At 39 weeks pregnant, you’ve pretty much made it. Your baby is fully developed now and will weigh around 7 pounds. Babies born at 39 weeks are indistinguishable from those born in week 40, in terms of complications that may arise. This means that if your baby has complications this week with breathing, for example, the same complications would happen in week 40.
With only one week to go, you probably have anxieties, excitement and questions about what’s to come. This article will address any questions you may have about pregnancy in week 39.
39 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
Even though you are near the end of your pregnancy and your baby has reached full growth, you still may feel some pregnancy symptoms at 39 weeks. The most common signs of pregnancy in week 39 are:
- Frequent Urination
Urinating frequently is a pregnancy symptom that lasts throughout the whole of the gestation period. In the final stages, however, it intensifies. This is because your baby begins to move downwards into your pelvis, in a process called lightening, and puts pressure on your bladder. This, along with the high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your system, contribute to an unpleasant feeling of needing to pee constantly.
- Fetal Movement
The movement of your baby picks up in the third trimester and, at 39 weeks pregnant, your baby will be itching to move and test out its fully formed body. It’s likely that you will feel your baby quite often this week as it twists, kicks, and wriggles its way around your womb in anticipation of the delivery.
- Mucus Plug
A mucus plug is a barrier that covers the opening to your uterus, the cervix. Losing your mucus plug in week 39 could mean that you’re ready for labor as it is a sign that your cervix is opening up and softening. The mucus plug will look like a gelatinous blob of mucus and could come out of your body at any time from a few weeks before labor to a few days before, the latter being more likely.
- Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms at in the third trimester and effects around three-quarters of all expecting mothers. The degree of pain you feel can vary greatly, from minor aches to debilitating discomfort. The cause of pelvic pain is, predictably, your baby moving deeper into the pelvis as it prepares for birth. It may also press against your bladder, too, creating a seemingly uncontrollable urge to urinate.
Your Body at Week 39
Now that you’re in week 39, it’s a good idea to keep track of your body’s changes, as they could be a sign of labor. The most common early signs of labor are diarrhea, fatigue, “nesting instinct”, vaginal discharge changes, water breaking, increased back pain, and strong and frequent contractions. If you experience any of these signs of pregnancy in week 39, you should consult your doctor immediately.
Another common sign of pregnancy that affects your body is back pain. Back pain during pregnancy can start as early as the first trimester and often intensifies as you progress into the second and third trimesters. As your uterus expands, a hormone called relaxin is released to loosen the ligaments around your pelvis and allow for easier delivery path for your baby.
Baby Size at Week 39
At 39 weeks pregnant, the fetus is the same size as a pumpkin. Your baby will weigh between 3 to 4 kg and measure around 50 cm in length.
Your baby is now considered a full-term baby due to the completion of its development inside the womb. Its brain is still growing, however, and will continue to grow at the same rate for the first few years of its life. An interesting fact about new-born babies is that, despite all the crying, they don’t produce tears as their tear ducts aren’t usually formed at the time of birth.
Week 39 Pregnant Ultrasound
If you were to have a week 39 ultrasound you would see that your baby is fully developed with functioning limbs and a string heartbeat. An ultrasound isn’t common this week, however, and will only be scheduled if your doctor wants to check on the progress of your baby.
How does your stomach feel at 39 weeks pregnant?
You will probably notice a tightening feeling in your uterus at 39 weeks pregnant. It may become more constant the closer you get to delivery.
What to expect at 39 weeks pregnant?
It’s still common to feel pregnancy symptoms at week 39, with the most likely being diarrhea, hemorrhoids, fetal movement, heartburn or indigestion, back pain, and pelvic pain.
How do you feel at 39 weeks pregnant?
A lot of women are very ready to give birth after 39 weeks of pregnancy. You will likely feel both mentally and physically exhausted and will be looking forward to when you can meet your baby in the outside world for the first time.
What does your stomach look like at 39 weeks pregnant?
Your stomach will look like it is ready to burst at any moment. Your baby is now full-term, and your uterus has expanded to its maximum level. This will leave your belly looking big, round, and stretched. You may even have stretch marks along your stomach at this stage.
Tips for Week 39 of Pregnancy
This week could be the last week you get to relax for a long time. Your baby is right around the corner and will change your ways in many wonderful ways, though peaceful moments will be few and far between in the first few years. Let others help you and try to relax whenever you can.
- Get Plenty of Rest
A big week lies ahead, and you’ll need to be as well rested as possible. Try and nap whenever possible and take advantage of any free moment in the day to get your feet up.
- Exercises for Breech Baby
If your baby is still in the breech position (bottom-down), there are certain exercises you can do to try and move it to a head down position. Pelvic tilts and simply bending over on your knees can help.