Pregnancy Week 38 – The Baby’s Progress

By pregnancy week 38 your baby’s rapid weight gain will be tampering off now and they will be doing a lot of thumb sucking as their hands, thumbs and fingers will have a strong grip now and they will be unable to reach their toes anymore so all the activity will be around the face. Although your baby may have slightly more cramped conditions to deal with but still be trying to move, rest assured, that although you may be considered full term at this stage, your baby will always benefit from remaining that extra little time in the womb and there is still plenty of amniotic fluid remaining to cushion and protect them.

Pregnancy 38 Weeks

By this stage of your pregnancy, your baby’s bones will be grabbing all of your reserves of calcium for the further and final ossification of their bones. This process takes place throughout certain stages of pregnancy development. Now, your baby’s humerous in the upper arm, femur in the upper leg, and tibia in the lower leg have undergone this process. Ultrasounds can be used to chart these stages of ossification in order to estimate the date of pregnancy if necessary.

If you still don’t know the sex of your baby then this will give you a greater sense of anticipation in the follow up to labor. There are a few fun ‘old wives tales’ that many people believe will determine the sex of your child. For example, if you have cold feet, the father-to-be is relaxed, your hands are dry or rough or you pick up your coffee cup by the handle then it’s going to be a boy. Alternatively, if you have a sensitive belly button, the father-to-be is nervous, you pick up your coffee cup with both hands or you have soft hands then you are considered to be having a girl.

The placenta has now reached full size and is still functioning to full capacity and is spread out like a huge, thick plate. The head should now be fully engaged, however, there are several normal variations in position and the direction in which the baby could be facing. If they are in the posterior position (facing your tummy instead of your back), this is completely normal although it could lead to a longer and more tiring labor. Your midwife will be able to show you some gentle massaging exercises you can perform to encourage the baby to change position.

By the end of pregnancy week 38 your baby will measure up to 20.5″ (52.1cm) and weigh in at around 7.25lbs (3.3kg).

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(See 38 Weeks Pregnant – The Mother’s Progress)

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