What To Expect When You’re 38 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is the size of a winter melon!
In The Guide
At nine weeks, there’s a good chance that you’re feeling thicker around the waist. For good reason, too.
Not only is your baby growing in leaps and bounds, but your body is also undergoing vast changes to accommodate this growth.
Here’s what’s happening during week 9 of your pregnancy.
At a fraction of an ounce, your baby is about the size of a grape or a medium green olive.
From crown-to-rump, your baby’s length is 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.2 to 3 cm). No longer an embryo, your baby is now a fetus.
Growing at a rapid pace, your baby is looking determined this week with hands flexed and meeting over the heart area.
The fingers are lengthening and developing touch pads at the ends where fingertips will soon be.
The tadpole-like appearances are diminishing as your baby starts to look more and more human. The neck is straightening out, and there are even tiny eyelids covering almost the entire eye.
With all of this growth and development, your little one has begun to move and kick. Though, you probably won’t feel these tiny movements for a few weeks.
Anxiety – Even if you’ve never been a worrier before, pregnancy might be just the ticket that turns you into one. After all, there’s another life living and growing inside of you.
There’s no wonder that you’re going to feel some element of anxiety and worry!
Right after the first prenatal appointment is a typical time for new mamas to start acting like a worrywart, too. So, if your anxiety has skyrocketed in the last week, consider yourself to be a normal, healthy pregnant woman.
Remember to maintain your focus on motherhood right now. Say “no” when you need to and cut back on chores. Now is the time to start leaning on your circle of support. Be kind to yourself and listen to your body’s cues to rest.
Hot Tubs/Sauna – If you’re like most women then you appreciate a good soak in a sultry hot tub. Or maybe the sauna is the place where you like to melt away.
Here’s the thing, experts advise that you stay away from this kind of luxurious heat while you’re pregnant. The reason is that both hot tubs and saunas can raise your temperature to a level that could be dangerous for your growing baby.
Rather than risk hurting your little one, consider them to be off limits for now.
Vitamin C – Since your baby is busy forming bones, cartilage, and ligaments, it’s essential for you to intake the proper amount of vitamin C as this aids in their growth.
As well as supporting bone growth, vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron, too. About 80 mg per day is all you need during your pregnancy.
What this amounts up to is a glass of orange juice per day. It’s as easy as that! All citrus fruit, strawberries, and broccoli are also rich in vitamin C.
Anemia – The most common type of anemia during pregnancy is when you have low levels of iron in your blood.
It’s common to experience fatigue, coldness in hands and feet, dizziness, and abnormally pale skin. Although you likely won’t be tested until about week 24, it’s important to be aware of this condition.
Many women are iron deficient as it is and pregnancy only makes your body work harder.
Tip from the nutritionists: pair your vitamin C food with an iron-rich food (rather than dairy). This will help your body absorb that iron much better.
You are officially two months pregnant, new mama!
Most likely, things are starting to get “real” this week. If you attended your first prenatal appointment last week, then it might have seemed like an initiation into a whole other world.
Be confident in knowing that you’re thankfully not the first woman to have ever done this.
In fact, your body was made for this. Rely on the support of women who have gone before you and remember to follow your instincts.
Like famed midwife Ina May Gaskin’s said, “Your body is not a lemon.” You’ve got this!
Week nine is a milestone week as your baby has officially graduated from embryo to fetus. Although there is no cap and gown, you and your baby’s progress is to be celebrated nonetheless.
According to the science of it all, there are two main phases for your baby during pregnancy: the embryonic phase and the fetus phase.
During the first phase, your embryo is busy forming major organs. After graduation, your baby (fetus) is all about growing and developing everything started in phase one.
By now, there’s a good chance that your favorite jeans are getting harder and harder to button. You might have had a few lie down on the bed and hold your breath kind of moments as you attempted to button up.
Just know that you’re in good company. Not only is weight gain typical for this week, it’s recommended.
So, there’s a good reason that buttoning your jeans has become an epic feat. Here are a few tips on how to extend your wardrobe. For example, a belly band can keep you wearing your old jeans well into your pregnancy.
Along with the other bodily changes supporting your weight gain, your uterus is growing, as well.
Not only has your uterus has doubled in size since you became pregnant, but your lower abdomen probably feels more firm than it did before.
In the coming months, your organs will shift and adapt to your growing baby.
For now, it’s at the beginning stages of the famous baby bump look.
Blood Volume – Your blood volume has greatly increased to accommodate your little baby. By the end of your pregnancy, your blood volume will have increased by 50%.
In fact, you’re well on your way there now. What this means for you is extra weight on the scale and a general feeling of fullness or thickness throughout your body. Your skin might be a glowing blush color, as well.
Weight Gain – Like mentioned before, weight gain at week nine is not only expected but recommended.
Depending on your pre-pregnancy BMI, your weight gain goal might be different from other women’s. Here’s a pregnancy weight gain calculator for you to quickly determine your weight gain expectations and goals.
hCG Levels – This is a huge week for the hCG levels in your body. If they could throw a reunion party in your body this week, then they probably would.
Coming in at peak level, hCG is probably making you feel your worst right now. Whether it’s fatigue, morning sickness, or mood swings, hCG is likely having a party and having it on your time.
Well, the good news is that next week should welcome in a leveling out of these hormones so you can feel more like yourself.
Emotions – If your body is indeed hosting an hCG party then the scale might be screaming out numbers you haven’t seen in years.
On top of that, you might have a big zit on your chin! So, it’s only normal for your emotional tank to be running on fumes.
It’s okay, mama. You are nearing the end of an enormous and shocking transitional phase aka the first trimester. When you feel like you’re emotions are on high alert then take time to be kind to yourself.
Say “no” to extra activities or stay in for the night (or the whole day). Take time to rest and indulge in your self-care routine.
It’s likely that you know by now that you’re carrying twins or multiples. You might have even heard their heartbeats via a fetal doppler monitor.
Now that your babies have graduated from the embryonic phase to the fetal phase, they’re going to take off in terms of growth and development.
What this means for you is that you’ll be dressing a rapidly growing figure and expecting to see the scale increase by about a pound each week.