At 38 weeks pregnant, your baby is now almost equal to the size of a winter melon! The fetus is now placed very low in the pelvis, waiting for its turn to be pushed out. The baby is now approximately 19.6 inches long and weighs about 6.8 pounds. The baby’s head is now about the same measurement as the circumference of your abdomen. You’re nearly into the home stretch!
38 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
At 38 weeks pregnant, your belly has stretched as much as it can possibly stretch! Due to this, your belly can develop freckles and become dry. Apply organic moisturizers or lotions recommended by your doctor at least twice each day. Moreover, don’t compromise on your water intake because keeping yourself hydrated is the key to smoother skin during pregnancy.
At 38 weeks pregnant, your body is getting ready for delivery, which might happen any moment! The baby is now lying in an upside-down position in the extreme lower part of your pelvis. Your abdomen is preparing for the labour pains by contracting and expanding its muscles. These are normally Braxton Hicks contractions, but watch out for persistent cramps that might be signs of labour.
Tingling sensation in the legs
Since the baby is now sitting really low down in your pelvis, it is kicking and hitting in those areas. These kicks send down chills and tingles down your nerves in the legs. It might feel ticklish at times, but these are mild sensations that will disappear right after delivery.
The raging hormones and sudden contractions inside your body make it difficult for you to fall asleep at night. At times, it is anxiety that creeps in like a demon and steals your sleep away. To get a good night’s rest, take naps throughout the day, exercise daily, eat well, and drink lots of water. Listen to soothing music before going to bed. It might induce sleep.
Increased vaginal discharge
You will notice small amounts of thick mucus-like substance coming out of your vagina from now. This is completely normal. The mucus surrounds your cervix, but as the latter dilates, the former starts making way for the baby. However, if you see too much of mucus, it is time to call the doctor. You’re probably going into labor already.
At 38 weeks pregnant, the baby is lying low inside the pelvis, waiting to be delivered. The baby, and your belly, is increasing by 0.5 ounce each week now! You’ve already crossed the main growing stage. A 38 weeks pregnant belly calls for the most possible beginning of the signs of labour.
The signs to watch out for are:
- Constant and increased contraction
- Severe back ache
- Water break: If you notice a watery fluid coming out of your vagina, it is from your amniotic sac. This means that your sac has burst and you will go into labour soon, in fact, within a few hours.
- Mucus plug: The mucus that protects your cervix gradually starts disseminating as the latter prepares for labour. If you find that there’s too much discharge, it might be a sign that your labour period is just about to start.
At times, if you’re pregnant with twins, you might go into labour at 38 weeks. Apart from that, if you have complications like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, uterine infection, or placental issues, your doctor may recommend inducing labour through strict medical means at this stage itself.
38 Weeks Pregnancy Ultrasound
This week, you might have a biophysical profile along with the ultrasound. The baby’s heart rate, sugar level, muscle formation, and amniotic fluid consumption will be checked. On the 3D screen, you can see the baby gradually shedding the white layer of fat-like substance called “vernix caseosa”. The gynaecologist will recommend a pelvic examination in which your cervix will be checked to see whether the required opening is in progress, and whether the baby is moving forward with every increase in the opening.
Dos and Don’ts During Week 38 of Pregnancy
By now, you already know what to do and what to refrain from. However, apart from the daily regulations, there are some important reminders.
Prepare for breastfeeding
Now that your body is ready to breastfeed, you need to brush up your practical breastfeeding skills. Ask your doctor or follow some medical videos about breastfeeding mechanics. There are certain positions to hold the baby in, for maximum comfort. Learn about them now and enjoy the act later!
Practise labour pushes
At 38 weeks pregnant, you must know that you can go into labour anytime. Be ready for it. Ask your gynaecologist for journals and videos to help you learn the techniques of pushing the baby out. You can also join last-minute crash courses on Lamaze exercises.
Keep exercising! Sitting is not going to help you, even if you’re ‘too tired to move’. Stick to the basics: slow walking, stretching, yoga poses and asanas. Exercising helps combat constipation, haemorrhoids, and sleeplessness.
Hesitate from asking questions
There’s no end to discovering new symptoms and having doubts about your medical situation. Ask everything you want to, without hesitation. Feel free to call your gynaecologist and make appointments. Sign up for sessions with counselors if you feel the need for it.
Spend too much time alone
This is the time when anxiety strikes you hard and makes you doubt your self-worth. It is definitely not a good idea to spend long hours alone. Spend time with your partner, family members, and friends. Engage in light chatter and socialize to keep these ghosts away! Apart from these, you might also experience labour pains any moment and might be rushed to the hospital. Staying with someone will help you deal with such a situation.
Stand for long
At 38 weeks pregnant, the baby is lying in the lowest part of your pelvis and is kicking your interiors. The baby’s head is right at the opening, waiting to pop out the moment it gets the slightest chance! Standing might make your legs feel the full pressure and make them swell. You might also experience uneasy feelings inside the abdomen, and the moving baby may cause your sac to break if it is not resting on a platform.
You’re now even closer to the delivery date! Make sure that your bags are already packed for the hospital trip. Keep calm yet alert throughout these last few weeks before you officially become a mother!