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When you are 39 weeks pregnant, your baby’s development inside your womb is completed. At 39 weeks, a significant milestone is reached. Your baby is now officially considered to be full-term.

Science can still not answer what the trigger is for labor to start; all we know is that within a few weeks, you will, without any doubt, give birth to your baby.

Take your time to rest and practice breathing and relaxation and to complete your birth plan if you haven’t already.

Feeling heavy and uncomfortable? You are not alone!

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This article will cover fetal development, how big your baby is, what month you are actually in, pregnancy symptoms, and what’s happening with your body, Mom.

What to Expect when 39 Weeks Pregnant

How Many Months are 39-Weeks-Pregnant?

I am pretty sure you already have figured out the relation between pregnancy weeks and months. (And if not, who cares anymore… :-) )

But if you want a recap, here we go! When you are 39 weeks pregnant, you are in month 9 of pregnancy, which is also the final month. (Yeay!) The end of the third trimester is near, and soon you’ll have your baby in your arms.

Your Baby at 39 Weeks

How Big is my Baby at 39 Weeks?

Your baby’s weight will range from 7 to 7.5 pounds (3-3.5 kg) in total during this week. Some infants will slow their growth down now, while others may continue to put on a few extra ounces during these last few days on the inside. Most babies are around 20 inches (50 cm) long at this point. At 39 weeks, your baby is the size of a watermelon.

The fetal age of your baby is now 37 weeks. Your baby is ready to be born and may very well come today – or in three weeks! Many babies are born within a 2-week period of their due date, so keep in mind that the big event can happen at any moment!

What Does my Baby Look Like at 39 Weeks Pregnant?

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Your baby now looks like a newborn. Many of them have a lot of hair on their head and even long fingernails!

There is now a thicker layer of fat under your baby’s skin, covering the blood vessels. Because of it, the baby’s skin isn’t as transparent anymore. Also, because of the added fat stores, your baby is now plumper than before and looks like a newborn. Your baby will continue to add fat and gain about ½ pound a week.

If this is your first child, you may be curious about how long they will measure or how much they will weigh. Other mothers who have experienced a birth previously may find a pattern with their previous children in size at delivery and may expect the same from an upcoming birth.

If you want to learn about what a newborn baby might look like, you’ll find information here.

Fetal development

Your baby’s brain is continuing to grow and is 30% bigger than four weeks ago. The brain will continue to grow at a fast pace for the first three years of your child’s life.

The baby’s lungs are continuing to grow and develop and will continue to do so even after the baby is born. Your baby’s immune system is also getting stronger.

There is not much room left for your little one in the uterus, but you need to feel fetal movements right up to delivery. If you think the movements decreased or completely stopped, contact your doctor immediately.

Mom’s Body

The Belly

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You probably waddle when you walk, have a hard time getting up when sitting or lying, and can’t even remember what it means to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Try to move slowly and carefully and rest as much as you can.

Your belly won’t be this big for much longer. In fact, labor can start at any time now. After you give birth, your uterus will shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size and return to its position below your pubic bone.

If you feel like it, take a photo (or a few) of your belly this big. It will be a dear memory later.

Pregnancy Symptoms

Some women find themselves extremely uncomfortable during this period in pregnancy, with hemorrhoids, heartburn, swelling of the hands and/or feet, pelvic pain, or even tender or swollen breasts. How has your body changed during pregnancy? Share in this quick poll.

While most of these symptoms may be relieved shortly after birth, others may require some attention, such as using creams to alleviate discomfort. Be sure to talk to your doctor or health care provider if you are experiencing any further complications after your baby’s birth or during these final weeks where you may need help.

If you are experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions (false contractions), they might be getting more uncomfortable.

Sometimes you might be unsure whether what you feel are real or false contractions.

There are a few key things you can distinguish them by. Braxton Hicks contractions (false, practice contractions) don’t increase in frequency, duration, and interval. They remain irregular and usually disappear with rest or when you change positions. True contractions, on the other hand, become regular and predictable. They increase in frequency, duration, and interval and don’t stop even when you rest, sleep, or change positions. They also become stronger and more painful with time. If you think you are having true contractions, contact your doctor.

Besides having contractions, there are some other signs that the labor is approaching that you should be aware of:

Effacement and dilation might happen slowly over the weeks for some women, while for some it happens quickly during labor. Effacement is the softening, shortening, and thinning of the cervix in preparation for birth. Dilation is the opening of the cervix.

Lightening or engaging, which means your baby dropped lower into your pelvis, is also one of the signs the labor is near. However, it might happen hours, days, or even weeks before labor starts.
As the labor start is nearing, you might experience more cramping or lower back pain. Some women might also experience diarrhea.

Losing your mucus plug is another sign that the labor is in sight, but no one can say how soon it will happen. It can mean it is hours away, but it might also be days.

Your water breaking is one of the final signs of labor you might experience. However, only 15% of women experience their water breaking before the labor starts. The rest might experience it during the labor, during the delivery, or even preterm in some cases.

Baby blues or postpartum depression can occur at any time after the birth of your baby and has been known to increase with subsequent pregnancies. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about how you may be feeling after the birth of your new baby. While some baby blues symptoms will decrease over time once hormone levels are regulated, other women find themselves engulfed in a larger scale depression and may require medication to help them during this time. It is imperative to discuss with your doctor any unsettling emotions you might feel so that if the need arises, you will have access to the help and support you need.

Things to do and buy this week

In case you would like to try something to speed things up a bit, some say that walking and having sex might help.

Having your bag packed for the hospital with all of the necessities required is just one of the many steps you can take to prepare yourself and your partner for the big day.

Another step, which is good to complete when 39 weeks pregnant, is to have your birth plan prepared to avoid confusion in the delivery room. Having open communication with her partner or support persons is essential for the mother in order to be clear on what she expects or wants during this process.

Visit our section about giving birth here.

Week 39 Pregnancy Video

39 Weeks Pregnant: Get Ready to Celebrate - Watch Here!

Diary of a Daughter

What’s it really like being 39 weeks pregnant…? Here’s a true diary from a mom who should have been 39 weeks pregnant. (Me..!) (You can read in the earlier weeks why I gave birth before this week. )

Home from the hospital with our daughter. I’m a bit sore, but that’s all. Breastfeeding is going pretty well but hurts.

So far, our baby just sleeps. But I don’t. I wake up all the time to check on her. She is adorable!

Are you also 39 weeks pregnant? Please share your experiences and thoughts by leaving a comment below!

Read Next Content


Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
Joanne Stone MD and Keith Eddleman MD, The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood
Nilsson, L; Hamberger, L. A Child Is Born
Soderberg, L., Mammapraktika. B Wahlstroms.
Mittendorf R, Williams MA, Berkey CS, Cotter PF. The length of uncomplicated human gestation. Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Jun;75(6):929-32. PMID: 2342739.

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