By the 37th week of your pregnancy, your baby will now be around 47 cm (18.5 inches) tall, weighing at around 2950 grams (6.5 pounds). Starting from this week, your baby will now be considered full-term, meaning he is developed enough to function outside his mother’s body more or less independenty. Your baby’s nose and ear cartilage are becoming harder, and the facial features have already completely formed. A full head of hair have also grown, although the colour, along with the eye colour, will still change as they grow after birth. By the end of the, the movements of your little one in your belly will have changed. What once was strong boxing, has now turned into stretching and moving the limbs. This is due to the continuous cramping of stage in the uterus, making your baby’s movements limited. Your unborn child may sometimes behave suspiciously quiet for long periods of time, although this is not always something to worry about, as they are most likely taking long periods of sleep just like a newborn will.
Braxton-Hicks contractions were likely to become more frequent, longer and stronger. You may start to feel your abdomen lower (which will help with breathing), and your stool become more liquid. At this stage, women may notice yellowish or even brown discharge, sometimes with streaks of blood. The consistency of the discharge is a sticky mixture. The discharge is also pinkish-yellowish and the mucus is hazy – all these are the first signs of the exit of a mucus plug blocking the entrance to the cervix. This means that childbirth will begin in the coming days.
If a woman is pregnant with twins, labor can begin as early as this week.
Most women cannot sleep well at night during their late pregnancy. Try to compensate for the lack of sleep during the day. Even a short sleep (about 20 minutes) often works wonders. You will have enough energy again to enjoy your day.
These tips may help:
1. Try not to eat anything fat or oily in the evenings. If your stomach is too busy, it becomes harder for you to fall asleep. A light meal two hours before bedtime could be better for you.
2. During pregnancy it is important to drink a lot, but you might not want to go with a full bladder to sleep. At night you should drink only a little. Try to consume more fluid during the day, not in the evening.
3. Those who play sports have less trouble falling asleep. Regular exercise or at least walking in the fresh air will be very useful. However, you must give your body enough time to switch to sleep at least two hours before bedtime.
4. Those who prefer relaxation to sports can indulge in bathing in the evenings. Add plant extracts to the water, such as lavender or lemon balm. The scent of geranium, mandarin and roses can also have a calming effect.
5. Often cold feet cause you to fall asleep. Wear warm woolen socks or take a heating pad to bed. You can also treat yourself to a warm foot bath before bed.
6. Only in the dark will our body produce the hormone melatonin. This controls the natural day-night rhythmof your body, and lets you get more tired. If the room is bright – it makes you stay awake. Be sure to cover your windows well or use thick blinds, to help fall asleep faster.
During the 38th week of your pregnancy, your baby’s height might be around 47 cm (18.5 inches), and their weight 3100 grams (6.8 pounds). Your little one’s growth and weight gain slow down. Now they are gaining only about 30 grams per day. The liver and pancreas continue their development, which will be completed only by two to three years of age, after birth. At the 38th week of pregnancy, the child feels more and more constrained in the uterus and, for this reason, pushes little, but his movements are becoming increasingly coordinated, and he is almost ready for life outside the walls of the uterus. The baby’s heart rate is 120–160 beats per minute, the child’s head will be pressed tightly against the entrance to the pelvis. Your little one is ready for birth completely.
The placenta weighs 1–2 kg, its size in diameter is 20 cm. The uterus is 16–18 cm from the navel, its height above the pubic symphysis is 36–38 cm. During this period you may experience even more discomfort: puffiness, poor sleep, plus practice contractions accompany the expectant mother this week. Your tummy will have reached its maximum size. The skin is stretched and may itch periodically, this can be avoided by applying a cream for stretch marks or almond oil every day.
By the 38th week of gestation, most women normally experience slight swelling. However, it is worth remembering that the sudden severe swelling, as well as a sharp increase in pressure may indicate preeclampsia. Call your doctor immediately if you have a severe headache, visual impairment, if you have double vision or vomiting. These may be signs of pre-eclampsia – complicated gestosis, which often requires an emergency delivery.
If you are concerned about contractions, and you do not understand whether they are false or real, walk around the room or take a warm shower when they start, false ones pass while moving. If the woman’s psycho-emotional state is calm, then you need to go to the maternity hospital if the contractions last at least 25-30 seconds, the interval between them is from 7 to 10 minutes and is constantly reducing, and if the intensity of contractions do not go away when you change your position or posture.
By the 39th week of your pregnancy, your baby’s heigh will be around 48th cm, with a weight around 3250 grams. Your baby lies curled up and uses every free inch it cantake. Thus, its head is automatically inserted into the slightly softened cervix, facing down. The original lubricant on the skin of your child in the past few weeks has now decreased. Now it can help your baby to come into this world during childbirth.
The eyes of the baby can see around 20-30 cm far, enabling them to focus on the mother’s face during feeding. The baby develops sensitivity in sharpness and contrast, and there is already volume and color vision, and a reaction to movement and flickering.
Normally, the pregnant woman’s weight gain should be between 11.5 and 15 kg.
1 period. Introductory contractions start childbirth. The cervix begins to open. In total, it will open about 10 cm. At first, the cervix shortens and the baby slides deeper into the birth canal. Contractions occur every 5 to 20 minutes, each lasting from 30 to 60 seconds.
2 period. In this period of labor, contractions are much more intense. The pressure on the uterus increases. Contractions come every 4-10 minutes. For first-time mothers, this phase can take up to one hour.
To make the contractions less painful, try breathing during the contractions so that the breath is 2 times shorter than the exhalation. Do not resist the contraction, try to relax – so the process will go faster. Remember, each contraction pushes the baby a short distance ahead. If you resist a contraction, all work will be slowed down.
Singing will help ease the pain. Open your mouth, try to completely relax the lower jaw so that it dangles and sing loudly any vowel letter, such as oh-oh, aaa. This ancient technique helps to ease the pain and helps the labour go more efficiently.
3 period. Pushing occur at the end of labor. Often they are perceived as tremendous pressure on the intestines. With the help of the contractions, the child is pushed out through the birth canal. If the expectant mother is active and helps the baby with abdominal pressure, then she can shorten this phase. Some women feel the end, as a relief that comes after painful contractions.
4 period. Even if the baby is already in the world, contractions can return after a while to help the body separate the placenta from the uterine wall. These contractions will be irregular and practically painless.
Pregnancy Week 40
By the 40th week of your pregnancy your baby’s height will be around 50-51 cm (19.6-20 inches), with a weight around 3500 grams (7.7 pounds).
With a cry your newborn will be announcing its appearance. With the first cry, the baby takes its first breath, straightens the lungs and begins to breathe independently. Many baby’s don’t come into this world on their due date. They also usually have a strange appearance: the head may have an irregular shape (it will correct in 1-2 days); and the skin can be of an unnatural color – from gray-blue to brown, and can even look yellowish. The skin of the child may also be covered with the lubricant it formed in utero, along with your blood or meconium. In addition, pigment spots or scabs may be present on the body of the newborn, which will eventually disappear without a trace.
Awareness of the fact that childbirth can begin at any time keeps you in suspense these days. Most pregnant women feel the same. Maybe you will be reassured by the idea that only 10% of all babies are born by the predicted date of birth. Most prefer to stay a little longer in the mother’s tummy. The period plus / minus 14 days to the estimated date for birth is normal. Most doctors are inclined to believe that before the end of 40 weeks the child should act as the natural initiator of labor. Your little one decides when to be born. Before childbirth, the adrenal cortex of the baby is activated, the hormone cortisol is produced, and, as a result, the hormone of the mother also changes, after which the uterus receives a “signal” at the onset of labor and begins to contract.
The umbilical cord played a significant role during the entire pregnancy. After giving birth, you need to be very careful with it. The obstetricians take out the baby very carefully, wait until the umbilical cord stops pulsing, and only then cut it off, having previously pressed it in two places and treated it with alcohol. The short part of the umbilical cord dries out and falls off about 5-7 days after birth.
Many women after childbirth drastically lose weight: in addition to the weight of the baby, the placenta and amniotic fluid, you will lose two liters of water (within 1-2 weeks) through urination, sweat, and other means. After delivery, bleeding is normal for several weeks – the uterus will self-clean the cells that bound it to the placenta.
A few days or weeks after giving birth, a condition called postpartum sadness or baby blues may occur. It should be noted that this is a temporary phenomenon, and it will definitely pass. It is usually cause by hormones, so you should not blame yourself for your sadness and melancholy. However, if your sadness seems to stretch out past two-six weeks, and starts becoming severe, contact your loved ones or your doctor for help as you might have postpartum depression of postpartum psychosis.
We wish you a healthy pregnancy and an easy delivery!