Prenatal Development – Week 38 – What’s Happening This Week?

Sunday July 15, 2018


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If your baby is born this week or after it is considered a full term baby because the baby is fully developed and can be up to about 21 inches long from the top of its head to its toes. The baby should weigh around 7 pounds, and this is a good time for you to begin understanding the difference between pre-labor, labor, and false labor.

Some pregnancies end on the 38th week, but for those that go the distance, they experience false contractions. This kind of contraction is felt in different parts of the body. You’ll know if you have real labor contractions if you feel them in your uterus then your lower back. The contractions will intensify and become more painful.

At this point, you may only have, at best, a few more weeks to prepare for birth. Pack your overnight bag and the baby’s diaper bag so that it is ready for the hospital. You also want to make sure everything at home is ready for the baby, including a car seat for when you can bring the baby home.

You may find you are watching for any sign of labor, specifically for your water to break, but the fact is that only 10 percent of women’s waters actually break on their own. Most of the time, the doctor has to break the water after they are already in labor.

It is a good idea at this point to stay close to home, avoiding any long distance trips or vacations, just in case the baby comes early.

The baby’s head and abdomen are about the same size in circumference, and all of the sexual organs in both males and females are completely formed. The downy and fine hair that covered your baby’s body after so many months is almost gone but will see some on the shoulders and upper back once they are out in the world.

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