If you have reached the pregnancy milestone of 38th week you are a couple of days far from meeting your baby. It is pretty exciting yet normal to wonder about how the baby will look like. You might be experiencing some advanced physical changes too like puffiness on face especially eyes and increased swelling. Keeping glued to this article will further enlighten you about happenings when you are 38 weeks pregnant. Also how to effectively use this waiting time.
Change in belly shape
Your belly size is now at a maximum when you are 38 weeks pregnant. However, you might feel lowering of a belly like never before. This indicates the settlement of baby in the pelvis.
38 weeks pregnant means more Braxton Hicks contractions
When 38-week pregnant try to figure your psychological fears of labor and push yourself to face this big process. By now the frequency of Braxton Hicks contractions will be considerably increased. Also, the occurrence of false labor pain might appear as actual labor to you. If these contractions settle down if you rest or change position then it is false pains. Actual pains keep on occurring no matter what position you adopt. Braxton Hicks pain naturally prepares your body by dilating the cervix.
Examination when you are 38 weeks pregnant
Once women reach 38th week of pregnancy pelvic assessment is carried out to examine the position of the baby. A thorough examination of the cervix is done to assess the ripening of cervix. Following things are observed in the examination:
- Effacement: The softening and thinning of your cervix.
- Dilation: The opening of the cervix for delivery. Women don’t fall in active labor until they are 4cm dilated. You can only push the baby when you are 10cm dilated.
- Station: This term means the settling place of child’s head while going through the pelvis. Doctors check this to get an idea of how far baby has dropped and settled in the pelvis.
Heavier breasts than ever
You might experience sore nipples and heavier breasts than ever. The obvious reason is the advance preparation of breasts for milk production. Hormones that are actively involved in milk production are in full swing when you are 38 weeks pregnant. Some women regard heaviness as a close symptom of labor onset.
Safe delivery when 38 weeks pregnant
If you are 38 weeks pregnant you have successfully undergone through pregnancy. You are now full term. Preterm refers to the pregnancy of 34-37 week. Such babies are more susceptible to health problems. Period of safe delivery starts from 37 weeks and stretches to 41 weeks. So it is completely normal to deliver in 38 weeks.
How may you feel when 38 weeks pregnant?
You might be feeling lethargic, exhausted and fatigued. The grown belly and increased weight may trouble you while roaming about performing households. The site of pain varies from individual to individual. Some feel in the upper back due to heavy breasts while others feel in lower abdomen and legs. Frequency and intensity of pain due to muscle strain is largely dependent on overall weight gain. The more weight your body is carrying the more muscle stiffness is experienced.
On the brighter side, you may also feel overwhelmed with excitement to welcome baby. Investing your time in decorating baby’s room and shopping some cute articles rejuvenate you even more. Try to be skeptical by planning ahead and finishing all preparation for baby’s arrival by this time.
Other important things to do
Exercise while 38 weeks pregnant
Meditation and prenatal exercise improve anxiety level and cures strain. Also, breathing practices play a vital role when you are pushing the baby. Exercise keeps body flexible that really helps when you are stretching or bending legs while pushing. Body cramps are largely improved with constant hydration and exercise. So when you are 38 weeks pregnant, practice meditation as much as possible.
Get more awareness on breastfeeding
If you are a first-time mommy use your time in planning how you will breastfeed your baby. Reading online resources and joining a local community of breastfeeding moms is a great idea. Start massaging your nipples with safe massaging cream to prepare them for baby.
Take care of nutrition when 38 weeks pregnant
Mommies should keep ample supply of nutritious foods throughout pregnancy especially in last days. A balanced diet not only nourishes baby but also maintain energy reserves of mommy. These foods include:
- Fresh fruits
- Green leafy veggies and legumes
- Dairy products like yogurt, low-fat milk, and cheese
Which foods to avoid?
- Alcohol completely
- Half cooked meat since it is a rich source of bacteria that can cause illness
- Processed and canned foods due to high sodium content. It causes increased water retention in body
- Some grannies suggest castor oil or butter mixed in warm milk for easy delivery. Please note that it sometimes causes diarrhea so don’t follow such tips blindly.
Spare time for your partner
The upcoming days are going to be really tiring for you. So use this time to enjoy candle light dinner, watching a nice movie and dating with your partner. Spending love filled time with a partner and a baby inside enhances intimacy among the couple by manifold. A glow of upcoming motherhood is probably one of the finest things a woman can ever have.
Must pack hospital bag by now and take the necessary items!
A stitch in time saves nine. Hospital bag should be packed near 36 weeks but if you have not done yet don’t be lazy. Being 38 weeks pregnant means that you can go into labor at any time. The delivery bag should be ready so that you need to only pick while rushing to the hospital. Bear in mind that you need to put essentials regarding delivery time, post birth and baby items. A brief list of items are:
- An easy dark color robe that can hide stains if your water breaks and you have to walk through the hospital.
- Any retired clothing that you can wear during labor. You can simply discard it later on. However, most hospitals provide gowns by themselves.
- It is advised few hours prior delivery to stop the solid foods. So, keep milk and juices handy.
- Some music or things to distract you from a psychological fear of labor.
- Pillows, Hair brush, hair bands, toothbrush, hand sanitizer, soap, sanitary pads, an extra pair of underwear, nursing bra, slippers and extra clothes.
- Don’t forget to put cell phone and i-pod chargers
- Camera to capture precious moments (of course any of your caregivers will do this on your behalf)
- Breast pump if the baby fails to latch on.
- Bodysuits and night suits
- Sweaters or jacket if your baby is coming in winters
- Diapers, wrapping sheet, blanket