Your Baby’s Development:
At 39 weeks, your baby weighs around eight pounds and is still about 22 inches long. Your baby’s skin is beginning to develop pigmentation and has changed from pink to white, regardless of the skin tone he or she will eventually have, although the final pigmentation will occur shortly after he or she is born. Your baby will not grow much more, but his or her brain is still developing. In fact, his or her brain will develop at an exponential rate for the first several years of his or her life. You can watch this in action as your baby moves through his or her developmental milestones, such as sitting, crawling, walking and talking.
What You Should Expect:
You might start noticing some of the classic signs of labor at any point now. Your pelvis probably feels incredibly heavy and your bladder may feel constantly full. The majority of women experience Braxton-Hicks contractions at this point and they will grow in frequency and strength over time. Everyone experiences labor differently, so you should not feel alarmed if your water breaks without warning. Some women also notice the loss of the “mucus plug” hours or days before the big day; this plug of mucus lines the cervix and protects the baby during pregnancy. Not every woman notices this, so do not be alarmed if you are one of them.
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Despite the prevalence of lying in a hospital bed during labor, the pain of labor can be exacerbated by lying down. When it comes to labor planning, be sure that you are able to move as you need to help reduce your pain and anxiety and help your labor progress.