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Your pregnancy week by week: Week 39

Continuing from Week 38, your baby’s brain development is still underway, even if you’ve already started feeling some of early signs of labour.

What’s happening to your body right now:

Congratulations are in order because, at 39 weeks, you are considered to have carried your baby to its full term. Although, as your Braxton Hicks contractions increase in strength and frequency, you feel less like celebrating, remember that this is just your body getting ready for the big push.

Labour signs to keep in mind include the rupture of membranes that contain your amniotic fluid (e.g. water breaking), digestive disturbances such as diarrhoea or nausea, spurts of energy (nesting instinct), the loss of the mucous plug, and the bloody show (rupture of your capillaries caused by dilation and effacement of your cervix). Once you see the bloody show, labour is probably just a day or two away. Again, these signs are just such and pregnancy does not progress like clockwork, so don’t worry if yours varies.

If you feel pains that shoot from your vagina down your legs, no need to be alarmed; it’s just ‘lightning crotch’ caused by your baby pressing on pelvic nerves. Baby will be here soon!

How your foetus is developing during pregnancy week by week:

Your baby now weighs about 3 kg to 3.6 kg and measures 48 cm to 53 inches. While your baby will probably continue at this size, its little brain will still grow rapidly and continue to do so for the first three years of life.

Other than making your baby’s cheeks kissable and pinchable, the thicker layer of fat deposited over your baby’s blood vessels also causes your baby’s skin to turn from pink to white. This is regardless of how dark-skinned he or she will be eventually, and pigmentation occurs soon after birth.

Although babies do cry a lot after birth, their tear ducts aren’t fully developed yet. Though you’ll be consoling your baby from the beginning, it will be some time after the first month before you are dabbing the teardrops off those darling cheeks.

What you can do right now:

Make sure your car is packed and fuelled for the trip to the hospital.

Take it easy. You need to catch all the Zs you can because you’re napping for two. Your body is already working overtime to grow another human, so let others help you!

At 40 weeks, is my baby here yet?

Video on third trimester

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