Week-by-Week Pregnancy: 39th Week
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When you reach 39 weeks, you may wonder at what stage your baby’s development is. Here are the answers to all your questions, such as weight, height, development of his systems and senses, and the skills he gained…
How Big Has My Baby got?
Your baby has grown to the size of a pumpkin this week.
Even though you may feel like there is no room left in your belly, your baby continues to get heavier this week. Compared to the previous week, your little one’s body is still storing fat and getting hard bones, which is about 200-250 grams. As his weight increases, his growth may have slowed down. On ultrasound, her cheeks can be seen to be fleshy.
The 39-week-old baby’s weight and height will be approximate as in the table below:
Gestational Age (Weeks)
These values are the average values of a baby at 39 weeks. Your little one may be overweight or thin, shorter or taller under the control of the doctor. In such cases, you should not worry and remember that it is normal to have such differences in the physical development of every baby. Some babies may be larger or more petite at 39 weeks. For this reason, you should not compare your baby’s height and weight, and you should know that this table consists of general values. If you still have a question, you can get information from your doctor.
The Development of Systems and Newly Acquired Skills in the 39-Week Baby
With the 39th week of pregnancy, the majority of your baby’s systems and organs, which continue their final preparations for being born, develop in such a way that they can continue to work on their own without the placenta. Only the last few skills remain to be acquired, hence 40-41 for birth. It is appropriate to wait until a week and does not contain any inconvenience.
So, let’s examine at what stage the 39-week-old baby’s organ and system development is.
The nervous system is one of the systems that continues to develop in babies after they are born. Therefore, your little one continues to produce new nerve cells and establish connections between these cells. Brain cells proliferate to activate the ability to learn and comprehend to benefit from the development of the brain in the mother’s womb until the last moment; if the birth will occur as a planned cesarean section, the 39th week is expected to be completed for the cesarean section.
Your baby’s metabolism is at a level that can provide control on its own. Especially the development of the liver is almost complete and gradually begins to control.
The baby’s lungs have developed enough to allow breathing. The lungs can breathe 40 times a minute.
Support and Movement System
Your little one’s muscles continue to strengthen and develop. The middle of the long bones in his body gradually hardens and gains its bony structure. But the bones in his fingers are still cartilaginous. When he is born, he will have an average of 300 bones in his body.
Liver and bile wastes and fine lanugo hairs are stored in the large intestine and form meconium. Your baby is still swallowing amniotic fluid and is continuing to develop kidneys.
The reproductive organs of male babies whose testicles do not descend into the scrotum (scrotum) begin to take their final form.
Your baby continues to incorporate the antibodies in the placenta and strengthen the immune system through the umbilical cord. This way, it will protect itself from microbes in the outside world for at least six months.
39 Weeks Baby Movements
In the last few weeks, expectant mothers have begun to listen to their babies’ every move more carefully while constantly on the alert for delivery. However, at 39 weeks, baby movements are considerably reduced compared to other weeks. There are many reasons for this situation to occur. The baby’s head is placed in the pelvis before birth, causing restriction of the baby’s movements. In addition, your little one may prefer to spend more time sleeping and resting shortly before he is born. However, the baby’s light tapping movements, hands, arms and feet, and even fingers can be felt instead of the old quick turns and kicks.
Sense Organs and Developmental Features in 39 Weeks Baby
Your little one, who has recently added new skills to his sense organs, is in a position to use almost all of his senses actively this week.
At what stage is the 39-week-old baby’s development when it comes to sense organs? Here’s what your little one has learned this week, step by step…
Eye and Sight
Your baby’s eye development is mainly complete this week. Focus and finalization of eye color occur after birth.
Ear and Hearing
Your baby can hear and respond to all sounds in the womb. He is incredibly familiar with the voices of his parents. After coming into the world, he can calm down by recognizing when he hears your or your partner’s voice.
Tongue and Taste
At 39 weeks pregnant, your little one continues to practice sucking. He learns to use his tongue and mouth to the degree that can provide nutrition. Taste receptors mature.
Nose and sense of smell
Although there is no opportunity to experience, his ability to smell is also developed.
Skin and the Sense of Touch
This week, your pup’s skin will begin to turn from pink to whitish-gray or white, thanks to more and more fat storage under the skin. After birth, as the lungs start to breathe, oxygenation will increase, and the whitish skin color will return to the standard skin color.
The Vernix Caseosa layer has largely disappeared. However, the remaining vernix residues help the baby maintain body temperature after birth.
Most of the lanugo feathers are shed.
Baby's Position at 39 Weeks
When it comes to this week, one of the issues that your doctor regularly checks during frequent examinations and you are wondering about is the last position of the baby. The position of your little one in the abdomen these days is vital. Because the position it takes will give important information about the time of birth and when deciding on the type of birth.
The 39-week-old baby’s position is usually as follows;
- It’s probably upside down.
- Its head is located in the pelvis.
- It is facing towards the spine of the expectant mother.
This posture of the baby is necessary for normal (vaginal) delivery to occur. However, this position may not have been realized in these weeks for every expectant mother. Some babies may be in a sitting position, breech, and may take birth in the following days.
Mom at 39 Weeks Pregnancy
Many expectant mothers experience an increase in physical symptoms in the last few weeks after giving birth. The fact that the body is preparing itself for childbirth can bring along some complaints.
If you are 39 weeks pregnant, let’s examine together what awaits you this week, what you should be prepared for.
What’s Happening In Your Body?
An increase in bowel movements or diarrhea may be seen as a new symptom this week. As the baby descends into the birth canal, the pressure in the intestines and the need for defecation increase. In addition, some hormones that start the birth can cause relaxation in the intestines. For this reason, diarrhea is also considered as a harbinger of the approach of delivery.
Belly descending: As the moment of birth approaches, the 30-week-old baby descends into the birth canal and starts the first step of this stage. As the baby moves towards the uterine canal, it can be noticed that your abdomen is drooping downwards when viewed from the opposite side. At 39 weeks of pregnancy, this symptom is among the onset of labor, just like diarrhea.
As your baby begins to descend into the birth canal, the circulation in the lower parts of the body weakens, leading to fluid accumulation between the tissues. Being sedentary for long periods can also add to this situation, leading to increased edema in the body.
Braxton Hicks contractions and rhythmic contractions
False contractions continue at 39 weeks, but their number may have increased. In addition, chronicincreasedActual pains that come every 10-15 minutes, contractions that do not go away with rest, and gradually increase in intensity may also be experienced.
The baby’s pressure on the mother’s anus area is a factor that triggers the hemorrhoid problem. With the increase in the complaint of constipation, strain and bleeding may occur in the veins in this region.
With the increase in pressure on the pelvis, you may start to feel sharp pains in this area. This pain often presents as a cramp-like pain that feels uncomfortable.
False Contraction or Labor Pain?
Expectant mothers wonder how they will know that the birth has started, especially if they are experiencing their first pregnancy. In this process, false and real pains can be confused with each other and may lead to the untimely transport of pregnant women to the hospital.
False labor pains, also known as Braxton Hicks, are preparations for childbirth. They come at irregular intervals. They may go away on their own when you change positions or rest.
Start consuming foods that support breast milk production if labor pains occur at more regular intervals. As the time between the two pains gradually shortens, the intensity of the contractions gradually increases. The contractions that initially come every 10-15 minutes and last for 20-30 seconds turn into contractions that come every 5 minutes or three times in 10 minutes as their intensity increases, lasting about 1 minute each. In addition, real pains start in the abdomen and spread to the back area or the back area and spread to the abdomen.
You can find more detailed information about false birth symptoms here:
Tips to Minimize Troublesome Pregnancy Symptoms
You may have a hard time in this process when you need to gather energy for the birth and postpartum when you say the growing abdomen, the baby getting heavier and pressing on the pelvis, the loosening muscles, the changing balance center, the pains that develop due to all these, edema, insomnia. However, try to rest yourself by thinking that you only have a short time to hold your baby in your arms.
Practical advice for the mother at 39 weeks of pregnancy are;
- Avoid any physical activity that may tire you while you have difficulty even carrying your heavy body.
- Do not stand for long periods, and from time to time, lie down and rest by placing a bolster under your feet.
- Get a massage for your lower back and back pain.
- Take a warm shower to lower your body temperature and relax your muscles. Before getting out of the shower, run cold water on your feet and legs and increase blood circulation.
- Drink plenty of water and drink fluids to eliminate the edema accumulated between the tissues.
- Even if your belly has grown a lot, be careful not to stay completely still during the day. If you can, practice stretching the body and joints.
- Prepare yourself a suitable nutritional content by taking precautions against the problem of hemorrhoids. Include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, and foods rich in fiber in your meals throughout the day.
How Much Weight Should You Gain?
As we enter the last weeks, the weight gain of many pregnant women begins to decrease. Although your baby continues to store fat, your rate of weight gain may have remained constant.
The weight range prescribed by doctors for 39 weeks of pregnancy is 13.5-15.5 kg. However, these values may differ for each pregnant woman. Some mothers may gain less weight, and some mothers may gain more weight depending on various factors. Gestational diabetes, edema, or genetic predisposition may be effective in gaining weight.
Stress and fatigue can change the way you eat these days. Although you may feel less appetite, your energy needs are still quite high for both you and your baby. Considering this situation, you need to pay attention to your diet and the vitamins and minerals you take.
The recommendations for nutrition at 39 weeks of pregnancy are as follows;
- Eat-in small portions so that you don’t suddenly bloat and feel uncomfortable. Eating small and frequent intervals will reduce the feeling of bloating.
- As your baby’s bones continue to harden day by day, meet the increasing need for calcium and take care to consume milk and dairy products every day.
- Consume at least 2.5-3 liters of water per day.
- Do not consume foods with high sugar content and high calories or consume them in a controlled manner.
- If you plan to breastfeed your little one after birth, start consuming foods that support breast milk production. (Whole grain foods, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables, dates, figs, fennel tea, carrots, oats.)
Although it is impossible to be able to move at the end of pregnancy, it is very effective for mothers planning a normal birth to prepare their pelvic muscles for birth, both in the realization of the birth and in the recovery and recovery process after it. Exercises that work the muscles in this area are very beneficial for pregnant women to avoid a vaginal incision to prevent uncontrolled tears during childbirth, called an episiotomy.
You can consider the following options as 39 weeks of pregnancy exercises and physical activities that can be done:
- Pregnant pilates
- Light walks not exceeding half an hour
- Breathing exercises and meditation
- Kegel exercises
- Pregnant yoga
- Stretching movements that facilitate childbirth
39th Week Pregnancy Checklist
We can list the things you need to do for the 39th week of pregnancy as follows:
- If you are stressed or fear childbirth, get support from a prenatal specialist and enter the birth consciously.
- If you haven’t done it yet, wash, iron, and place your baby’s clothes.
- Read and learn about breastfeeding and newborn care.
- Avoid long trips and be as close to your delivery hospital as possible.
- Try to rest as much as you can during the 39th week of pregnancy. Save energy for both you and your baby.
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