Pregnancy Week by Week – Week 39

With Only One Week to Go, Getting Ready for Birth

At 39 weeks of pregnancy, your cervix may begin to change and ripen for labor. Your baby may weigh around 7 pounds this week.

You are having weekly visits with your provider now and perhaps you have had a pelvic exam this week. Don’t forget that whatever the results of your exam in terms of dilation or effacement, it does not have any bearing on whether you will go into labor this week or in two weeks. The good news is that some early dilation and effacement is less overall work that your body will need to do once labor starts.

What is happening with Your Baby?

Your baby can weigh between 7 and 8 pounds now at Week 39 of pregnancy. The baby’s development is close to completion and he or she will be ready to arrive at any time!

If your baby is born this week, she may even be able to lift her head off your shoulder if you are holding her. She will also be able to alert you that she is hungry or uncomfortable with her cries. You will learn how to respond to your baby’s cries as well as other parenting skills in the first few weeks after birth.

What is happening with You?

As you visit your primary provider this week, you may have an ultrasound and/or a pelvic exam. Bear in mind that any weight estimates based on ultrasound may not be 100% accurate. Since ultrasound measurements are based on estimates, even a detail like having longer legs than average can throw off an estimate of your baby’s weight.

If your pelvic exam shows that your cervix is dilated a few centimeters that is a great head start. There will be less work for your body to do in labor. Be careful to not assume that it means labor will start soon however since early dilation does not predict the timing of when labor will begin. Your provider might also find that your cervix has effaced. This means that your cervix has begun the process of thinning out. The lower your baby is in your pelvis, the more likely your cervix may be both dilated and effaced.

Some providers might even be able to tell if your baby is posterior. If you are aware of several indicators, it is also quite possible for you to tell what orientation your baby is in during week 39 of pregnancy. You can work on positions to rotate your baby before labor begins.

To Do List:1. Finish last minute preparations before the baby is born.

2. Get as much rest as possible in the next few days or weeks of your pregnancy.

3. Review ways to identify posterior babies as well as how to rotate your baby if he/she is posterior.

4. Pack your labor bags if you have not finished.

5. Continue healthy eating and taking prenatal vitamins.

Take a peak at Week 40 just around the corner!