Thursday, 24 September 2015

Pregnancy Week 38



Welcome to week 38 of your pregnancy! There are just two more weeks for your baby to arrive and you and your partner must be very much thrilled about the same. Most of you might be quite anxious thinking about labor, delivery and taking care of your baby after birth. You can reduce this anxiety or nervousness by discussing with your doctor and gaining as much positive advice as you can.

Your body
From this week forward, the size of your belly will remain pretty much constant until the final week of your pregnancy. Your belly will seem lower if your baby drops down to your pelvis, which is an indication that you may get into labor within a few days. Be patient and look out for the indications of labor. Your water might break; contractions may begin; or you may lose the mucus plug, whatever it may be, pay the utmost attention even to the minor changes happening in your body, and remember to pack your hospital bags and have them ready.

Starting now, it is a waiting game for you until the day you go into labor. Make use of this time to do all important tasks like preparing the nursery for your little one, relaxing yourself, taking naps, engage in your favorite pastime, and also spend ample time with your partner because you will be concentrating more on your baby once you give birth and may not find time to do all these.

During these last few weeks of your pregnancy, it is normal to have some swelling in your ankles and feet. Howbeit, if you see sudden or excessive swelling in your ankles or feet, swelling of your face,around your eyes, hands, or an unexpected gain in weight, consult your healthcare provider without any delay. In addition to these, if you suffer from persistent or severe headaches, intense vomiting, nausea, pain in your upper abdomen, or changes in your vision like sensitivity to light, blurred vision, temporary vision loss, etc., do not hesitate to talk to your doctor immediately, because these may be symptoms of what is known as preeclampsia, which is known to affect around five percent of pregnant women, especially after week 20 of pregnancy.

During your visit to the doctor this week, you will be checked for changes in your cervix, such as dilation, effacement, and station. Thinning of your cervix is referred to as effacement, and this change will be evaluated in percentages, like if you are partly effaced, it will be considered 50 percent effaced, and 100% effaced if complete effacement happens. Effacement usually happens before dilation, which is the opening of your cervix preparing for the birth of your child. When you dilate fully, you cervix will open for about 10 cm and this is when you will be ready to give birth. Station basically refers to where your baby’s head is located when she descends through your pelvis. Understanding these changes will help you know if you are nearing labor.

Your baby
Your baby will now be more than 19 and a half inches in length and will weigh around 6.8 pounds; yes, she has plumped up well! The maturity of her organs has been progressing lately and they will now be ready for your baby’s life outside of your womb. Your baby will have a firm grasp; you will be able to see this once she is born. 

All the lanugo hair covering your baby’s body is shedding now. Your baby’s sex organs will be completely matured now, and you will be able to identify the sex easily. She will be able to react to sounds or noises, and is preparing for her life outside your womb.