Your Baby’s Development:
Your baby now weighs seven pounds on average and may be up to 22 inches long from head to toe, the size of a smaller watermelon. This week, your obstetrician considers you “full term.” If you go into labor at any point, your doctor will allow your labor to progress normally. Your baby is officially ready to meet the world now, as all of his or her organs are fully developed and ready to work outside the womb. He or she continues to shed vernix caseosa and lanugo that will not be needed once he or she is born. His or her head is probably down low in your abdomen, too, in preparation for delivery.
What You Should Expect:
You are really feeling the pressure now, Mom. Not only could your baby be born at any minute, but you also feel his or her head lying low in your pelvic region. This can certainly become uncomfortable, but it has its benefits. For one, you can probably breathe better now since your lungs have a little more room to fill and expand, and you may actually be able to enjoy a full meal once again without feeling bloated. Your breasts, if they haven’t started earlier, may begin to leak colostrum, too, which is the precursor to breast milk. The colostrum is nutrient-rich and custom-designed for your precious baby.
Related Content: The Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping
In the past, the common practice was to pass Dad the surgical scissors and have him perform a quick snip just before the newborn babe was whisked away to be cleaned, measured and dosed with vitamin K. Any delay in cord cutting was viewed as unnecessary in promoting general health for the baby or mother. However, recent research suggests that a delay of even three minutes can have a significant positive impact on infants.