Overview of that week
Your baby will start to knock anytime now. You will know that your labor has started when your mucus plug comes off and the water breaks.
A normal delivery happens around 39 weeks and it could happen either a week before or even a week after this week. When you first deliver your baby, their skin wouldn’t be the flushed or red that you might expect. Your baby will be bluish in color before their circulation starts.
Your baby approximately weighs about 3.6 kilogram and has a height of about 20 inches. These are approximations so you will get to know how much your baby actually weighs at the time of birth.
The baby has shed most of its body hair (lanugo). However, you need to expect some vernix and lanugo still present while giving birth. After birth, expect dark green meconium (poop) made up of substances like vernix and amniotic fluid that your baby might have consumed during the pregnancy.
Body changes in mother
You will have to watch out for thicker vaginal discharge and your mucus plug coming off anytime now.
You are very close to your delivery. Towards the final weeks, your breast might leak some colostrum which is the very first milk that your baby consumes. This milk is rich in nutrients, antibodies and antioxidants. Start using nursing pads to keep the milk from leaking into your clothes, although the leak shouldnt be more than a couple of drops.
Remember your first Braxton Hicks contractions? Even those will start to become stronger and more painful than they used to be. Take it as an opportunity to learn breathing techniques and practice with your partner while you are going through them.
There can be several reasons for the muscles cramping on your legs towards the end of the pregnancy. Whatever reason it is, you surely are under alot of pain. Try to slowly move your legs and the muscles when you feel that spasm coming through.
Signs of labor
Did you cross your due date and still don’t have any signs of labor? It might help to know that more than 50% of babies are delivered after the pregnancy crosses the 39th week mark. You are recommended to be on the watch out for these symptoms as your delivery date nears:
- 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
- Watch out for the start of contractions and contact your care provider as soon as you can.
- You can also ask help from your family and friends during this time.
- Keep working your pelvic muscles by doing some kegels or pelvic floor exercises.
- Make sure to eat before you go to the hospital if your labor starts as it might be a long process and you might not like eating at the hospital that much. Eating will give you more energy to push through during your labor.
- Communicate with your partner about what relaxes you and ask them to help you with that when your labor starts or before that.
- Try to move around once you start having contractions. Take the help of your partner or your care provider if you need support.
- Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t arrive exactly on the due date. Some babies take time.