What should be expected in your 38,39 and 40th week of pregnancy?

The only thing which is certain during these weeks is that you will go into labour. It can occur any day now, so you should be ready for your baby to come.

Let’s consider some facts about your baby and you during this period:

In 37-38th week, your baby’s

  • average weight is 3 to 4 kilos
  • gut contains meconium
  • head often goes down into your pelvis
  • lanugo, which covers its body, is almost all gone
  • development is finished.

During this time, you can

  • feel some contractions which are called Braxton Hicks contractions (in the form of cramps or kind of your belly tightening)
  • feel anxiety, have trouble with sleeping
  • feel that your belly is too sensitive and itchy
  • have swollen ankles and feet.

A pregnant woman in this week when having nausea, contractions, diarrhea, back pain and blood show all together can consider that her labour has started. Maybe you will not be ready since you have thought you would have 2 weeks more, but don’t worry. If you have good medical stuff, everything will be fine.

On the other hand, those women who have some complication during the pregnancy (e. g. a placental issue or gestational diabetes), may have inducing labour. But, naturally inducing labour is not suggested since it cannot be safe.

When you are 39th week, the baby has reached its final birth position. It will kick but lower in the part of your abdomen. You should keep track more often than before, for example, you should count the number of kicks. If they are rare, you should call your doctor or a midwife. If you find some fluid leaking, you should contact your caregiver instantly. The lanugo will almost disappear but it will be removed on its own in time.

Week 40 is just a matter of time for your baby to arrive. Your baby is approximately 50 cm long, 3.5 kg heavy and has its head diameter of 10 cm. If you are afraid you are overdue, don’t be. You are overdue if you pass 42nd week. You may feel discomfort and achiness in the pelvic area, backache and heaviness as well as you can have more difficulty with sleeping. You can also feel irritable, restless or impatient. This is a normal state and you shouldn’t worry. If you are worried about your baby’s and your condition, no matter how stupid can be your question, just call and talk to your doctor or any care provider. If you think that it is good to have someone to be with you, take care of your baby and you, it is high time to find a maternity nurse. This nurse is a professional child carer that can stay at your home and provide you with all the assistance needed. Also, she has great knowledge and experience with newborns so you will feel calmer and safer before and after your labour. Don’t forget to pack your bag in order to be ready to rush to the hospital.

Remember to educate yourself during the whole period of pregnancy, contact your care giver, read books and trustworthy articles on the Internet. Ask your friends who already have children how to behave, what to eat and etc. What is very important is to exercise regularly and practicing yoga is usually recommended. It will keep you calmer and your body will be more relaxed. In this way, the baby will prepare for the new world without stress.

Yoga during 38,39 and 40 weeks of pregnancy

It is well known that women who practice prenatal yoga before giving birth can minimize anxiety over labor.

Our mind and body are connected so we have to teach our body as well as our mind to relax. The best way is prenatal yoga which helps women to gain emotional strength. A deep squat pose can help you relax and teach you how to open your hips better. This will provide control over strong pelvic and hip muscles. While giving birth, you will make them not to tense up when under stress.

Furthermore, yoga can help increase a woman’s stamina if labour lasts longer than expected. Some researches show that practicing yoga can make the length of labour shorter even two hours.  

Yoga exercising may as well help optimize baby’s position when going out of mother’s belly. Mother’s pelvic bones and ligaments will easily open and move apart from each other which allows the baby’s head to find more room. 

You should listen to your body carefully and practice yoga according to what it dictates. You should find a harmony between your mind and body i.e. your baby.

The best way to learn breathing while giving a birth is by exercising yoga. This is one of the most important things during birth. Let’s check the following tips for better breathing:

» To learn how to breath, you first must know about poor breathing

It is also called shallow or chest breathing and looks like this: You breathe through the mouth instead of your nose. The muscles of the neck may pop or stand when inhaling. When exhaling, your belly expands instead to relax. Your inhale is short. DO NOT DO this!

» To learn what a proper breath looks like

This breathing is called belly breathing. When inhaling, you should expand your belly without any force and naturally. You don’t need to use the muscles of your neck, face and shoulders. On exhaling, the belly should passively retract since the diaphragm should return to its original position.

If you are wondering if it is safe to practice yoga before pregnancy, then we can confirm that it is. It can be very useful but you have to be cautious. The recommended yoga poses for pregnant women are triangle pose, cat-cow, butterfly stretch, a side angle pose… Please, avoid these: handstands, headstands, upward bow.

Finally, these three weeks can be stressful only if you allow to. It means that you should think of some interesting activities which will pull away your labour thoughts such as having fun with your family and friends, walking with someone, preparing and light cleaning of your house… Enjoy the free time which will be reduced when you get a baby.

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