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Fetal development - week 38

Congratulations! you've made it!


Posted: 19 May 2005
by ThinkBaby

Congratulations, you’ve made it! Your baby now probably weighs about 6lb 8oz, or 3 kilos and, provided she seems big enough is now considered to be ready, or at term. This means that if labour were to begin now then in usual circumstances nothing would be done to slow it down or stop it. Your baby will start to lose her vernix coating by now, but will probably still have a little in the folds of her skin at birth.

You might notice your baby having hiccoughs in the final stages of pregnancy, these happen when amniotic fluid gets into her windpipe when she’s practising breathing. The results of your baby’s early digestion have been collecting in her bowel as meconium, a dark greenish, gloopy substance. Most babies won’t pass their first bowel movement until after birth, but sometimes babies pass meconium just before birth.

What’s happening with Mum?
If you’re having a homebirth then your midwife will drop off a homebirth pack of essentials. If you’re having a hospital birth from here on in you need to be ready to go to hospital at short notice, so here are some things you’ll need to remember:

  • Whoever is driving you should know the best route
  • Make sure there’s always enough petrol in the car
  • Keep the hospital numbers and maternity notes always to hand
  • Have a back-up option in case your partner can’t drive you to the hospital
  • Keep your hospital bag packed and ready go, including clothes for your new-born and something suitable loose for you to return home in
  • Make sure that the baby seat is fitted in the car ready for the return trip

NB: All pregnancies are different and fetal growth rates vary, this is meant only as an approximate guide to development. If you have any concerns about your developing pregnancy then speak to your doctor.

Pregnancy experiences

Any day now - The waiting is nearly over but there are still many changes taking place and lots to get to grips with, find out more here.

In position - Baby still moves a lot – wrenching movements that suggest he has little space to manoeuvre! Very much head down (and has been since 36 weeks). He alternates between being on the left or right side of my belly button, with his back facing outwards, which is good. Blogs Isabelle for week 38. If you've been keeping a blog of your pregnancy on TB don't forget to update it, if you've got the energy!

Cloth nappies? - I'm expecting my first baby in December,and am keen to use cotton nappies rather than disposables, but I dont know where to start! Can anyone give advice? - which ones are best? Cloth nappy talk on the forum.

If you've got experiences of your own to add then why not share them with other ThinkBaby members in the pregnancy or birth folders?

Preparing for birth

The onset of labour? - If you're not sure how you'll know that labour has started then make sure you check our indications of labour and know how to respond when they appear.

Hospital checklist- If you're going to the hospital you'll need to take a long a well-packed bag.

Other weeks

1-4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40


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