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Helpful Information At 39 Weeks Pregnant—What To Expect During Labor

39 Weeks Pregnant

Almost there! At 39 weeks pregnant, you could enter labor any day now. You’re now around a week away from your estimated due date, and the wonderful, challenging pregnancy journey is approaching its end. 

In this article, we’ve got all the info you need to get through this final stage of your pregnancy journey and best prepare for the big day.

How is the baby at 39 weeks pregnant?

By pregnancy week 39, your baby’s development is complete and ready to enter the world.

Baby’s size

At this stage, most babies weigh around 7-8 pounds (average birth weight) and measure approximately 19-21 inches in length – that means your baby’s body is about the size of a watermelon!

Organ development

Baby’s lungs, liver, and other major organs are fully developed. A baby’s brain continues to grow and mature rapidly.

Baby’s movements

Your baby’s movements may have decreased in frequency as they run out of room to move around in the uterus, but you should still feel regular movements. Your baby’s head may also have engaged in your pelvis, getting into position for birth.

Final touches

During this time, your baby is putting on the final touches, such as shedding the layer of vernix caseosa. This white, waxy substance protects the baby’s skin from amniotic fluid during pregnancy. 

Your baby’s nails have also grown to the tips of their fingers and toes, and their hair may have grown longer.

Meconium

Your baby’s first bowel movement, meconium, likely forms in their intestines. This dark green, sticky substance will be passed after birth.

Frequent Braxton Hicks contractions

If you’re experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, you may notice they are becoming more frequent and intense. These contractions are a normal part of the body preparing for labor and delivery. 

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any signs of labor, such as regular contractions, decreased fetal movement, or vaginal bleeding.

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Your body at 39 weeks pregnant

Your body is preparing for the arrival of your baby. You may be feeling tired, uncomfortable, and ready to give birth. 

Here are some common pregnancy symptoms you may experience during this time:

Braxton Hicks contractions

You may experience Braxton Hicks contractions, often described as a tightening or squeezing feeling in your abdomen. These are normal and are your body’s way of preparing for labor.

Increased vaginal discharge

You may notice an increase in vaginal discharge as your body prepares for labor. This discharge may be thicker and have a pink or brown tint.

Difficulty sleeping

As your belly grows, finding a comfortable sleeping position may be difficult. You may also need to get up to use the bathroom more frequently.

39 weeks pregnant

Back pain

As your baby grows, it may put pressure on your lower back, causing discomfort and pain.

Swelling

It’s normal for some women may experience swelling in their feet, ankles, and hands during the final weeks of pregnancy. But if you notice sudden or severe swelling, contact your healthcare provider.

Contractions

As you approach labor, you may experience more frequent, stronger, and longer-lasting contractions than Braxton Hicks contractions. These are a sign that your body is preparing for childbirth.

Remember to take care of yourself during this time. Stay hydrated, eat nutritious foods, and rest when you can. 

If you experience any unusual symptoms or signs of labor, contact your healthcare provider immediately. 

Congratulations on reaching this exciting stage of pregnancy!

Self-Care at 39 Weeks pregnant

Taking care of yourself is important at any stage of pregnancy, but it becomes especially important as you approach your due date. 

Here are some self-care tips to keep in mind at 39 weeks pregnant:

1. Rest

Make sure to get plenty of rest and sleep. Listen to your body and take naps when you need to. 

Taking short breaks throughout the day to sit or lie down and put your feet up is helpful.

2. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is important for you and your growing baby. Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily and avoid sugary drinks and caffeine.

3. Exercise

Gentle exercise can help keep you healthy and reduce stress. Walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga are great options. 

However, if you experience pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath, stop exercising and contact your healthcare provider.

4. Eat nutritious foods

Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and protein is important for you and your growing baby. 

The more healthy and nourishing food you introduce to your own gut, the stronger your baby’s immune system will develop, which will help them stay healthy in the first few weeks and months of life outside you.

5. Take care of your mental health

Pregnancy can be a stressful time, and it’s important to take care of your mental health. 

Consider meditation, deep breathing, or other relaxation techniques to help reduce stress and anxiety. 

Reach out to your support system, whether friends, family, or a therapist, if you need help coping with stress or anxiety.

5. Pamper yourself

Treat yourself to some self-care. Take a warm bath, get a prenatal massage, or get a manicure or pedicure. You deserve to feel pampered and relaxed during this time.

Remember, self-care looks different for everyone, and finding what works for you is important. Taking care of yourself not only benefits you but also your growing baby.

FAQs at 39 Weeks pregnant

What should I be feeling at 39 weeks pregnant?

At 39 weeks pregnant, you may feel various physical and emotional sensations as you approach your due date. Here are some common feelings you may experience:

  1. Excitement
  2. Discomfort
  3. Fatigue
  4. Anxiety
  5. Impatience
  6. Nesting

It’s important to listen to your body and care for yourself during this time. 

If you experience any concerning symptoms, such as regular contractions, vaginal bleeding, or decreased fetal movement, be sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately. 

Remember, every pregnancy and every woman is different, so trust your instincts and seek help if needed.

How do you tell labor is a few days away?

It’s common for women to wonder when labor will begin, especially as they near their due date. 

While it’s not always easy to predict precisely when labor will start, there are some signs that labor may be just a few days away. 

Here are a few things to look for:

  1. Increased vaginal discharge: In the days leading up to labor, you may notice an increase in vaginal discharge. This discharge may be thicker and colored pink or brown.
  2. Cervical changes: As your body prepares for labor, your cervix may efface (thin out) and dilate (open up). Your healthcare provider can check your cervix during a prenatal exam to see if these changes happen.
  3. Lightening: As your baby drops lower into your pelvis, you may feel like you can breathe easier and have less pressure on your diaphragm. This is known as lightening and can signify that labor is approaching.
  4. Contractions: In the days leading up to labor, most women experience more frequent and intense Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions can be a sign that your body is preparing for labor.
  5. Loss of mucus plug: The mucus plug is a thick mucus plug that blocks the cervix’s opening during pregnancy. As your cervix starts to efface and dilate, you may notice a thick discharge or passage of the mucus plug.

Remember that not all women will experience these signs before labor begins; some women may experience them weeks before labor starts. 

Additionally, some women may not experience any signs at all before labor.

39 weeks pregnant

What is the most common week to go into labor?

While every pregnancy and birth is unique, the most common week for labor to begin is between 39 and 41 weeks of pregnancy. 

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), babies born at 39 weeks undergo a full-term pregnancy, which is considered to be between 39 and 40 weeks and six days.

Note that the exact timing of labor can vary widely among women and can be influenced by factors such as the baby’s size and position, the mother’s health, and genetics. 

Some women may go into labor earlier than 39 weeks, while others may go past their due date.

It’s also important to remember that while waiting for labor to start, you should continue to attend your regular prenatal appointments with your healthcare provider. 

They will monitor your baby’s health and recommend induction or other necessary interventions.

If you have concerns about the timing of your labor or have any questions, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.

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How do you feel two days before labor?

Some women may experience certain physical and emotional changes in the days leading up to labor.

Here are a few common signs that labor may be approaching within the next few days:

  1. Contractions: You may experience more frequent and intense contractions in the days before labor. These contractions may feel like menstrual cramps and may come and go.
  2. Increased vaginal discharge: As your cervix begins to soften and open up, you may notice an increase in vaginal discharge. This discharge may be thick and pink or brown in color.
  3. Loss of mucus plug: As your cervix starts to dilate, you may lose the mucus plug, blocking your cervix during pregnancy. This may appear as a thick, jelly-like discharge tinged with blood.
  4. Back pain: Some women experience back pain or discomfort in the days leading up to labor. This may be caused by the pressure of your baby’s head on your lower back.
  5. Nesting instinct: Some women experience a burst of energy and feel the urge to clean, organize, or prepare for their baby’s arrival.

Remember that not all women will experience these signs before labor, and some women may not experience any signs at all. 

If you have concerns or questions about the signs of labor or any other questions, talk to your healthcare provider. 

They can provide individualized guidance based on your health, pregnancy, and medical history.

What are the signs of labor?

Some common signs of labor include:

  • Regular and increasingly stronger contractions: These contractions may start out feeling like menstrual cramps and gradually become stronger and more frequent. They may also be accompanied by lower back pain.
  • Cramps and low back pain: Some women experience cramps and low back pain similar to their menstrual period.
  • Increased vaginal discharge: As your cervix starts to thin and dilate, you may notice an increase in vaginal discharge that may be thick and pink or brown in color.
  • Water breaking: When water breaks, you may feel a sudden gush or a slow trickle of fluid from your vagina. The amniotic sac rupturing causes this and signifies that labor may begin soon.
  • Bloody show: You may notice a brownish or pinkish discharge due to the mucus plug dislodging from your cervix as it dilates.
  • Nesting instinct: Some women may experience a sudden burst of energy and feel the urge to clean or organize their surroundings.

Not all women will experience these signs before labor; some may experience them weeks before labor starts.

Conclusion

Thirty-nine weeks pregnant already… congratulations! With about a week to go, your emotions may go through the roof. 

Remember to prioritize self-care on this final stage of your pregnancy journey and set yourself up with good self-care habits as you embark on the next stage of the journey of motherhood. 

These last few weeks leading up to your baby’s birth often leave moms feeling exhausted, so remind yourself of all the work and challenges you’ve overcome to get to this point.

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