Pregnancy week after week: 38th – 40th week of pregnancy

38th - 40th week of pregnancy

You are waiting for the last three weeks to the scheduled date of delivery. You may be giving birth earlier or vice versa, it is not unusual. Only about 5% of children are born in the expected delivery date.

What a baby looks like in the 38th - 40th week of pregnancy

Your baby is already mature and mature at this time so that he can be born at any time. The lungs have completed their development and are ready for the first touch, and the other organ systems are mature. Baby nails reach to the ends of the fingers, the skin is pink and opaque, supported by a lot of subcutaneous fat.

Other changes

In most testicles, male fetuses are descended in the scrotum, and in girls, large labia are overlapping the small ones. In the intestines of the baby, there is accumulated stomach, green primrose stool. Baby already has a minimal amount of space in the uterus, the amount of amniotic fluid has decreased. The placenta is quite mature and begins to age, which reduces its performance when passing nutrients.

Signs of fetal donation

  • Body length approx. 50 cm, weight between 3 and 3.5 kg,
  • smooth and pink skin without lanuga (leftover only on the shoulders and back), enough subcutaneous fat (rounded body)
  • nails reach the ends of the toes, and the baby has lashes, eyebrows, and hair,
  • descending testicles or overlapping small pubic lips with large,
  • loud cries and movement of the newborn,
  • thick cranial bones, palpable small and large fontanelle (a skull on the skull).

Fetus size in this period

Your baby measures from head to foot for 48 to 50 cm and weighs about 3.2 - 3.7 kg. The skeleton of the baby has more bones than the adult, and some of them are still broken after birth.

Pregnancy symptoms during the 38th - 40th week

You go to the pregnancy clinic every week, and from the 38th week, you are also taking a cardiotocographic examination (KTG) of the fetus. A big belly is already becoming a mechanical burden for your spine, so it can often hurt your back. There are so-called messengers, stronger contractions that prepare the uterus for the beginning of labor. However, these are not real birth contractions, they do away with movement or change of position and are not regular.

End of pregnancy

Since the physiological length of pregnancy is not exactly 40 weeks, but 38-42 weeks, you can begin to live virtually at any time within this range. Therefore, it is essential that your escort is always on the phone, ready to take you to the hospital. You do not have just to wait, just go out for a walk with a friend. Do not forget enough fluids and a lot of rest.

Get to know the nursing home.

After the agreement with your attending physician, you can order an ambulance at the maternity hospital you have chosen for your delivery. The local staff will investigate you, shoot a KTG fetus, or performs the ultrasound and invite you to check every week. In the case of childbirth, you will go to a familiar environment.

When to go to the hospital

A mark of starting childbirth can be the withdrawal of mucus plug, the burst of amniotic fluid or muscular contractions that occur every 5 minutes. If any of these things happen, do not expect anything and go to the hospital quickly. Leave the hospital even if there is an abnormal increase or decrease in activity of the fetus, vaginal bleeding or severe abdominal or a headache.

Acceleration of childbirth

Last week, you were impatiently expecting childbirth, you are irritated, you may be bothered by constant questions about whether you have already given birth. You are also sleeping poorly, you are hardly looking for a pleasant position, and therefore you are exhausted. There is also nervousness. The onset of childbirth can speed up walking, warm bathing or cautious sex.

Childbirth is divided into three phases: the first delivery period, the opening time, the second delivery period, and the third delivery period, during which the placenta is born.

First delivery period

Cervical muscles tend to open and shorten the cervix. It creates a contiguous birth canal through which the baby goes into the birth canal. During the first period of birth, bursting and drainage of amniotic fluid occur. If this does not happen, at the latest this occurs during the second delivery period.

Second delivery period

The baby is ejected from the uterus into the birth canal and then in the vagina. Parents feel muscular uterine contractions and compulsion to help the child in the world. If the baby is in the womb in a transverse position, a cesarean section is chosen instead of a classical birth. To him, the doctors will also resort to the location of the baby ending pelvic out, if vaginal delivery is evaluated as a risk.

Third time of birth

The placenta separates from the uterine wall and is expelled out of the body. It may occur within a few minutes until one hour after delivery.

If there is no delivery until the 40th week

If you do not give birth until the 40th week of pregnancy, it is a so-called fetal transfer. You do not have to worry; pregnancy can be physiologically long up to 42 weeks. During this period, your doctor will talk to you about the next procedure - whether you will be induced to give birth or wait for a natural delivery. An artificial birth induction is available at the beginning of week 42 at the latest.

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