How to get Pregnant » Pregnancy Week 38

Pregnancy Week 38

How to Get Pregnant

By pregnancy week 38, Mom is huge and ready to get this over with! She is probably cranky, sore, and overall miserable. Not to worry Mom, it won't be much longer. The baby has been considered full term since last week, which means that baby could be making an appearance at any moment. Getting plenty of rest is a great thing for mom to do in preparation for the work her body is about to do.

Changes in the Mother's Body

Mom may start having some quite painful false labor contractions during pregnancy week 38. There is a noted difference between true labor contractions and false labor contractions. True labor contractions will start at the top of the uterus, and then gradually spread downward. They will also become much more intense and will be evenly spaced in most cases. False labor contractions will be sporadic, and will be able to be eased by change of position. False labor contractions will have no rhythm as they will not be coming at regularly spaced intervals. Most of the time a woman will realize she is in true labor by the 3rd or 4th contraction.

Development of the Baby

By pregnancy week 38, the baby is gaining about an ounce per day! There is a lot of Meconium building up in the baby's bowel. As we discussed earlier, Meconium is the baby's first bowel movement. The baby's head is approximately the same size as his/her abdomen. The baby weighs just about 6.6 pounds now and will continue to accumulate body fat until birth. Even though the growth of the baby has slowed significantly, the rest of the weight the baby gains will be in body fat. By now perhaps mom has noticed a change in the pattern of weight gain that she is experiencing.

Diet and Exercise

At pregnancy week 38 Mom may be ravenous, or she may feel like she doesn't have an appetite at all due to her late pregnancy condition. Either way, Mom should be doing her best to continue to provide nutrients to her baby and her self. She will need a lot of strength for child birth so foods that are high in protein, calcium and iron are very important. She will also want to be sure she is getting a good amount of complex carbohydrates as they provide the body with fuel. Exercise is at the mother's discretion at this point. If she feels like taking a short walk with her husband, great, otherwise at this point she is free to relax and wait patiently for her baby to arrive.

Tips for Dad

Mom might be getting really nervous right now, possibly more than she has been through the entire pregnancy. After all, the big day is going to be here at virtually any minute! Childbirth, especially if it is a first can be a very frightening prospect and even more so when it is looking Mom right in the face. Dad should sit with her and help keep her calm. He should remind her of what a great job she is going to do, and talk to her about all the plans they have for when they bring the baby home. Sometimes, visualizing the baby helps Mom get through her bouts of fear.

Now is a good time to be sure whether or not circumcision will be performed if a boy is coming. Some parents are on the fence about this, but a decision has to be made either way. Discuss this and other decisions that are important prior to the birth of the child.