When you are 39 weeks pregnant, your baby’s development inside your womb is completed. 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!
In this article:
Your Baby’s Development
The fetal age of your baby is now 37 weeks. He or she is ready to be born and your baby may very well come today – or in three weeks! There are many babies who are born within a 2-week period of their due date, so keep in mind that the big event can happen at any moment!
The size of your baby 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 now. Many of them have a lot of hair on their heads and even long fingernails!
If this is your first child then you may be curious as to 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.
Having your bag packed for the hospital with all of the necessities required is just one of the many steps you can take in order 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 any confusion in the delivery room. Having open communication between birthing partners or support persons is essential for the laboring mother in order to be clear on what is expected or wanted for her during this process.
Some women find themselves extremely uncomfortable during this time of 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 creams in order to help alleviate discomfort. Be sure to talk to your doctor or health care provider if you are experiencing any further complications after the birth of your baby or during these final weeks where you may need help.
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 symptoms of blues 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 that if you feel any unsettling emotions to discuss this with your doctor so that if the need arises you will have access to the help and support you need.
- A Parent's Guide to a Confident Birth (This is a FREE class by an experienced labor nurse. If nothing else, sign up for this one!)
- Childbirth Preparation: A Complete Guide for Pregnant Women
- Perfect Pregnancy Guide: Yoga, Meditation, Checkups and More
Week 39 Pregnancy Video
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!
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 et al (1990), The Length of Uncomplicated Human Gestation, Obstetrics & Gynecology, V.75, N.6, June 1990