What To Expect When You’re 38 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is the size of a winter melon!
In The Guide
With only a few weeks left until you’re considered full term, it’s time to start planning for your labor and delivery.
This means getting familiar with labor signs. But, that’s not all.
Let’s jump into the happenings of this week!
Coming in at 18.2 inches from head-to-feet and weighing 5.3 pounds, your baby is about the size of a honeydew melon.
The Unchecked To-do List – Many women want all their ducks in a row by the time baby arrives.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting things to be organized and planned, it’s important to remember that you aren’t always in control of life and it’s happenings.
Things come up, plans change, the unexpected happens, and so on and so forth. If you have the basics taken care of for your baby then consider yourself accomplished. It’s easier said than done but try your best not to stress over every little detail.
Swimming – When it comes to finding relief for aches and pains and getting in a good exercise, swimming does just the trick.
Swimming can make you feel 1/10 lighter than how much you weigh on dry land. Not only does it help manage water retention in your feet and hands, but it also eases the pressure on loosened joints.
Whether you’re going for a relaxing float in the pool or a power swim, you need to put safety first. Walk slowly on those slippery surfaces and enter the pool slowly, too. You don’t want your baby dealing with too many air bubbles.
Perineal Massage – A perineal massage is a massage that attempts to stretch the area surrounding your vagina to prevent tearing or the need for an episiotomy during birth.
Doing this massage doesn’t guarantee that you won’t tear or need an episiotomy, but many women claim that it does help. For detailed instructions on how to do a perineal massage, see here.
You are now eight months and one week pregnant, mama!
Your baby probably won’t get too much longer, but will continue to put on some weight over the next few weeks.
If you were to give birth now, your baby has a wonderful survival rate. Some babies have even been born not needing any medical intervention at this point.
Now that you’re in the throes of the third trimester, you might be feeling Braxton Hicks contractions more than you previously did.
It could surprise you how hard your belly can get during these contractions. You’ll soon discover that real contractions aren’t the same as Braxton Hicks contractions, but it can be hard to tell at first.
It’s essential to become familiar with the signs of labor, so you can be more assured in the type of contraction you’re experiencing.
Hips and Pelvis – Once again, hormones play the culprit for aching hips and pelvis. As your ligaments and joints loosen in preparation for birth, you might feel some discomfort in your hips and your pelvis, as well.
Not only are your hip joints also feeling looser, but your baby is putting a great deal of pressure on both your hips and pelvis. The combination of the loose joints and the added stress can often mean feeling aches and pains.
Labor Signs – As you near the pregnancy finish line, it’s important to know the signs of labor.
Granted, you’ve probably been dealing with cramps, twinges, Braxton Hicks contractions, and many other uncomfortable symptoms already.
Labor signs are similar to all of these, but then again, they’re different.
For instance, true labor doesn’t let up. Contractions keep getting more intense and longer. The thing about early labor is it’s often mistaken for Braxton Hicks contractions.
Here are some tips to tell what you’re truly dealing with.
Lightening – “Lightening” is another way to describe the change in your baby’s position as he/she begins to transition deeper into your pelvis.
Lightening often happens about two to four weeks before birth, but not always. For some women, it can be difficult to tell when it actually happens, especially for moms who carried low for the entire pregnancy.
Other women have an easier time knowing when it happens because it felt so significant to them. You might even have people comment that your baby “dropped.”
When it happens, it will be easier to breathe and ward off heartburn. But, you might be running to the restroom a lot more due to the added pressure in your bladder.
It’s common for moms expecting twins or multiples to be hyper-vigilant these last few weeks.
You might be finding yourself on high alert with each cramp, twinge, or Braxton Hicks contraction. This is completely normal, so don’t feel like you’re going overboard.
Right now, your babies are pretty much as big as they’ll get given you’ll likely deliver earlier than most other moms.