Your Pregnancy at Week 38by Your Baby Club
Only a couple more weeks to go, or maybe less!
your baby this week:
Your baby now has fully matured lungs which are continuing to produce a substance called 'surfactant'. This substance prevents the lung walls sticking together once breathing starts. The vocal cords are ready for their debut - that first cry will be one of the most wonderful sounds you’ve ever heard.
Hopefully your baby is head down. If not, you will have had an appointment with the consultant to discuss your options for delivery and any plans to try and turn the baby.
Your baby is also experiencing numerous smaller changes throughout this time, all of which will be equally as important in the long run. They are adding fat, improving their nervous system, and improving certain brain functions, all in readiness for when they enter the world. Their 'vernix' (that greasy substance protecting their skin from going wrinkly) is starting to shed, as well as their 'lanugo' (fine hair covering their body).
For your body, the main thing that will be happening at this point, is that your baby will begin dropping into your pelvis further, which in turn brings benefits such as easier breathing, but also brings with it increased pelvic pressure.
You may also find that you begin experiencing some of the things you would usually expect to have during the early stages of motherhood. Most notably, leaky breasts! Time to crack out the breast pads and start colostrum harvesting if you haven't already.
You may be experiencing some additional vaginal discharge and could lose your mucous plug at any time. This gooey glob of mucous has been plugging the cervix for the past 9 months, keeping everything inside. Don't be alarmed, it can have traces of blood in it and is gross, but it's all part and parcel. If you have any suspicions that your waters have broken, you must give the hospital a call. Has your baby's eviction notice been served, we wonder?
Louise Broadbridge - Our Expert Midwife
Hi, my name is Louise, I am a Registered Midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby and the face behind Instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have worked in health settings for the past 30 years, the majority of which have been working in children and family settings.
your tips & to do's:
All your bags are packed, and you're ready to go...
Many women find it helpful to mentally rehearse for childbirth. This week, set aside some time to go over the breathing and relaxation techniques you've decided to utilize during labor and delivery. These are the tools by which you'll manage the pain of labor.
If you've been practicing and visualizing and are simply ready for the real thing, try doing something to distract yourself in the meantime, like making a couple playlists of all your favorite songs. Let one playlist's purpose be for relaxation and use another for energy and encouragement. Make the playlists as long as you like, because you never know how long labor will last and the same songs on repeat may become more irritating than helpful. Fill a playlist with old school hits, songs that make you smile no matter what and songs that take you to another place in your mind. Creating these lists will help you take your mind off of your backaches, leg tingles, and intensifying contractions!
Every sleepy smile and happy grunt is worth documenting. Just when you think the last expression your little one made was the cutest thing you've ever seen, they'll out-cute themselves all over again. You'll likely end up with computer full of blurry, unfocused uploads and one adorable nose crinkle. Investing in professional photos is always a great option, so look into professional photographers now, while you still have a little extra free time, if newborn photos are on your wanted listed. Good photographer's schedules fill up early, and newborns don't stay that wonderful newborn size for long.
You will also want to capture personal photos of those first days home, and posed studio photos won't have the same impact as the image of your father cradling his new grandchild for the first time, which someone will inevitably capture with their phone. Consider creating a place online to friends and family members to upload and share these images! Google Drive, Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, and more, offer numerous ways for you to accomplish this.
You can even ask family and friends to help you capture these moments ahead of time! Make sure you provide them with the site page, group, or profile link as soon as possible, as well as any username/password information they'll need (if they'll need it). Doing this now will protect those images - certain, perfect images of certain, perfect moments - from slipping through the cracks at the edge of this street as you grapple for some downtime between newborn feedings, diaper changes, social calls, trips to the supermarket, showers, naps, and so on.
We cannot confirm or deny the fact that any mom who waits until after the birth of her child to reap access to any print-worthy, share-worthy, adorable baby photo captured by friends and family members will fill her grappled downtime managing and sorting text messages and emails of requested and received photos, which she'll share if she has enough time. This same mom may also experience annoyance and cogitate thoughts lacking proper emotional maturity when friends or family members get to social media first and post special gasp-causing, aw-inducing photos of HER baby. Don't be this mom.
Some moments you'll absolutely want friends or family members to capture include:
It's honestly okay to ask your friends and family members, ahead of time, to immediately delete certain photos, like any that show you with a triple chin or accidently capture you delivering a placenta in the background. If you prefer your friends and/or family members not witness something so intimate and special, or have control over images so raw and exposed, that's okay! Only do and ask for what you're comfortable with.
And don't forget to write in your pregnancy journal!
Below is a list of pregnancy symptoms commonly experienced during week 38.
- Constipation and/or hemorrhoids
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Stretch marks
- Braxton Hicks
- Interrupted sleep
- Backaches and/or leg cramps
- Swelling or bloating
- Crazy dreams
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