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The 39th week of pregnancy: what happens to the baby and mom

The 39th obstetric week of a woman’s pregnancy is the beginning of the second half of the final month of pregnancy. If you’re in this week then your pregnancy will be over very soon by delivering a fully developed baby, since the baby is considered full-term from the 38th week.

Usually, in this period women are impatient and with the great anticipation await their babies.

The size and development of the fetus in the 39th week of pregnancy

Pregnancy week 39 sizeA baby in the 39th week of pregnancy has nearly the same appearance as a newborn baby and is positioned in the uterus legs up, and head turned toward the vagina.

He actively develops and grows, which is a logical continuation of gestation. The length of the baby’s body reaches an average of 50 cm, and weight – about 3.5 kg.

During this period, the baby makes almost no movements due to the reduced amount of amniotic fluid, and also because he takes up almost all of the space in the uterus. This prevents the fetus from turning. At this time, a pregnant woman may feel almost no familiar flutters – this is normal.

The development of organs and tissues takes on a specific character. The development of the central nervous system is expressed in the maturation of the spinal cord, glial cells, sense analyzers and that portion of the facial nerves, which is responsible for the baby’s sucking motion. The development of the digestive system has made great progress: the intestines already contain the first stool, which will show up after the birth of the baby.

The baby is able to focus his eyes, respond to a color image, see large items and track their movements. Peach fuzz disappears from the surface of pale pink skin, but the hair on the head can reach 4-5 cm. Fingernails reach their full development and already occupy the entire nail bed.

[attention type=yellow]The rhythm of the baby’s life is roughly equal to the rhythm of a newborn. He is alternately asleep and awake, and during his active state, he reacts to stimulation (touching of the belly, bright lights or loud beeps).[/attention]

What’s going on with a mom in the 39th week

 Photos of belly at 39 weeks of pregnancy

In this term of pregnancy, the woman’s abdomen reaches a height of about 20 cm above the navel and 40 cm above the pubic bone. This makes the belly seem huge. Also, the belly drops, as compared with previous periods of pregnancy. Photos of bellies in the 39th week of pregnancy can be seen above.

The weight of the future mom does not depend on the fact that the baby in her womb continues to gain weight. Overall your weight must not exceed your starting weight by more than about 15 kg, and you should even see a bit of a drop before birth (loss of about 2 kg). The cause of this is a voluminous fluid leak from your body.

Active movements in the 39th week of pregnancy are almost absent or are mild because of reduced space for fetal activity in the uterine cavity.

Both physical and moral pains of varying intensity start to bother the woman more frequently. There are also contractions – either training or real.

  • The training type of contractions is associated with preparation of the uterus for the upcoming labor: this organ is learning to contract, which manifests itself in a “hardening” sensation of the abdomen, but without severe pain – rather a minor dull pain in the abdomen and lower back in the 39th week of pregnancy.
  • True contractions are regular and have pronounced soreness. Their very important distinguishing feature is a shortening of of the time interval in between.
[attention type=red]In the 39th week of pregnancy a specific vaginal discharge may appear. It is slimy with bloody clots – the so-called “mucus plug.” This sign requires the mother’s attention, but it does not necessarily mean that labor is starting. In general, vaginal discharge increases in volume, and has a whitish or slightly yellow tinge.[/attention] Future mother is 39 weeks pregnant

Pregnant women feel more and more pressure on the bladder and often go to the restroom. In addition, diarrhea is possible. Due to the reduction of baby’s pressure on the stomach, a woman’s appetite improves, though right before the childbirth, it reduces.

Breathing becomes easier, and the perineum feels heavier because the fetus descends lower. The breasts can secrete colostrum when squeezed.

From a psychological point of view the expectant mother in this week of pregnancy has mixed feelings, from nervousness and fear to interest and anticipation of the long-awaited meeting with her child. Especially remarkable is the fact that before labor a woman tries to “nest” by creating cozy, secluded and safe places in the house, due to a woman’s natural instincts.

Analyses, examinations and ultrasound in the 39th week of pregnancy

 Photo fetal ultrasound at 39 weeks of pregnancy

In this period the woman should continue to be monitored regularly by the obstetrician, who will assess the condition of the baby, as well as his readiness for the upcoming birth.

The doctor is required to measure the woman’s weight, her belly circumference, blood pressure, and also listen to the baby’s heart of the child. Belly will be manually palpated by the doctor to determine the position of the fetus in the womb, blood count and urine analysis shall be done. It is important to discuss suitable childbirth options with the obstetrician.

An ultrasound (US) screening is conducted this week only if indicated, for example, in case of birth by Caesarean section or in a twin pregnancy. Particularly important is the CTG (cardiotocography), which is a study to determine the regularity and accuracy of the fetal heart, his movements, the frequency of uterine contractions and the child’s reaction to them.

We invite you to watch the video of a fetal ultrasound in the 39th week of pregnancy and to look at the child’s photo above.

Abnormalities in the 39th week

Primarily, these include toxemia, baby hypoxia due to the cord wrapping around the neck, premature detachment of the placenta. A breech position is also possible, from which the baby is unlikely to turn. This is resolved by a scheduled caesarean section.

There is a risk of rapid delivery, leading to a rupture of the perineum, which negatively affects not only the health of mothers, but also the health of the baby. Also, there is a slight risk of missed abortion.

When is it necessary to get ready and go to the hospital?

The expectant mother’s own body can warn her. The need to head for the hospital occurs with the following symptoms:

  • The appearance of the vaginal secretions indicating the loss of the “mucus plug”.
  • The desire of the mother to organize and to create comfort in the home, make repairs, or move furniture.
  • The appearance of morning sickness, or diarrhea in the 39th week of pregnancy.
  • Dropping of the abdomen, and as a consequence, a feeling of easier breathing and movement, but at the same time an increased urge to empty the bladder.
  • Contractions and leakage of amniotic fluid.

How do contractions occur in pregnancy?

 How are the contractions in pregnantContractions are the most informative and important sign of the beginning of labor in the 39th week of pregnancy. Initially, they happen at equal time intervals and duration, and later grow more frequent and extended.

It is important to note their length and frequency. At the point when contractions happen every 5 minutes throughout an hour, you should immediately call an ambulance and head to the maternity ward.

[attention type=yellow]During real contractions, it is important to turn your attention to proper breathing. Do not forget that the baby inside of you, will also dictate the course of action. It is better to move around and not be in a sitting or lying down position, and with increased contractions implement deep breathing techniques to save your strength for upcoming labor.[/attention]

The future mom’s nutrition in the 39th week

Moms nutrition at 39 weeksUnlike nutrition in the middle of the third trimester and prior to that, it is best to change your diet before labor. Since fetal development is no longer as intensive, and has almost concluded, a high content of proteins and fats in the diet is not required.

In the 39th week most of the nutrients are absorbed by the body of the future mother, preparing her for labor, synthesizing the necessary hormones, strengthening the walls of the blood vessels and increasing her overall resistance to harmful elements. It is, therefore, recommended to fortify the mom’s diet by including the following components:

  • Carbohydrates – the best source of energy, which is so necessary in this period of pregnancy. Due to their simple structure, digestion occurs rapidly and without an unnecessary expenditure of energy; thereafter, the are used for the body’s needs.
  • Vitamins A, D, E, K, C and B complex (B1, B2, B6, B12) – their adequate content in the body maintains normal metabolism, strengthens the vascular walls and enhances immunity. They are found in vegetables, fruits, berries, oils, seafood.
  • Phospholipids and minerals (calcium, iron, phosphorus) – these nutrients also serve to support all bodily functions and fulfill their effects through the strengthening of cell membranes, improving the hemoglobin synthesis, and other metabolic processes. They are found in dairy products, and all kinds of oils and grains.
[attention type=yellow]In addition to the inclusion in the diet of the necessary components of food, it is important to pay attention to regular meals and not overburden the gastrointestinal tract. Continue to perform light exercises for the third trimester – they will have a positive effect on the body of the future mother.[/attention]

Sexual activity in the 39th week

Sexual activity at 39 weeks of pregnancySex in the last weeks of pregnancy does not always bring the mother pleasure, due to difficulties in choosing a comfortable position, fatigue and a desire to sleep. But if the desire is not lost, and there are no contraindications, it is possible to have sex in the 39th week of pregnancy. Sperm prepares the cervix for childbirth and endorphins have an analgesic effect.

But if in the 39th week of pregnancy the indicators of labor have already appeared, you need to give up intimate relations and focus on preparing for the hospital.

Recommendations for mom and dad

After the 39th week of pregnancy it is especially important to surround the future mom with attention, care, and limit her physical and emotional stress. These recommendations concern not only the woman but also the baby’s father.

It is important to avoid injuries, especially in the abdominal area. Violation of these conditions may develop stress and have other negative effects on the body. This can lead to premature labor and have a detrimental impact on the child.

The husband’s constant monitoring of the pregnant woman, and her self-observations are necessary to promptly detect the discharge of amniotic fluid and deliver the mother to the hospital. Prolonged delay is dangerous, because the fetus will experience a lack of oxygen, which can affect the development of its respiratory and nervous systems.

Video about the 39th week of pregnancy

Watching this video guide is a good way to prepare for childbirth, which is just around the corner. It will certainly help you to understand all the processes associated with the baby in the 39th week of pregnancy. Also, when watching this film, you will learn the basic recommendations for women at this term of pregnancy regarding contractions, the trip to the hospital, and the birth process itself.

[attention type=yellow]The topic of this article will probably strike a nerve with any pregnant woman. Therefore, share your experiences and feelings from the 39th obstetric week of pregnancy, tell us how you dealt with them, and share about your trip to the hospital with the subsequent birth story. Do not forget to ask questions, because this article is also read by women who are only planning a pregnancy.[/attention]

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