The awareness that the baby is coming cannot be ignored as you approach your due date. It is exciting and a little scary at the same time.
It may be tempting to schedule induction or a cesarean for convenience, but it is usually in the best interest of mom and baby to let nature decide the optimal time.
Your Body At 39 Weeks Pregnant
Just like the Braxton-Hix contractions prepare and strengthen you uterus, heading to the hospital because you think you are in labor is good preparation for the real trip when labor starts.
Most labors are slow, so you will have plenty of time to get to the hospital. It is rare to have a fast labor or a baby to be born after a few contractions like in the movies.
Those types of labors are unusual, but get more publicity than the long drawn out labors that are more common.
Constipation can increase. Be sure to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Yogurt with live acidophilus will increase the good bacteria in your system that aides in digestion of your food.
Your stomach may be struggling to digest even the small meals you eat due to the pressure of the baby.
Pamper yourself while you can focus on yourself.
Your Baby At 39 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby’s length is about 21 inches and a little over seven pounds. The placenta is working hard providing the last of the antibodies that will protect your baby after he or she is born.
There is added protection for babies who are nursed form the antibodies in mother’s milk.
Your baby may experience hiccups and it will feel like rhythmic bumps. Most of your baby’s lanugo (soft protective hair that covers the baby’s body) will be gone or close to being gone.
Your Life At 39 Weeks Pregnant
For women who are use to being able to schedule and plan their life, it can be difficult to face the unknowing of the future and the inability to plan and predict.
Learning to let go and trust yourself to handle the unexpected and unplanned is a good preparation for being a parent. Generations of women before you have managed…so will you!
It is your attitude that will make the difference between it being a smooth or bumpy transition from pregnancy to motherhood.
Resist feeling pressured to get everything done, relax and enjoy this last week of your pregnancy. Keep busy to avoid being obsessed over every tightening of your belly.
It is good to stay rested (if you can) so you don’t start out tired when you begin labor.
Make sure you have your hospital bag packed and ready to go!