What To Expect When You’re 38 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is the size of a winter melon!
In The Guide
Now that you probably know your baby’s gender, you might be on a mission to start some gender-specific shopping.
Learning whether you’re having a boy or girl or boy can be very exciting. But, your baby still has a lot more growing to do.
Here’s what this week has in store!
Your baby now weighs about 10 1/2 ounces (300 g) this week. Although he/she has a crown-to-rump length of 7 1/4 inches (18 cm), we can start measuring him/her from head-to-feet, which is around 10 1/2 inches. This is about the size of a large carrot.
Unwanted Belly Rubbing – It never fails that when a pregnant woman starts showing, her baby bump often serves as a big invitation for others to rub it.
While some women find this acceptable, others are downright appalled at it.
Here’s the thing: it’s your body, and you have the right to set the boundaries.
Even though many people will likely be holding and cuddling your baby, he/she is still inside of you, for now. Here are stories from other women dealing with unwanted belly rubbing.
Feeling Attractive – For some women, pregnancy can be a difficult time to feel attractive or sexy. It might cause a lot of insecurities to pop up.
Unsurprisingly, many men find pregnancy to be incredibly attracting on their partner (not in the fetish sense).
For example, pregnancy often softens your curves, makes you ask for more back rubs, and increases the size of your breasts. Most men find these things irresistible.
Here are some tips on how to feel attractive during your pregnancy.
Calming Nerves – Feeling anxious during the second trimester is not uncommon. Especially after you’ve discovered the gender of your baby and your baby’s movements are becoming more profound.
It’s not uncommon to experience anxiety-ridden thoughts about the future. Some women fret about the kind of mother they will be or the future of their relationship with the baby’s father.
If you’ve faced an increased amount of stress at home or work, experienced a high-anxiety pregnancy in the past, or pregnancy loss/fertility struggles, you might be more at risk of feeling anxious.
Remember that if it overwhelms you to the point where you can’t sleep or function in your daily life, then you need to reach out for help from friends, family, or a professional.
You are four months and three weeks pregnant, mama!
Although the growth of your baby has slowed, development will keep happening at a steady rate. This goes for your belly’s size, as well.
Your baby’s organs are slowly maturing now, so his/her growth will be slower but steady. Swallowing amniotic fluid in your uterus, your baby is helping out the growth and development of the digestive system.
You might even be able to see your baby swallow on a live ultrasound screen.
It’s official that you’ve lost your waistline. Friends, family, and strangers in the store can clearly see that you’re pregnant.
This week, your uterus is measuring about 1/2 inch above your belly button. If you wear an exceptionally baggy shirt and slouch, you might be able to hide your pregnancy belly to ward off unwelcome comments or advice.
Now might be a good time to invest in a pregnancy pillow or a wedge to help you rest more comfortably, too.
Restless Nights – As an expecting mother, you’ve got a mile-long list of reasons why your body (or your baby) won’t let you sleep.
For starters, it can be hard to get comfy. Then when you do get comfy, you realize you have to pee. And, of course, the minute you get to sleep your baby decides to have an in-house party, or you wake yourself up snoring. The struggle is real, mama! The struggle is real.
Taste Buds – While your appetite might have changed, your baby is starting to develop taste buds of his/her own, so you might find your cravings to be different.
Many times, a mother’s body naturally sways away from any foods that are too harsh or spicy for baby. Don’t worry if you’re not experiencing this. Just be extra aware of what you’re eating.
Baby is now swallowing amniotic fluid and can taste the foods you eat through the amniotic fluid.
Vaginal Discharge – You can expect vaginal discharge to keep increasing up until the time you give birth. In other words, this annoying symptom is going nowhere fast, mama!
And for good reason, too. It helps protect your vagina and birth canal. Called leukorrhea, it’s a lot like the vaginal discharge you experience between your menstrual cycle.
But, it can be heavier and more pronounced. Some women resort to wearing panty liners to help them feel more comfortable.
Your body might have started to prepare for childbirth by performing “practice contractions” aka Braxton Hicks contractions. Usually, these short-lived contractions only bring you discomfort for about 30 seconds (not over two minutes) and can be relieved by shifting your body to another position.
Some women have reported feeling them as early as 16 weeks, but most of the time they wait until the third trimester to show up.