39 weeks pregnant
If you’re 39 weeks pregnant, that means you’ve carried a baby to term. It’s almost time to meet the little tyke and your body is working hard to keep both of you safe and healthy. You may be feeling more tired than you’ve ever been in this pregnancy, so do take it easy and get as many lie-ins as you can.
39 weeks pregnant in NZ: What can you expect?
At 39 weeks pregnant, symptoms to expect include an achy back and pelvis. You will probably be experiencing more frequent bouts of Braxton Hicks contractions and this means that you’re close to the big event.
Discharge & the mucus plug: Since you’re due any day now, watch out for signs that your body is giving you. You will see a lot more vaginal discharge, some of which may be pinkish or brownish. This bloody show is a sign that you’re approaching the big day. Your mucus plug may fall out if it hasn’t already. It will look like a blob of mucus and is the first sign that your baby is getting ready to be born. Labour may come a few hours or even a few days later.
Foetal movement: You’ll still feel your baby moving around but, rather than sudden jabs or kicks, the movements may feel like twists and turns. Keep track of the movements and report anything unusual.
Water breaking: The fluid from the amniotic sac is colourless and odourless. Once it breaks, it will trickle out and you won’t be able to stop it. If this happens when you’re not at the hospital, call your practitioner.
What should I be feeling at 39 weeks pregnant?
Nesting: Your nesting instincts may be kicking in, so you’ll find yourself wanting to tidy up all around the house. You may even have a sudden urge to tackle drawers that you haven’t opened in years.
Pelvic and back aches: Since the baby is now pressing down on your pelvis, you could be feeling a great deal of uncomfortable pressure there. To soothe your back, try letting warm water splash over the sore spots.
Indigestion and diarrhoea: Heartburn may be at its worst at this point. Remember to eat small meals throughout the day. It also helps to drink water after your meal instead of between mouthfuls of food. As your body readies itself for childbirth, the muscles in the rectum loosen and you could experience diarrhoea as well.
A 39-week pregnancy checklist:
- If you already have children, arrange for them to stay with a friend or family member when you go into labour.
- By this time, your baby bag should be ready and the infant car seat installed.
- You should decide on things like pain medication during the birth, breast-feeding vs bottle-feeding and so on.
- If you have a C-section scheduled in NZ, you will have to get tested and cleared for COVID beforehand. so make sure you contact the hospital and understand the process.
Symptoms you should NOT ignore at a 39-weeks pregnancy:
- Bleeding from your vagina and unusual discharge that may give off a fishy odour.
- Problems with your vision, including seeing spots/flashing lights, sensitivity to light and blurring.
- Itchy skin, especially if it happens at night and seems to be all over your body.
- Persistent headaches or stomach pains.
- Body changes at 39 weeks pregnant that you should watch out for include unusual swelling of the face, hands, feet or ankles.
- High body temp over 37.5 degrees C.
- Pain that seems to be coming from below the ribs.
What’s a baby at 39 weeks going through?
Skin: The baby’s skin is becoming tougher, with a new layer. This will do a better job of protecting your child’s internal organs and also helps to regulate body temperature. Your baby develops a creamy layer called vernix all over that will help him or her move through the birth canal.
Brain development: A baby at 39 weeks pregnant is experiencing brain development at a rapid pace. This pace is likely to be kept up until he or she turns three years of age.
Position of the baby: The position of baby at 39 weeks pregnant should be head down with the head pressing on your pelvis. If your baby is in the breech position, your midwife or obstetrician may encourage the baby to move and will discuss the next steps with you.
How big is baby at 39 weeks?
A 39-weeks baby should be between 3.2 and 3.6 kgs, with a length of 48-53 cm. The weight your baby is at now is likely to be the birth weight.
What are the chances of going into labour at 39 weeks?
Since you’ve carried your baby to full-term, there is a very good chance that you will go into labour.
How can I get labour pains at 39 weeks?
Braxton Hicks contractions and ‘practice’ labour pains may be happening more often at this stage. You will feel your uterus cramping as your body prepares for labour. It is believed that these contractions tone the uterine muscles.
Is it safe to deliver at 39 weeks?
Yes. Carrying a baby to full-term is typically the best scenario as he or she will have had plenty of time to develop well. In some cases, when complications arise, some doctors induce labour earlier. Some pregnancies are naturally shorter, but even preterm babies have a good survival rate thanks to support provided in NICUs.
Why do doctors want to induce at 39 weeks?
If your doctor has some concerns about health risks for you or for your baby, labour may be induced at 39 weeks.
Can walking induce labour at 39 weeks?
Yes. Thanks to gravity and the movement of your hips, even walking has been known to induce labour. The pressure that the baby puts on your pelvis is likely to prepare your cervix for labour. Be careful not to overdo the walking as you need all the energy you can muster for the birth.
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