Baby Developing 38 weeks pregnant

Fetal Development


Baby developing inside you
over the weeks and months
at full term birth




 

Weeks, Months and Trimesters Guides

 
Your Weekly Guide  Your Monthly Guide Your Trimester Guide
 
 
 
 
 
 

  

Week Thirty Eight: Development is complete

  
You are 38 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 36 weeks)
  • Baby is about 20 inches (51 cm) and weighs about 7.5 pounds (3.4 kilograms).
  • The soft down, which covered the body throughout the pregnancy, is now disappearing.
  • The body fat is continuing to build up, baby putting on about 1oz (28 grams) a day.
  • The wrinkled skin is becoming 'baby' smooth.
  • The baby may have reached its final birth position.
  • Most babies are born head first with only about 3 percent coming out feet first.
  • About one in eight births are caesarean.
Development is complete, baby's main job is to gain weight. The body continues laying on the fat stores at a rate of about an ounce (28 grams) a day, that will help regulate his or her body temperature after birth. The amniotic fluid, this is approximately equal to 4 or 5 cups. It doesn't sound like much, but just wait until your water breaks, it will feel like much more.

39 weeksBaby may have a full head of hair now, an inch or more long, but some babies are born with only peach fuzz. Speaking of hair, most of the downy coat of lanugo that covered your baby for weeks has disappeared, but you may see some on the upper back and shoulders when he or she arrives. Almost gone has most of the vernix caseosa, the whitish substance that also covered baby.

Your baby will swallow the lanugo and exterior coating, along with other secretions, and store them in their bowels. These will become your infant's first bowel movement, a blackish waste called meconium. Your child's intestines are accumulating lots of meconium. About 30% of babies move their bowels before birth. Usually this is a sign that the baby is under some stress and can cause pneumonia if the baby inhales any amniotic fluid with meconium in it. If there are signs of meconium in the amniotic fluid at birth your care provider will make sure that the baby's throat and lungs are suctioned thoroughly.

This week, your baby weighs around seven and a half pounds and measures about 20 inches (51cm) head to toe. You are almost at the end of your pregnancy. Your weight should not increase much from this point. It should remain between 25 and 35 pounds (11.5 and 15.5 kg) until delivery.

<<< Week 37  |  Month 9  |  Week 39 >>>


  

Week By Week Pregnancy Calendar

 
First Trimester
Week 1   Week 2   Week 3   Week 4   Week 5   Week 6   Week 7  
Week 8   Week 9   Week 10   Week 11   Week 12   Week 13
Second Trimester
Week 14   Week 15   Week 16   Week 17   Week 18   Week 19   Week 20  
Week 21   Week 22   Week 23   Week 24   Week 25   Week 26
Third Trimester
Week 27   Week 28   Week 29   Week 30   Week 31   Week 32   Week 33  
Week 34   Week 35   Week 36   Week 37   Week 38   Week 39   Week 40   Week 41   Week 42