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Pregnancy Week 39


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Your Baby's Development This Week

The baby is now 7-8 pounds usually, and between 19 and 21 inches in length. The skin is less pink and whiter now that fat layer has developed and those blood vessels are less close to the skin surface. Even babies of a darker skin tone are white now, as the pigment has not developed yet. However, it will soon after birth. The baby is developing a layer of fat called brown fat. This is an important feature, as it helps baby regulate temperature and keep warm. The baby now forms new skin cells to replace old ones. Lanugo, the fuzzy hair on baby has mostly disappeared, but some bits may be found at birth on the shoulders, arms, legs and in creases. Baby has practiced many skills that will be used later include crying, however no tears will be present until a month or so after birth as the tear ducts aren't functional until then.

Pregnancy Symptoms You May Feel During Week 39

Your weight gain has probably stalled, and you might even drop a pound or two as labor nears. Your Braxton Hicks contractions are increasing, and as labor is so much on your mind it can be difficult to tell whether your contractions are the real thing or not. If the contractions change depending on your activity, it's false labor. If you were lying still and having contractions and then started moving around and they stopped, it's not true labor. Conversely, if you are moving around being active and feeling contractions, but when you rest, they stop, it's false or practice contractions. True labor will be consistent, get harder and closer together although the time frame varies by each labor. You might have labor that slowly builds over a couple days or just hours. True labor is felt in abdomen and/or lower back, and might be accompanied by cramping, diarrhea, or an upset stomach. It will intensify and become more frequent. Not all labors however have a perfectly consistent pattern, but pay attention to the intensity. That's true labor!

Visit With the Obstetrician

Now is the time to firm up that birth plan and go over it with your doctor. It's important to do it now, because while in the middle of hard contractions you aren't going to feel up to negotiations. Also, labor will go more smoothly if you aren't worried over what is going to happen. Knowing what to expect will alleviate many fears and apprehensions. You should have toured the hospital already, probably during childbirth classes, but if you haven't, do so now. The trip at the end to the nursery will give you a boost in mood thinking how soon you'll be holding your new little one. Discuss what the check in process will be.

  • Will you be taken to your room and then given a gown, have blood taken, give a urine sample, fill out some papers?
  • Will you be monitored?
  • Will you get an IV or just have the heparin lock in place for if you need something given intravenously later?
  • Can you walk down the halls with your monitor in place?
  • Is there a rocking chair?
  • Can you bring in music to listen to?
  • Can you bring in drinks or will there be popsicles to suck on?
  • Knowing all these things will help you feel more comfortable and ready for the big day.

Preparing for Baby

A birth doula is a labor helper, someone who guides you, comforts you through the process of childbirth. But today many families are opting to use the services of a postpartum doula. A postpartum doula helps the entire family transition into a new life with baby, offering feeding/breastfeeding support, infant care help, light housekeeping, running errands, and so on. Some offer night hours for those tough first nights with a newborn. Their services range from to or more an hour, but depending on the number of hours contracted for there may be a discount. Some people use their doulas only a couple days a week, others 5 days a week. There is a wide range of possibilities in how to use a postpartum doula. It would make an excellent shower gift too!

Pregnancy Lifestyle

You may think at this point that somehow your baby is the one baby in the world that just won't be born. It's taking forever, the minutes are dragging by and all you can do is spend the day wondering, 'Is this the day my baby is going to be born?' Take advantage of these last few days by relaxing! Go to a movie. Read something for pleasure, not just about childbirth or parenting. Order take out and watch a movie at home. Go walk around the mall. Indulge in your lazy past times now, while you can. Relish these last few quiet, carefree days while you can. All those things will seem like outrageous luxuries in a few weeks!

Pregnancy Week 39 Comfort Meter

I feel absolutely wonderful!
I feel pretty good!
I could be feeling better
UGG I feel terrible!


Showing 1 - 10 out of 29 Comments
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immy Jul 29, 2017 12:05:25 PM ET

I am 39 weeks and 1 day. Have been experiencing diarrhea for abt least two weeks and cramping, back pain. I cannot wait to meet my baby boy. Well its my first baby. I am also tired of the pregnancy. Oh God. I hope I don't have a C-section.

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mercy Dec 12, 2016 10:09:10 PM ET

Am 39today with my third born baby but so anxious, I have 2 daughters hoping this one is a boy, haven't gone for scan.Been spotting blood for the last 2days and severe abdomen pain. Hope it's a sign of labour.

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Guest Oct 2, 2016 07:25:30 PM ET

39 weeks, feel so tired of waiting.

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Nadia Sep 28, 2016 05:37:24 PM ET

I am 39 weeks 3 days pregnant. Have had severe menstrual-like cramps with a constant headache for the past two days. I'm 2 cm dilated, 80% effaced and 5/5 engaged baby. She hardly plays as much as she used to, due to the limited space. But, all of that isn't worrying me. What's eating me up, is that on Monday I was found to have a vaginal yeast infection which, I was prescribed to clotrimazole vaginal tablets and some other oral tablets. I'm scared if my baby sends me into labour before the completion of the dose, and will the baby get affected by the medicine I'm taking orally when i start breastfeeding? Please help.

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Guest Mar 6, 2015 12:47:03 PM ET

I am 39 weeks today, and I just can't wait to see and have my baby!

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lyn Dec 28, 2014 09:57:19 AM ET

I am 39 weeks, and I am tired of being pregnant. Is there any thing I can do to speed up labor? Please help.

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new mommy Dec 23, 2014 07:16:52 AM ET

I'm currently 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant, and am scheduled to be induced 39 weeks and 6 days. The anticipation I feel to finally meet my little girl is insane! I've been having labor contractions since I was 37 weeks. My cervix is 80 percent effaced, and I'm dilated about 2 cm. I'm hoping all these contractions mean a quicker delivery. My whole belly feels super tight like a volleyball, and my baby is still moving, but much less frequently.

Ladybuzz Dec 27, 2014 10:45:13 PM ET

Make sure to walk a lot so labor will go smoothly. :)

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charlotte Dec 17, 2014 08:55:21 PM ET

I'm 38 weeks and 4 days, and sick as a pig. I have diarrhea and my belly's like a football. I am fed up with feeling like this. I had my son at 35 so, to go this long is awful. I can't sleep properly or get comfy. I just want my girl to come now. I have a midwife appointment tomorrow, so I'm hoping I'm allowed a sweep to get things going. How have sweeps worked with anyone else?

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Amy Dec 10, 2014 07:01:56 PM ET

I'm 39 weeks today. I'm feeling very good, but I'm just not motivated to do anything, not even pack my hospital bag. I'm really hoping my baby will come next week.

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Kassie92814 Sep 30, 2014 12:16:50 AM ET

I'm 39 to 40 weeks and I have experienced diarrhea twice this week. Is that a labor sign? I've read that it is, but what do you moms think?

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