Overview of that week
You are in the last month of your pregnancy and your baby will be with you anytime by the end of this month. Your doctor will ask you to visit the hospital to make sure that the baby’s heart rate and movements are how they are supposed to be.
If you don’t deliver one week past your due date or by the 41 week, your doctor will monitor you and your baby closely to avoid any complications. If your baby isn’t in the correct position before labor, your doctor might give light massages to try and turn the baby around.
At the 38th week, the baby is over 3kgs and about 19 inches in height. The vocal cords have developed and now are strong enough to withhold your baby’s cries during the birth. The organs are maturing and preparing for the functions after birth. Your baby will continue to grow and develop after birth into adulthood.
The amniotic fluid and all the waste cells that your baby has processed will be turned into a greenish colored bowel called Meconium. This will be the very first thing that your baby will poop after being born.
Body changes in mother
As if indigestion, heartburn, backache, and constant need to pee weren’t enough for you to want to push the baby out as soon as possible. Your breasts might also start to prepare milk, which might leak through your nipples even before you deliver the baby.
Slower and clumsy
Towards the 40 weeks in your pregnancy it is totally acceptable for you to not be at your top game. You might want to cuddle and rest all day. You have nowhere else to go and no one else to take care of except yourself. So, move as slow and you have to and sleep all day if that is what you want to do at this point. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and are surrounded by people who can take care of you.
You might be exhausted beyond help at this point. The constant worries and overthinking about how you might endure labor can be daunting. Most women tend to lose sleep worrying over the last few weeks about the delivery. But it is important for you to get the required amount of sleep so that when the time comes to push, you have all the energy that you need.
Signs of labor
Watch out for the start of labor and contact your care provider as soon as you feel these signs arise:
- Regular contractions.
- Your mucus plug comes off.
- You have cramps and backaches.
- Water breaks.
- Your cervix starts to dilate.
What should you do and don’t
- Stick a couple of nursing pads to keep your shirts dry.
- You might need help getting up and down from bed or chairs.
- Stay organized and have your furniture arranged the way that would be safest and easiest for you.
- Pack and keep your hospital bag near your door or inside the trunk of your car so that you can go to the hospital without worrying about things to pack.
- Plan with your doctor about what kind of medication and pain relief you would like to have during your pregnancy. Remember that you are allowed to share your preferences and ask for what you are comfortable with.
- Ask your partner to clear the weeks from work and support you during delivery and post delivery.
- Practice exercising your pelvic muscles with pelvic floor exercises such as kegels.