You’re so close to meeting your little one!
Your due date is coming up and that means you’re closer to meeting your baby.
You might still be a few weeks away from giving birth, so enjoy this last bit of pregnancy, when you have your baby on the inside and you can feel those wonderful kicks.
But how exciting is it that the baby is nearly here?
Get organized and make those last minute preparations, as labor might start any day now.
If you have been wondering about a few things at 39 weeks pregnant, read on for some helpful information and advice.
39 weeks pregnant in months
Been wondering how many months you are if you’re nearly at your due date? At 39 weeks pregnant, you’re in your ninth month of pregnancy.
What should I do at 39 weeks pregnant?
By now you’re probably ready and have most things packed. If you’re still working or you have a very busy toddler running around, perhaps you haven’t done it yet.
You might have chosen to have your baby at home but it’s still a great idea to pack a mother and baby bag.
After your baby is born, your midwife can help you shower and find baby clothes.
A ready-packed bag is also useful if you need to transfer to hospital.
Make sure you have everything ready to go:
- You’ve packed your bags
- Put the car seat in the car
- Arranged where the kids are going
- Left contact numbers on the fridge.
Walking and swimming are fantastic low impact exercises and a good way to keep you active at 39 weeks pregnant.
After so many months, you’re probably feeling more tired these days.
Rest is an important part of your day. You could go onto labor at any time now, and who knows how long it will last.
Keeping up your fluids is also very important, as being dehydrated can stall labor or even stop it altogether.
Relax. Have a massage. Get your nails done. Or go out and have a meal with friends.
What do I need to pack at 39 weeks pregnant?
If you’ve already packed your birth bag, you might want to check you have these items:
- Comfortable maternity bra
- Breast pads
- Sanitary pads or postnatal undies
- Witch hazel to put on frozen pads; it eases any perineal soreness
- Clothes to labor in, and something to change into after the birth
- Your special pillow
- Snacks and drinks
- Camera or video recorder
- Phone and charger.
Baby’s bag might include the following items:
- Nappies – disposable or cloth
- All-in-ones or ‘onesies’ – have a couple of different sizes, as birth weight and size are always a guess until after baby is born
- Hat and booties
- Swaddle wrap or muslins.
39 weeks pregnancy symptoms
For the most of the last few weeks of pregnancy, you might not notice too many changes happening in your body.
At week 39, you still feel heavy, you still have to pee every five minutes, and you still have a little human being kicking your kidney – from the inside!
And if baby has engaged, you might be waddling more than walking.
There’s a good chance you’re having plenty of ‘practice’ contractions too, making you wonder whether ‘this is it’ a few times a day.
Most women go into labor at any time between week 39 and week 42.
For first time mothers, labor can last between 12 and 14 hours. Mothers who have birthed before usually find subsequent labor is quicker – about 7 hours.
39 weeks pregnant symptoms not to ignore
There are some changes that aren’t normal in pregnancy and you can’t ignore them.
You might need medical attention if you notice these changes:
- Headaches with visual disturbances
- Constant pain in the abdomen or anywhere else
- Really swollen legs, hands and face
- Mid sternum chest pain
- Your baby is not moving, or has reduced movement
- You have vaginal blood loss
- Your water breaks, and the fluid isn’t clear. Yellow-green indicates meconium might be in the amniotic fluid.
Contact your healthcare provider or doctor right away if you have any of the above at 39 weeks pregnant.
What are the signs of labor at 39 weeks?
The million dollar question at 39 weeks: ‘Am I in labor?’
Here are a few signs that labor may be on the way:
- Period-like cramping low in pelvis, or backaches
- Mucus plug or ‘show’ comes away
- You are nesting like crazy; you just have a feeling baby is coming soon
- Your bowel movements change
- Head is well engaged (first time mothers). This is also called ‘lightning crotch’; the baby’s head can be pushing on nerves low in the pelvis
- Some women at week 39 might have nausea
More information can be found in 39 Weeks Pregnant – Symptoms And Signs Of Labor
Is it safe to birth at 39 weeks pregnant?
39 weeks is considered to be full term. Full term means your baby’s development has reached the point where your little one is ready for the outside world.
It’s not only safe, it’s perfect for your baby to birth at 39 weeks pregnant – if your baby’s ready to be born!
39 weeks pregnancy discharge
We have discussed vaginal discharge in many of our articles.
Discharge that is specific to a 39 weeks pregnancy could be:
- Mucus plug loss. This is generally quite thick and snotty looking. It might be tinged with pink, usually due to the cervix changing and blood vessels breaking
- Water breaking. Amniotic fluid is clear; if tinged with pink, it might mean the cervix is changing. If it is green or yellow, then the baby has pooped (meconium). Let your doctor know, as sometimes this is a sign your baby is distressed.
Heavy blood loss isn’t normal and needs medical attention. Make sure you contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.
At 39 weeks pregnant is a headache a sign of labor?
Many women have headaches or migraines before they become pregnant. If your pre-pregnancy headaches are hormone related, this could mean they’re also a normal feature during pregnancy.
If you normally don’t get headaches and you have some visual disturbances and/or swollen hands, feet, and face, contact your health care provider immediately.
These symptoms could indicate preeclampsia, and your baby might need to be born sooner rather than later.
At 39 weeks, your baby is full term, so induction, rather than c-section, is usually the first option.
Usually, a headache in pregnancy isn’t a sign of labor. Be sure to contact your care provider if you are concerned.
More information can be found in Pregnancy Headaches – 5 Causes Of Headache During Pregnancy.
Can you be in labor without contractions or water breaking?
Not all women have their water break before they go into labor.
Most women who have contractions find their water breaks over the next 24 to 48 hours – during early labor or when they are into active established labor.
Some women might not break their waters until the baby is heading down the birth canal or at the time of birth.
There are a few women who will birth their baby in the ‘caul’. This means the waters do not break at all and the baby is birthed inside the bag of waters.
This is amazing to see, especially those born in water.
Contractions are necessary to help dilate the cervix. Labor begins when your uterus starts contracting to change the cervix and begin the process of birth.
Why is my stomach so hard at 39 weeks?
If your tummy goes hard and then releases, this is probably Braxton Hicks contractions.
These ‘practice’ contractions can become more intense leading up to true labor.
Braxton Hicks contractions are normal and, although they can be quite intense rather than painful, they are relatively short lived.
Real contractions also make your belly go hard and then release, but they steadily become more intense, they last longer, and don’t go away until the baby is birthed.
If your belly is hard and stays hard, and if you have any pain, this isn’t normal.
You need to see your care provider right away. It’s also important to monitor your baby’s movements at this time as well.
More information can be found in Braxton Hicks Contractions – What Are They?.
Can squats induce labor?
If your baby is ready to go at 39 weeks, pregnant squats might help with positioning and pressure for those waters to break.
Remember, it’s the baby’s lung maturation that lets your body know it’s time for labor to start. If the baby’s lungs aren’t ready, then it is less likely that labor will begin. Read more in What Causes Labour To Start?.
Do I need induction of labor at 39 weeks pregnant?
No. unless you have health complications, it’s always best to wait for your baby to choose the day to be born – the time which is best for your baby’s development.
You can look at some natural induction methods to soften your cervix and help with labor if required.
At 39 weeks, you have a full-term pregnancy and you don’t post dates at this stage.
There is no need to try and rush the baby out just yet.
39 weeks pregnant baby position
Ideally, at this stage of pregnancy, your baby is head down and in an anterior position. This means the baby’s body is positioned with the back facing your front and their head tucked and chin to chest.
Don’t stress if this isn’t the case, as many babies rotate during labor or as they are birthing.
The position of a baby can determine how you labor, and you might need to have a plan or strategy on how you will cope with this.
Check out 8 Signs Your Baby’s Position Is Affecting Labor for more information.
Some tips that could help your body in pregnancy:
- Optimal fetal positioning with Spinning Babies
- Chiropractic care
- Relax – let that oxytocin flow.
Chat to your midwife or doctor or healthcare provider for more advice.
More information can be found in Optimal Fetal Positioning – How To Make Birth Easier.
39 weeks pregnant baby weight in kg
Your baby at 39 weeks pregnant is putting on brown fat that will help with temperature regulation after birth.
Baby at 39 weeks can weigh 3-3.5kg (7-8 pounds) and measure 35-36.5cm (19-21 inches) in length.
At 39 weeks your baby has mature lungs and is ready to go.
At week 39, as a full-term baby, your little one is fully developed. However, the baby’s brain continues to grow, as it will for many years to come – sometimes at astonishing rates.