Your guide to being 39 weeks pregnant
Almost there… are you excited or scared?
In the final couple of weeks, your baby has another growth spurt, and new skin is already forming underneath his outer layers, which will already be sloughing off.
If he’s born now then you will see that his scrotum appears bigger than normal and, if your baby is a girl, her breasts may be slightly swollen and her labia may be enlarged – she may also have a tiny bit of blood in her nappy. This is all normal though and the effect of the high levels of pregnancy hormones that have been circulating around you.
What’s happening to you
Your amniotic fluid, which is a clear substance, may be slightly pale and milky now thanks to the vernix having been shed from your baby’s skin. If you haven’t had it already then you may have a show this week (when the jelly – like mucus plug that seals the neck of your womb come away), but some pregnant women never get one, so don’t worry if you don’t.
While your may be worried that labour will start with your waters breaking in the frozen food aisle at your local supermarket, this is actually one of the less common ways it begins. A show or mild contractions are more common. However if your waters do break first (and it can happen as a trickle or a gush), put on a sanitary pad and call your midwife. It may be a while until contractions start, in which case she may suggest you wait at home. Or you may be asked to be checked over.
When to check it out
Your waters should be clear. If you notice that they are green – coloured, this is a sign your baby has passed some meconium and may mean he is in distress. You should let you midwife know immediately.
‘To do’ this week
While you may not be able to wait for labour to start now, it means there’s still time to check you have all the essentials and that you know how to use them! Rehearse how to fold and unfold the buggy, attach the raincover and master the straps on your baby carrier. These are all things that will become second nature, but are much easier to master when you don’t also have a tiny newborn to contend with!
Wow! Did you know…
While the average weight of a baby about now is around 7lb 5oz, your little one may be as much as a pound heavier (3800g). Phew!