You’re 38 weeks pregnant! It’s just two weeks wait until your estimated due date.
You’re also one week away from being considered full term, in this third trimester of pregnancy.
Keep reading to find out what to expect in week 38.
38 weeks pregnant is how many months?
So, how many months is 38 weeks of pregnancy? You’re in the 9th month of pregnancy – the final month the the vast majority of women.
38 weeks pregnant – what to expect
You’ve got the hospital bag by the door.
The car seat’s in the car. And you might be worried about going out because of your water breaking.
If this is a concern for you, have a read of 9 Myths About Your Waters Breaking.
Baby could arrive any time now and you are playing the waiting game.
It can be challenging to be patient, especially as you’re feeling very ready to have your baby.
Even if you’ve been enjoying every minute of pregnancy, it’s ok to want the big day to arrive.
You might be feeling unsure or uncertain about labour and how you will cope.
Try not to get too caught up in these feelings.
Or if you need to, let them out with a big cry and an understanding shoulder to lean on.
These final weeks can be hard, both emotionally and physically.
You’re not alone in that feeling.
The Final Weeks Of Pregnancy is an ode to all mamas waiting on their babies’ arrival.
It’s very likely you have finished work by now, so you can rest as much as you need to.
Your body is preparing to do some hard work, and you will have a new role as a parent in the coming weeks.
Enjoy these last few weeks as much as you can.
38 weeks pregnant – symptoms
It’s been a while since you’ve been able to see your feet while standing up and you might be feeling pretty big now.
Swelling may be troubling you, especially your feet and ankles.
Keep those feet up when you can and avoid sitting or standing for long periods.
It is probably hard to find a comfortable position to sit or lie down.
Your hips may be aching and the front of your pelvis, the symphysis pubis joint, might feel as though it is going to give way.
This joint becomes looser during pregnancy thanks to the hormone relaxin, but it can feel very unstable and lead to pain.
Pelvis pain can be a real nightmare for heavily pregnant women.
It is useful to see a therapist such as an osteopath or chiropractor, which can alleviate tight muscles and ligaments contributing to pelvic pain.
If you are experiencing symphysis pubic dysfunction there are a number of ways to manage it.
38 weeks signs of labour
Even though you can’t see it, your body is doing some preparation work for giving birth.
Braxton Hicks contractions might be really cranking up now.
These practice contractions can trick you into thinking the real deal has started.
If you’re not sure, try moving about and see if they go away or stay.
Labour contractions will become regular, more frequent and intense over time.
At 38 weeks pregnant nausea might have returned. This can be caused by changing hormones in preparation for labour.
You might’ve had a few loose bowel movements by now too.
If you’re 38 weeks pregnant, diarrhea can happen in the lead up to labour as hormones rise.
This helps to clear the way for when baby is passing through the birth canal.
Check out Signs Of Labour – 7 Signs You May Be In Labour for more information on the ways you can spot labour and what to do.
Your baby at 38 weeks
Your baby at week 38 might seem to be resting more often now, with big bursts of movement in between spells of quiet.
It’s normal for babies to have quiet periods.
But if you do notice any changes in your baby’s normal movements or feel concerned at all, contact your doctor or midwife straight away.
Your baby’s eyes are now the colour she’ll be born with.
But this might change in the first year of life.
The hair covering her body is now falling off.
And the vernix which has been protecting her skin from the amniotic fluid is starting to disappear.
You may find some in the creases behind her ears and under her arms after birth.
Your baby’s head is pressing down into the bottom the uterus. This can mean babies who have engaged earlier have an odd shaped head when they’re born.
This will right itself in the hours after birth.
Read more in What Happens To Your Baby’s Head During Birth?
Your baby’s weight is likely a little over 3 kg now, and she is about 47-49 cm or 19 inches long, about the length of a leek.
She won’t get much longer between now and birth, but she will continue to gain weight.