What To Expect When You’re 38 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is the size of a winter melon!
In The Guide
By now, you’re probably started to have people comment on your belly. You’d better get used to it because a pregnant belly seems to act as the ultimate conversation starter.
This week is all about size and how to deal with some of these unwanted comments. Here we go!
Weighing in at just over a pound, your baby is just over 11 inches from the top of the head to the soles of those little feet.
In the begging, most babies start out with similar growth pace. As the pregnancy progresses, your baby becomes his/her own person more than you can imagine.
This influences growth rate, too. For this reason, size averages become even more… average, per se.
Belly Size – For some reason, when many people comment on the size of a pregnant belly they tend not to think before speaking. No one likes to hear comments about how big or small they are, and pregnant women are the same way.
You might hear that you’re too small, too big, carrying twins (when you’re not), or an array of other judgmental comments.
As annoying as these comments can be, remember that you can always deliver a witty and confident comeback about how your doctor says you’re right on track and you’re not worried a bit.
If you are worried, of course, talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Fundal Height – Like mentioned in previous weeks, your doctor will start measuring your belly each visit starting at about week 20.
The measurement is from the top of the uterus to your pubic bone. This is known as your fundal height.
When you measure either big or small, your doctor will look into the reason why. It could be that your due date is off or something different altogether.
Some women find this measurement to cause anxiety. Keep in mind that each baby is as unique as each pregnancy. Average is still average, and not being average doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong.
Breast Size – Whether or not you plan to breastfeed your baby, your breasts haven’t gotten that particular memo. They’re under strict orders from the hormones guiding your body through this pregnancy.
This means that they’re going to prepare to feed your growing baby. The result of this preparation is often that your breast size significantly increases. And, this growth might result in some unwanted glances… err, stares from other people.
Not that you can always cover the girls up and hide them completely, but if the uninvited looks bother you, feel free to protect your self-esteem by wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable. You can even stare back if you’d like!
You are now five months and one week pregnant, mama!
It’s only natural for people to start asking you when you’re due now that you’re obviously pregnant.
Some women are totally fine with sharing their due date. But, if that’s not you then just tell them you have a little over four months to go.
They can do the math themselves.
Your baby looks very much like a little doll right now. All his/her little parts are formed, they’re just itty-bitty. Plus, your baby’s skin is wrinkly and will be until he/she fills out a little more.
Although it’s not visible on an ultrasound, the lanugo hair covering your baby’s body sometimes turns darker around this time.
One significant development is your baby’s pancreas. This organ plays an essential part in insulin production and is entering the last stages of development now.
Your belly is serving as a miniature playground for your little baby. He/she can sense sound and light from inside your womb.
There’s a good chance that your baby is even responding to it, especially the sound of your voice.
Right now there’s a fair amount of amniotic fluid in your womb acting as a tiny pool for your baby to swim around in. Should you rub on your belly, you can probably get some sort of response from your baby.
Leaky Breasts – As you near the end of your second trimester, your breasts are going to undergo yet another change.
In a few weeks, they will start producing colostrum, which is the first “milk” that you will produce when your baby starts nursing. It’s thick and yellowish in color.
Many women start leaking colostrum before birth. So, if your breasts suddenly turn into faucets, grab a couple of breasts pads to soak it up.
Mood Swings – Feeling emotional is a perfectly normal part of pregnancy. And, you have little control over the way your hormones cause your body to feel.
In fact, the level of hormones in your body changes so dramatically during your pregnancy that it’s hard to predict how you’ll feel each new week or even new day.
What we do know is that this week is typical for emotions to be on high alert.
Although pregnancy emotions can be challenging to deal with, try to take it all in stride and handle each emotion as it comes to you.
Water Retention – The blood circulation in your legs is a little on the slow side nowadays. This lack of circulation might cause your feet and ankles (and sometimes your hands) to swell during this part of pregnancy.
It’s called edema. Most of the time it’s harmless and can be relieved by lowering your sodium intake and taking a break with your feet up.
If sudden or excessive swelling occurs, please call your doctor. It could be the early signs of a condition known as preeclampsia.
There’s a good chance that your babies are starting to move a lot more now that they’re getting bigger. In addition to their growth, they’re able to sense your environment, as well.
Hearing noises and seeing a form of light through your skin, they are likely responding in their own unique way.
Your fingers might be swelling a little bit at this point. A little swelling is normal (as mentioned above) but extreme and sudden swelling is a red flag.
Should your rings be feeling a little snugger lately then remove them and put them away until after you give birth.