39 Weeks Pregnant | Pregnancy Week By Week
39 WEEKS PREGNANT
You did it! You made it to 39 weeks and your baby is now full term! You’re probably more than ready to go into labor at this point, aren’t you? All that nervousness and anxiety you’ve felt throughout your entire pregnancy about experiencing labor has been completely forgotten and now you’re begging your body to go into labor just so you can finally be done with this pregnancy and hold your little one in your arms. You are so over being pregnant, right? Well, pay close attention to the signs your body is giving you because labor could happen at any time now!
At 39 weeks pregnant, your baby has grown to the size of a pumpkin. The average weight for a baby at 39 weeks pregnant is 7.3 pounds with the length of the baby falling somewhere close to 20 inches! The baby will continue to grow and gain weight up until the day you give birth!
PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS WEEK 39
Even though the end of your pregnancy is so freaking close, the pregnancy symptoms haven’t left you alone quite yet. Many of the symptoms you’ll experience this week are the same ones you’ve been putting up with for some time now, but you may also have some symptoms that are signs that labor will be starting soon. Exciting stuff!
- Pelvic pressure. By now, the baby’s head is snuggled nice and tight in your pelvis in preparation for birth, which can cause some extreme pressure and discomfort down under.
- Braxton Hicks contractions. These (not so) awesome contractions may be happening more often at this point, but you can usually get them to stop by switching positions or lying down for a bit. You’ll know these false contractions have become real ones when they just keep coming no matter what you do – they’ll become more regular and increasingly more painful.
- Nesting. Nesting is what happens when moms-to-be get a sudden urge to clean and organize everything. Be careful not to overdo it, though!
- Lightning crotch. Have you been getting sharp, shooting pains down low in your pelvis? These pains are caused by the baby’s movements hitting sensitive nerves. They’re commonly known as lightning crotch because the pains feel similar to a lightning bolt striking. Ouch!
- Bloody show and/or the loss of mucus plug. You may notice you have some pretty gross looking discharge that looks very similar to mucus and may be tinged with blood. If you see something like this, you’ve lost your mucus plug, which may mean labor will start before too long. Some women lose their mucus plug weeks before they actually go into labor, though, so don’t get too excited just yet! It could still be awhile. Sorry!
39 WEEK BABY BUMP
Be sure to get a picture of your belly this week because it may be the last picture you’ll take during this pregnancy since you could go into labor at any minute now! Speaking of labor, if you begin to feel strong, regular contractions that increase in intensity and start coming closer together and/or if your water breaks, contact your OB right away! Your OB will tell you when you should head to the hospital.
Now, let’s be realistic, just because you’re 39 weeks pregnant that doesn’t mean that you’re going to go into labor this week or even next week, especially if this is your first pregnancy. You could end up not going into labor until week 41 or even 42, which is the longest most doctors will let you stay pregnant before they intervene and decide to induce you.
Your doctor may decide to induce you this week if you have a pregnancy complication such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or problems with the placenta. If your water has broken but contractions have not yet started, your doctor may decide to induce you also.
Sorry to say, wanting to be induced just because you’re tired of being pregnant and want to meet your little one like right now is not usually a good enough reason for most doctors to go ahead with an induction.
39 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
You could end up having an ultrasound at 39 weeks pregnant if you’re being monitored for complications or if you’re having twins. If your pregnancy has been healthy and the doctor doesn’t have any concerns about the baby’s growth or development, then it’s unlikely you’ll have another ultrasound before your baby is born.
At 39 weeks pregnant, your baby is fully developed and looks just like he’ll look on the day he’s born, which if you’d have your way would be like right now, right? He will continue to gain fat, and his brain will continue to develop, but otherwise, the baby is just lazing around until he feels like making his move into the world.
WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING AT 39 WEEKS PREGNANT?
The only thing you should be doing at 39 weeks pregnant is relaxing! You’ve worked hard throughout this pregnancy to keep both yourself and your baby healthy. You’ve lost countless nights of sleep due to discomfort and anxiety. You’ve put up with all the annoying, uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful symptoms. And throughout it all, you’ve continued to live your day-to-day life and deal with day-to-day responsibilities. You deserve a medal, mama! Take these last few days (or weeks – sorry!) before the baby is born to rest and relax!
However, if you feel you need something to do, here are a couple other things you can do to pass the time:
- Create a contact list. Make a list of all the people you’ll want to notify when the baby is born. Some of your closest family and friends may even want to wait at the hospital in the waiting room while you’re in labor. Some moms and dads are okay with this, but others would rather not have people at the hospital so that the labor experience can be as relaxed as possible for mama. That decision is up to you!
- Read up on labor and delivery. Read about labor and delivery so you’ll know what to expect when the big day finally comes. The more prepared you are for what could happen, the better you’ll be able to handle the unexpected!
- Sam C's Editorial Team