Week 39 at a glance
At 39 weeks pregnant, you’re right on the cusp of mamahood.
Labor could begin any day now, as you’ve officially graduated to a full-term pregnancy.
This means that your baby is (or soon will be) ready to begin their new adventure in the big wide world.
But wait! you cry, I’ve not even reached my due date yet. I can’t go into labor…
The thing is that your due date is just your doctor’s best estimate of when your baby should be born. It’s totally normal to give birth the week before or the week after your due date (at 40 weeks or nearly 41 weeks).
So, let’s take a look at what you can expect from (possibly) your last few days of pregnancy.
In this article: 📝
- Week 39 at a glance
- Baby development at 39 weeks
- Pregnancy symptoms at 39 weeks
- Pregnancy tips at 39 weeks
Baby development at 39 weeks
As your baby is nearly ready to emerge, it follows that they’ve just about reached their full birth weight and size now.
At about 7 ¼ pounds in weight, they’re approximately as heavy as a juicy mini watermelon.
And they may be a whole 20 inches long from head to heel.
That said, babies are born in a variety of sizes – from about 5 ½ pounds to 10 pounds.
Your 39 weeks baby in the womb now boasts a less transparent, sturdier layer of skin, which is coated in vernix (a white, creamy protective substance).
You might see traces of this left on your baby after the birth.
During these last few days snuggled in your uterus, your baby’s lungs and brain are continuing to develop, preparing for the new tasks of breathing and learning in the outside world.
Pregnancy symptoms at 39 weeks
The weight of the baby in your uterus is probably taking its toll now, causing you to feel hot, tired, and generally uncomfortable.
Your little one is having great fun crowding out your other internal organs and causing symptoms such as:
- Heartburn, nausea, and indigestion. At 39 weeks nausea and other gastro-intestinal issues can occur as your uterus gets in the way of your stomach.
- Needing to pee all the time because your baby’s head is pressed against your bladder.
- Back pain. When you’re 39 weeks pregnant lower back pain is most likely the result of your baby moving further down your pelvis and head-butting your spine. Ouch!
But if you notice any of the following symptoms: severe swelling of your face or hands, persistent headaches, shortness of breath, or vision changes, contact your healthcare provider ASAP.
These could be signs of something called preeclampsia.
What are the signs of labor at 39 weeks?
First off, if you’re 39 weeks pregnant with no signs of labor, don’t worry.
It’s still early days and your baby may feel like a slightly longer stay at Hotel Mama.
On the other hand, as we saw above, labor could get underway pretty soon so it’s useful to know what signs to look out for.
At 39 weeks pregnant symptoms of labor approaching can include:
- Bloody show. Mucus mixed with blood from your dilating cervix (turning up in your panties or on toilet paper).
- Water breaking. (Although this often doesn’t happen until you’re fully in labor.)
- Longer, stronger contractions. As a general rule, when these are happening every 5 minutes and lasting at least 60 seconds, it’s time to call your healthcare provider. They’ll advise you on your next move.
39 weeks pregnant is how many months?
Simple: you’re in your 9th month.
Can you induce labor at 39 weeks pregnant?
Yes, but usually only if there’s a medical reason to bring on the birth.
Otherwise, your healthcare provider will probably suggest waiting to see if labor gets started on its own.
Pregnancy tips at 39 weeks
So what should I do at 39 weeks pregnant?
Whatever makes you feel more confident and comfortable as you get ready to meet your baby ‒ but if you’re not sure where to start, here’s your 39 weeks pregnant checklist:
- Have a think about questions you want to ask your healthcare provider and ask them all during your next appointment ‒ it might just be your last one before baby arrives!
- Download a podcast, movies, playlist, or entire TV series to watch during labor ‒ in case it lasts a while.
- Prepare for labor by packing your hospital bag with all the essentials and a few extra snacks.
- Get plenty of rest and relaxation, but also stay active with light exercise like walking or prenatal yoga.
- Keep track of baby’s movements and kick counts to ensure their health and well-being, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor if you have any concerns.
- Finish any last-minute baby preparations, like washing clothes and blankets or setting up the nursery.
- Stay on top of your prenatal appointments and check-ups, as your doctor may want to see you more often now that you’re getting close to delivery.
- Start practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing and visualization to help you cope with labor pains.
- Talk to your doctor about your birth plan and any questions or concerns you may have about the delivery.
- Install your car seat and get comfortable putting it in and out of your car (because safety first!).
- Stay hydrated and nourished with plenty of water and healthy foods to keep your body and baby happy and healthy.
- Spend some quality time with your partner or loved ones before baby arrives, whether it’s a romantic date night or a fun outing with friends.
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself in these final weeks, whether it’s treating yourself to a prenatal massage or taking a relaxing bath to ease any aches and pains.
Ultimately, listen to your body, eat well, get plenty of rest.
Not long to go now…