39 WEEKS PREGNANT
Yay! Baby has finally reached full term! You’re probably feeling like you want to get this baby… The. Heck.
Out. We’re not sure, but the impatience and discomfort moms-to-be feel around 39 weeks pregnant (and beyond!)
might be nature’s way of getting you mentally prepared for delivery.
Remember how freaked out you used to be about childbirth?
Now, at week 39 of pregnancy, you don’t care what it takes, you just don’t want to be pregnant anymore!
How Big Is Baby at 39 Weeks?
At 39 weeks pregnant, baby is as big as a pumpkin. Your 39-week fetus measures about 20 inches long and weighs about 7.3 pounds.
And baby just keeps growing, despite being so crowded inside your 39 weeks pregnant belly.
39 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
39 weeks pregnant is eight months and three weeks pregnant.
Next week, you’ll have completed nine months of pregnancy, and will reach your due date (that is, if you don’t go into labor this week).
This is exciting!
39 WEEKS PREGNANT SYMPTOMS
Typical 39 weeks pregnant symptoms—the ones that aren’t signs labor is happening now—are similar to what you’ve been experiencing the past few weeks.
Most are signs that labor will happen soon though. This includes:
Braxton Hicks contractions.
At 39 weeks pregnant, cramping or tightening of your uterus may seem pretty constant, no matter what you do.
Usually these false labor pains start in the front of your body and ease up when you switch positions.
You’ll know it’s real labor when they start at the top of your uterus and become more frequent and regular.
While getting into position for birth, baby may be sitting so low that that your lower torso feels heavy and uncomfortable.
Because baby’s so low, his or her movements can hit some sensitive nerves, giving you sharp sensations in your pelvis—yep, like a lightning bolt!
Urge to nest.
Some moms-to-be say they get a surge of energy and strong desire to clean their home right before baby’s debut.
Don’t go too crazy though. You don’t want to wear yourself out before the birth.
Mucus plug and/or bloody show. At 39 weeks pregnant, discharge that’s as thick as mucus and sometimes has a tinge of blood in it is your mucus plug.
(The blood is, you guessed it, the bloody show.)
And while many people consider this to be a sign you’ll go into labor soon, there’s no exact science to it, so it’s hard to say when.
If you’re the rare mom-to-be who’s 39 weeks pregnant with twins, kudos to you! You’ve kept those babies baking despite the odds of an early delivery—and despite your all-around discomfort.
You’re probably feeling many 39 weeks pregnant symptoms, including the urge to get your twosome out of your 39 weeks pregnant belly and into the world.
Don’t worry—the end is so near!
39 WEEKS PREGNANT SIGNS OF LABOR
Other symptoms are your body’s way of telling you baby’s making his or her arrival ASAP.
At 39 weeks pregnant, signs of labor are the biggest things on your mind.
It’s important to know what they are, but don’t worry too much about going into labor without realizing it.
In most cases, labor symptoms will be so strong and so different from what you’ve been experiencing that you won’t be able to ignore them.
Call your OB if you experience either of these:
It might not be like it is in the movies—you might have a slow trickle instead of a huge gush of water.
But if at 39 weeks pregnant the discharge is watery instead of its usual consistency, that probably means your amniotic sac has ruptured and you will likely go into labor within hours.
Regular contractions. If your belly’s tightening—and has been repeatedly for some time—start timing the contractions.
If they keep coming and the time between them keeps getting shorter, you’re in the beginning stage of labor.
Just how long this stage lasts will vary from mom to mom (yes, you’ll be a mom very soon!
so keep your OB updated, and follow his or her directions for getting to the hospital by the time you progress into active labor.
When you’re 39 weeks pregnant, no signs of labor may have appeared yet, and that’s fine too!
The average first-time mom-to-be goes into labor naturally at 41 weeks, and a second-time mom tends to go at 40 weeks.
And while some women start to show signs of labor—a dilated and/or effaced cervix, regular contractions, etc.—weeks or days before they give birth, others go from zero to 10 centimeters dilated within hours.
INDUCING LABOR AT 39 WEEKS
Now that you’re 39 weeks pregnant (full term!) and itching to give birth, you might wonder how to induce labor naturally at home.
Gulping down castor oil and taking herbal remedies aren’t considered safe—and eating spicy food just isn’t going to do it.
But there are a few things that are typically safe and may work:
Tie on those sneakers and go for a long, long walk.
It’s not a medically proven method of inducing labor at 39 weeks, but some experts believe gravity will push baby down onto your cervix and the pressure will start dilation of the cervix.
Again, it’s not proven, but there’s some evidence to suggest that this ancient practice regulates blood flow, which stimulates your cervix to dilate.
Having sex. Some believe that having an orgasm can help bring on contractions.
Couldn’t hurt to try, right?
For some women who are 39 weeks pregnant, the doctor might recommend a medical induction.
Reasons for inducing labor include complications (preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, a heart condition), placental problems, and infection of the uterus.
Induction also may be recommended if you’re 39 weeks pregnant with twins or if your water broke but labor hasn’t started on its own.
39 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
Inside your 39 weeks pregnant belly, baby’s probably able to flex his or her limbs now.
Baby’s brain is still rapidly developing—he or she’s getting smarter by the week! Baby’s nails may extend past the fingertips now.
A 39 weeks pregnant ultrasound and non-stress test might be in order to check on your baby’s wellbeing—especially if you’re 39 weeks pregnant with twins.
After seeing the results of these two tests, your doctor might say everything looks A-OK, or she might recommend an early delivery.
At 39 weeks pregnant, there’s nothing left to do except see the doctor each week, wait for baby, and keep your mind busy with little tasks.
If they get done, great. If not, no biggie.
We know it’s tough to relax, but try!
Your Baby at Week 39
Baby Is Full-Term
Congratulations! At 39 weeks pregnant, you’ve got what is officially considered a full-term baby.
Your baby now weighs around seven to eight pounds and measures 19 to 21 inches.
Those measurements won’t change much from now on, but her brain is still growing at an astonishing rate (a pace that will continue for the first three years of life) – with changes you’ll be able to recognize firsthand as your baby’s skill-packed bag of tricks expands almost daily.
39 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?
If you’re 39 weeks pregnant, you’re in month 9 of your pregnancy.
Only a week or two left to go! Still have questions? Here’s some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
No Tears Just Yet
Heard that babies cry a lot? There’s definitely truth to that rumor — as you’ll find out soon enough (and usually in the middle of the night).
But what you may not have heard is that tiny babies don’t produce tiny tears when they cry, since their tear ducts aren’t open for business yet.
While you’ll be consoling your crying baby right from the get-go, it won’t be until sometime after the first month that you’ll be wiping tears off those chubby cheeks.
Baby’s Skin Is White
Your baby’s skin has now finally changed from pink to white, no matter how dark-skinned she will be eventually (pigmentation will occur soon following birth).
That’s because a thicker fat layer has been deposited over the blood vessels, making your baby’s cheeks pinchably and kissably round.
Your Body at Week 39
The end (and a whole new beginning!) is in sight at 39 weeks pregnant.
These last few days — or last couple of weeks, if your baby is late — may speed by (Wait, I’m not ready yet!) or drag out (When will I go into labor, already?).
You’re probably feeling increasingly uncomfortable by now, as you lug around your ever-heavier uterus and its contents — plus your pelvis is feeling achier and achier as your baby bears down.
Braxton Hicks contractions are likely increasing in strength and frequency — and that’s a good thing, since it means your body’s gearing up for the big event.
Signs of Labor
Knowing that you can go any day, you should be watching out for signs of labor.
These include the rupture of the membranes (water breaking) that contain your amniotic fluid;
diarrhea or nausea (many women experience these types of digestive disturbances just before the onset of labor);
spurts of energy (nesting instinct); the loss of the mucous plug (the “cork” of mucous that seals the opening of the uterus); and bloody show (your capillaries rupture from the dilation and effacement of your cervix, causing any discharge to appear pink or red-tinged).
Once you’ve seen bloody show, labor is probably just a day or two away — though don’t try to set your watch to it, since it’s not a definite timetable (but do make sure your bag is packed).
Preparing for a Cesarean Section
Many hospitals and birthing centers are increasingly sensitive to an expectant mother’s desire to be awake,
comfortable and with the people she loves both during and after delivery — even if that delivery is via C-section.
These days, most will try to accommodate your requests in a nonemergency situation, so ask for what you want.
(Sorry, but pizza is probably a no-go.) Here are some requests to consider: the chance to use a mirror or have the screen dropped so you can see the baby emerge, listen to music during delivery, have your hands free to touch your baby immediately after birth, have your partner cut the cord and breastfeed in the recovery room.
This is one time when it pays to be demanding. Making surgical delivery as pleasant as possible helps reduce the possibility of postpartum depression and allows you to bond more quickly with your baby.
39 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby’s Development
You’ve made it this far, and now that you’re 39 weeks pregnant, your baby is considered full term.
The end of the third trimester, and your pregnancy, is now in sight.
Your baby’s lungs and brain are still developing and will continue to develop after she’s born.
In fact, her brain won’t reach its full size for about another two years, and the lungs might not be mature until around the age of 3.
Right now, the lungs are busy manufacturing surfactant to keep the air sacs from sticking together when she takes her first breath.
Your little one doesn’t have much room to move around in your uterus now, so if you’ve noticed any changes in her movements, that’s probably why.
If you are feeling less movement than usual, you can always check with your healthcare provider for reassurance.
Mom’s Body at 39 Weeks Pregnant
At this point, you’re probably feeling more than ready for your baby to be born!
Some moms-to-be find walking, and moving in general, to be a struggle, thanks to all that baby weight and a belly that just won’t quit.
Try to move slowly and carefully, and get as much rest as you can.
Sleep might not come easily, so try to save your energy by getting in some downtime or a short catnap during the day, if possible.
If you’re wondering how many months along you are at 39 weeks pregnant, you’re either in your ninth month or tenth month, because the weeks of pregnancy don’t fit evenly into full months.
Your uterus has expanded over the course of your pregnancy.
It started out weighing about two ounces before you were pregnant, and it’s now grown to weigh about two and a half pounds.
After you give birth, it will shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size and settle back down below your pubic bone.
After about six weeks, it should be back to its normal size.
39 Weeks Pregnant: Your Symptoms
Trouble sleeping. It may be more difficult to get a good night’s sleep toward the end of your pregnancy.
The size of your belly may make it hard to find a comfortable position, and nerves and anxiety can keep you up, too.
Try to make your bed and bedroom as comfortable as possible, with plenty of extra pillows to prop you up and keep you comfortable.
Losing the mucus plug.
At 39 weeks pregnant, losing the mucus plug can be one of the normal signs that labor is approaching, and it can happen anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks before labor actually starts.
A clear, pinkish, or slightly bloody vaginal discharge might be the mucus plug, but not all moms-to-be will notice it.
This plug seals the cervix during pregnancy and keeps bacteria out of the uterus.
When it detaches, you might see it in one blob or in several parts on your panties or on the toilet paper after you wipe.
If you notice anything more than this slightly bloody discharge, contact your healthcare provider right away.
Water breaking. We’ve all seen it in the movies — when the character’s water breaks, you know the baby is coming soon!
This discharge can feel like a trickle or gush of fluid, and it means that the amniotic sac around your baby has broken, the amniotic fluid is leaking, and your labor is starting.
If your water breaks, it’s time to call your healthcare provider, who will let you know what to do next.
If the leaked amniotic fluid has a foul odor or if you’re running a fever when your water breaks, be sure to let your healthcare provider know, because this could be an indication of an infection known as chorioamnionitis.
Preeclampsia Some moms-to-be are diagnosed with this blood pressure disorder in the last weeks of pregnancy.
A few possible symptoms at 39 weeks pregnant include swelling of your face and hands, headaches, nausea and vomiting, sudden weight gain, shortness of breath, and vision changes.
Your healthcare provider has likely been checking your blood pressure regularly, and may continue to do so as needed in these final few weeks, but if you notice any of the symptoms described above, contact your provider right away.