38 Weeks Pregnant: Relax and Pamper Yourself while you can
As you come closer to your big day at 38 weeks pregnant, your baby becomes more ready to face the outside world. Your little one has plumped up and is already like a newborn. His hands are often closed when you’re 38 weeks pregnant, but if you can only hold him you’d feel his tight grasp.
How’s Your Baby this Week
Your baby now weighs 7 pounds, though the mass of each baby varies. He now measures around 20 inches, approximately like a size of a leek. However, the color of your baby’s eyes will be a surprise. But here’s a hint: on the first months of your baby, his eyes are blue. However, these changes as you go along with time. After a baby is born, more pigment is gained by his irises which cause them to have colors such as brown or green.
His lungs are almost ready and mature for its role when your baby comes out already. More surfactant is being produced by his lungs to prevent the air sacs from sticking out to each other. The lanugo hair covering his body is almost gone.
Ever heard of meconium? It is the substance that will make your baby’s first bowel movement.
External cephalic version (ECV) is a certain procedure done by a doctor to move the position of the baby from being breech to head-down position.
By this time you might already know the gender of your baby. But if you have decided to not know it yet, you may want to not watch at the ultrasound as your baby’s genital is very visible at this moment.
Though every pregnancy may vary, usually baby boys are bigger than baby girls while still inside the womb.
Your Life at 38 Weeks Pregnant
The swelling of your hands and legs is normal at this stage. However, if there is something unusual that you are feeling, tell your health care provider so that it may be checked. Usually, the swelling is caused by preeclampsia — a condition that should not be taken lightly.
Have you attended lectures regarding the importance of breastfeeding? Well, for starters, breastfeeding can save you from having ovarian and breast cancer (though this is a case-to-case basis). Breastfeeding can also keep your baby safe from allergies, ear infections, respiratory ailments, as well as SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
During the first six months, breastfeeding will give your baby the best nutrition along with the substances that fight diseases.
Some pregnant women already have leaking milk even before their child is born. However, if you are among who still don’t have milk, do not worry. After your child is born, just tell the nurses to bring the baby to you right away so that your baby can suck the milk immediately. This way, he is going to let the milk out of your breasts by sucking it non-stop. But if no milk comes out from you despite your baby doing the right thing, do not panic. You can get help from the health care providers in the hospital that you are in.
Some say that breastfeeding can be quite difficult, if not painful. Yes, this is a fact. One of the reasons why moms feel pain during breastfeeding is that his baby might have sucked your nipples the wrong way. The mouth of your baby should be around the areola and your nipple should be far back inside his mouth. Finding the right position of your breasts for your baby to suck is important so that both of you will feel comfortable and better. It will also lessen the pain that you are feeling, and as time passes by, you will just get used to it. If you are comfortable breastfeeding outdoors, you can use a nursing cover for privacy.
More Things to Do (and Not to Do)
Learn to relax
This is the right time to go relax and pamper yourself or spend more time with your husband. While waiting for the coming of your baby, you can use your spare time taking care of the other things that you will use or need for your baby. It is necessary that you childproof your home so that there will be no unwanted circumstances that would happen.
If you have a favorite book or author, read all the books now because you may not be able to read some novels or magazines for quite a while. Or if you don’t want to do anything, just rest. Take a lot of it because once your baby comes out, there will be no rest day for a while.
Sometimes, your bathroom trips annoy you already because your bladder is squashed out by your baby. However, you should keep on drinking water to stay hydrated.
Labor and other preparation
Learning about the different labor positions is also important so you would know which one would make you more comfortable and less painful. This, however, doesn’t apply to all countries. Some countries only have one required birthing position. You can inquire from hospitals near you about this. Attending some classes that teach labor or birthing techniques would also help. You might have these false labors, and these contractions may fool you. Check it out by moving around and if the pain goes away, you are not in labor yet.
Do you already have the email addresses and phone number of the people you want to give the good news once your little one arrives? Get moving — list them on and put it in your hospital bag. You don’t want your relatives and close friends to miss the big news!
Don’t forget to collect numbers of nearby restaurants in your area. You don’t want to eat junk or fast food every day. So a good meal from a restaurant would be great.
Stay away from people who are not so well this time. You don’t want to catch a cold or have coughs just before you give birth. If you have someone at home who is sick, isolate him or just be far away from him to avoid being sick, too.
Lastly, do not over think while you’re 38 weeks pregnant or even any week of your pregnancy — avoid negative thoughts. Always keep yourself happy and in good mood. If a certain thought is bugging you, might as well talk it out.