasound, you might have noticed that one of your babies is slightly bigger than the other.
This is relatively common, so please don’t be alarmed. Your doctor will look into any significant size difference.
As your baby bump starts to get bigger, make sure you are clear what you can and cannot do regarding exercises, activities, etc.