Welcome to week 39 of your pregnancy journey!
As we mentioned in our last update, this is a time to be prepared and expectant for the birth of your baby. It’s an exciting period where you might experience signs that labour is imminent.
It is estimated that your baby will measure 50.7 cm from head to heel when they are born. Approximately the size of a watermelon.
When your baby is in the second trimester, he or she is covered in a soft coat of furry, downy hair (lanugo). Although most of those patches have disappeared now, a few babies may still be born with a few.
The 3rd trimester is a time when your baby is covered in a furry, soft coat of downy hair (lanugo). Most of that has disappeared now, though a few babies might still be born with some patches in places.
Your baby is now at the “full term” stage, indicating they are completely developed and could arrive at any time. This stage is exciting as you are close to greeting your newborn. Being “full term” means your baby has matured to a stage where they can thrive outside the womb without the need for extensive medical intervention.
The skin of the baby is covered in a white, waxy coating known as “vernix”, a term derived from the Latin word for varnish. This creamy substance serves to shield their skin and facilitates the baby’s passage through the birth canal.
When your baby is born, they might still have this covering, or it might have mostly disappeared.
As you’re getting closer to your birth, stay calm and composed as best you can. Ensure you’re in regular contact with your healthcare provider and have your hospital bag ready.
9 Critical Warning Signs During Pregnancy
Should you experience any of these symptoms, consider it an urgent situation and immediately contact your midwife, doctor, or NHS 111:
- Vaginal bleeding.
- Discharge that is brown or pink in colour.
- Intense itching, especially during the night.
- A persistent, severe headache that doesn’t subside.
- Vision issues such as blurriness, sensitivity to light, or seeing spots or flashing lights.
- Pain is located just beneath the ribs.
- Excessive swelling in the feet, ankles, hands, and face.
- Ongoing stomach pains.
- A high fever (above 37.5 degrees Celsius) without any other symptoms of flu or cold.
Your body is gearing up for birth, and you may notice an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions. These ‘practice’ contractions are a normal part of the process, helping to prepare your cervix for delivery. However, if they become regular and intensify in pain, it might indicate the start of actual labour.
Reach out to your healthcare team as they will support you and answer all your questions. Keep important information on hand such as phone numbers and your support network such as family and friends.
If anxiety arises, seek support immediately. Discuss your worries with your partner, family, or a professional. The reassurance and advice from a midwife or doctor can be incredibly comforting in stressful times.