Your pregnancy at week 39

Welcome to your week 39 pregnancy update where we outline the changes you and your baby are experiencing.

Your Baby

Baby is 50.7 cm long and weighs 3.3kg. Even though your baby is in the uterus, she could produce tears. The tear ducts are functioning inside of the uterus, but once your baby is born, she won’t have real tears for a while. The tear ducts need time to adjust and make their own salty fluid.  And once you see those first tears, no doubt it will break your heart. Baby’s weight and height may have tapered off as she awaits the arrival of her birth day. The normal length of a pregnancy is regarded as any time from 37 to 42 weeks. However, once your due date passes, your LMC will keep a close eye on your and likely discuss inducing your labour if you go more than 10 to 14 days after your due date.

Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby’s development and progress.

The Mum Update

It would be unusual for you not to be uncomfortable and feel huge at this time. Your uterus has filled your pelvis and most of your abdomen and it has pushed everything else out of the way.

You may have been told by friends not to raise your arms over your head or reach high to get things because it can cause the cord to wrap around the baby’s neck. There doesn’t seem to be any truth to this old wives’ tale. Some babies do get tangled in their umbilical cord and can get the cord tied in a knot or wrapped around their neck. However, nothing you do during pregnancy causes or prevents this from happening.

A tangled umbilical cord isn’t necessarily a problem during labour. It only becomes a problem if the cord is stretched tight around the baby’s neck or is in a knot.

You will feel less movement and more forceful kicks as your baby has less room to manouevere. Your uterus is stretched to the maximum, you are carrying a lot of amniotic fluid, and baby has used up all the space available, leaving no room for gymnastics.  In the days before labour begins you can expect to experience the following signs of pre-labour, although they are not always accurate predictors of when labour will begin:

Bloody show
Loss of mucous plug
Nesting instinct
Loose stools
Loss of weight
Increase in appetite
signs of labour


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