Week 38 of pregnancy marks a significant milestone on your journey to motherhood. Your baby is nearing full term, and you eagerly anticipate their arrival. In this article, we will explore the development of your baby’s size and weight during this critical week. We will also discuss other exciting changes happening during this time.
As expectant mothers approach week 38 of pregnancy, the expectation and excitement are noticeable, with the birth of their baby just around the corner. At this phase, the baby has undergone significant growth and development, nearing its full-term size and weight. This article provides a detailed look into the baby’s current physical dimensions, its weight gain, and how it compares to common everyday objects. With each passing day, the baby continues to put on weight and further develop, ensuring it is ready for the world outside the womb.
1. Baby Continues to Gain Weight and Grow
a. Fetal Growth Spurt
Your baby undergoes a significant growth spurt this week, especially in weight.
b. Measurements and Proportions
By week 38, your baby’s size resembles that of a winter melon, balancing proportionately in weight and length.
2. Baby’s Hair, Called Lanugo, Starts to Disappear
a. What Is Lanugo?
Provide an overview of lanugo, the fine hair that covers your baby’s body, and its functions.
b. Disappearing Lanugo
Most of the lanugo sheds by week 38, reflecting the baby’s maturity and readiness for the external world.
3. The Vernix Caseosa Begins to Shed
a. Understanding Vernix Caseosa
Vernix caseosa is a white, creamy substance protecting the baby’s skin from amniotic fluid.
b. Shedding Process
This protective layer starts to diminish in week 38, signaling the nearing of birth.
4. Preparing for the Arrival
a. Baby’s Positioning
The baby’s position, either vertex (head-down) or breech, is crucial for delivery plans.
b. Signs of Labor
Week 38 might introduce early labor signs like contractions or the “nesting” instinct.
5. Navigating the Final Weeks
a. Emotional Well-Being
Expect a mix of excitement, anticipation, and nervousness as you approach the final weeks of pregnancy.
b. Final Preparations
Now’s the time for tasks like packing a hospital bag or setting up the nursery.
6. Partner’s Role and Support
a. Partner’s Involvement
Partners play a significant role in providing emotional and practical support as birth nears.
b. Creating a Supportive Environment
A partner can build a calm, supportive setting, ensuring comfort and calmness for the expectant mother.
Week 38 of pregnancy is a remarkable time when your baby’s size and weight increase, preparing them for the world outside the womb. The shedding of lanugo and vernix caseosa signifies that your little one is getting ready for their grand entrance. As you navigate these final weeks, remember to cherish this precious time and seek support from your partner and doctor. Soon, you will be holding your newborn in your arms, and the journey of parenthood will begin.