38 Weeks Pregnant Guide – Body Changes, Baby Development & More!

By now you’ll be filled with anticipation, excitement, and anxiety as the delivery day is coming closer. 38 weeks pregnant guide will make you aware of what changes are in your baby this week. Read further to gather more details on it. This week you must have finished all the preparations for welcoming the baby. Relax and also keep an eye on any signs of labor.

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Symptoms of 38th Week Pregnancy

This week your body will have all the pregnancy symptoms that are getting your body ready for the delivery day. The signs of pregnancy are mentioned below.

Vaginal Discharge – This will increase and you may notice a thick mucus-like substance which is possibly the mucus plug clogging the cervix. As the cervix is getting dilated for delivery this plug is going to get lost. It means the delivery day is very near.

Skin Irritation – As the pregnant belly has stretched your skin, it may have become sensitive. This will cause a lot of itching. Staying hydrated can help and you should switch to heavy-duty moisturizers such as Shea butter. Drinking plenty of water will also help.

Swelling in Feet and Ankles – There will be swelling in your feet and ankles. Keep them elevated as and when possible. This will ensure proper blood circulation and the swelling may get reduced.

Braxton Hicks Contractions – It will continue in week 38 as well. You must be experiencing them for the last many weeks or may have just started experiencing the symptoms involving tightening of the belly and pregnancy cramps.

Feeling Anxious It is very normal to feel that this pregnancy is going to last a lifetime. You will be very anxious for the baby to get out of your tummy. It is best to preoccupy your mind with some fun things to do like going to a movie, having a special dinner with your husband, or doing some online shopping for the baby.

Lack of Sound Sleep – You will feel anxious and may experience aches and pains. This will make it very difficult to sleep peacefully. Use a pregnancy pillow to provide support for the back and use loads of cushions while resting.

38 Weeks Pregnant Guide – Early Symptoms

By the time you reach this week of pregnancy, you may start to notice the following early signs of labor. These are as follows -–

  • Your cervix will be beginning to dilate to prepare for birth. This will cause vaginal discharge which is thick mucus-like and can also have a slight tinge of blood.
  • You may also experience diarrhea symptoms which are due to labor hormones present in your body. Some may also feel queasy just before the beginning of labor.
  • You may experience intense or sudden pain in the back which can be back labour.
  • If you feel that water is trickling from down there, it may mean that the amniotic sac has ruptured and the amniotic fluid is leaking. Labor starts soon after the water breaks so let your doctor know if you experience this symptom.

Common Problems During 38th Week Pregnancy

The most common problem at this stage can be the imbalance of the amniotic fluid. If extreme fluctuations occur in the level of fluid it may indicate some serious problems. You may also notice sudden and severe swelling in the feet, ankles, hands, etc which can be a sign of preeclampsia. The doctor may have to induce labor in such cases for the delivery to happen.

Precautions/Warning During Week 38 of Pregnancy

What precautions you should take during week 38 of pregnancy?

Same as week 35 pregnancy

38 Weeks Pregnant Guide – Baby Growth and Development

How is your baby growing and developing during the 38th week of pregnancy?

Your baby has developed now. Her organs have matured well and are ready to live a life outside of the womb. Another 2 -3 weeks and the baby will be out of your womb in the outside world.

The lungs are still maturing and will be producing more and more amount of surfactants. It is a substance that will prevent the air sacs present in the lungs from sticking to one another as the baby begins to breathe. The baby will also continue to add fat.

Fine-tuning of the brain and nervous system will keep continuing to occur.

The eye color of a baby is left to change and will continue to develop outside the womb.

Baby will be able to grasp firmly and you can test it when they hold your fingers tightly.

Baby Size in 38th Week of Pregnancy

What is the baby’s size in the 38th week of pregnancy?

In the 38th week of pregnancy, your baby is approximately 49.8 cm long and is the size of a pumpkin.

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Parental Care During 38th Week of Pregnancy

What parental care is needed during the 38th week of pregnancy?

The doctor will continue to monitor the baby’s progress at this stage and ensure that you don’t have any health concerns. The doctor can do an ultrasound for measuring your levels of amniotic fluid which starts to drop by this time.

Do not stay at home alone and see that your partner or mother always accompanies you. Rest and relax your mind and body and do not take any stress off pregnancy-related problems. Just remember that doctors are there to help us out if there are any inconveniences.

Changes in the 38th Week of Pregnancy

38 Weeks Pregnant Guide – Changes in Feelings

How will you feel during the 38th week of pregnancy?

Plan to meditate and focus on your body this week onwards. The most organized mothers also can get overwhelmed by last-minute jobs. Swimming, long walks, massage, and prenatal yoga classes can help you to focus on things that matter.

If you have an older child then you may feel guilty for disturbing their life and schedule with a new member. Do not stress over possibilities and assumptions. Remember that nature has its ways to make your existing child bond with the new one.

38 Weeks Pregnant Guide – Changes in Experience

What changes you will experience during week 38 of pregnancy?

Pregnant women in week 38 of pregnancy will look bigger, feel bigger, and may not be able to see their feet when standing because of the belly.

It is so difficult to find clothes that may be fitting you now. Try to get creative by letting things out or borrowing from your friends. These last few weeks are going to pass soon.

It is difficult to find a comfortable position to lie down. Lying on the front is not possible and lying on the back is not recommended. So the best position is to lie on the left side with the upper leg bending at the knee and supported by pillows.

The breasts may be producing more colostrum this week so you may have to use breast pads for absorbing the leakage.

38 Weeks Pregnant Guide – Change in Look 

What will you look like during the 38th week of pregnancy?

You will look full-term pregnant and can pop out the tummy anytime. Your belly will be at its maximum size and the boobs will be bigger. You may have mild swelling at your feet, and ankles. Stretch marks will be appearing all over the belly, thighs, arms, etc.

Diet during the 38th Week of Pregnancy

What should you eat during the 38th week of pregnancy?

Which food you should avoid during the 38th week of pregnancy?

Sex During 38th Week of Pregnancy

Is it safe to have sex during the 38th week of pregnancy?

It is completely fine to have sex if you have a healthy pregnancy. In cases of certain complications, the doctor needs to recommend and guide you better. You may be worried to have sex during pregnancy but there is no scientific evidence that it has to be avoided. Do not apply any pressure on your tummy. If you have a history of miscarriage, high blood pressure, HIV, or any medical conditions then talk to your doctor.

Doctor Consultation in the 38th Week of Pregnancy

Do I need to visit a doctor in the 38th week of pregnancy?

What should you discuss with the doctor?

You will be visiting the doctor weekly. Discuss with him if you need to do any further tests to check the well-being of your baby. Check if you can have sexual intercourse at this stage of pregnancy. You must have clarity on identifying signs of labor, at what time you should visit the hospital, what are the options for pain relief and approximately how long will be your stay.

38 Weeks Pregnant Guide – Test/ Procedure

What are the tests or procedures you should have in the 38th week of pregnancy?

In 38 weeks of pregnancy, your doctor may be checking for bacterial infections in your vagina by taking a swab test. These infections may not affect the mother but will affect the fetus at the time of delivery. The doctor will be also monitoring the position of the baby and the complications involving the delivery through an ultrasound.

Also, the weight, blood pressure, and any other tests if required will be performed.

Supplements in the 38th Week of Pregnancy

Folic acid helps to reduce the risk of birth defects, and neural tube defects in babies such as spina bifida. Iron is also important to prevent anemia and fulfill the demand for increased blood flow. To absorb folic acid and iron you must consume vitamin C in the form of oranges, lemonade, etc. Calcium is important as the bones are getting harder day by day. Omega 3 fatty acid (DHA) is a very important supplement to be consumed especially during the third trimester. It reduces the risk of premature labor and postpartum depression. E.g. Salmon, Tilapia, shrimp, red snapper, catfish, etc.

38 Weeks Pregnant Guide – Important Points to Know

The next couple of days are a waiting game and you must utilize this time in preparing your child’s nursery, take care of tasks that you won’t be able to do after childbirth, etc. Spend undisturbed time with your husband if you can.

There will be some swelling in your feet and ankles which is very normal. If the swelling increases suddenly and there is swelling on your face, puffy eyes, etc then immediately discuss this with the doctor. Also inform him if you have persistent and severe headaches, blurry vision or sensitivity towards light, etc. They can be signs of preeclampsia which have to be reported to the gynecologist.

Preparation Guidelines for Baby

Continue with Kegel exercises if you can as this will make your pelvic muscles strong and increase their endurance power. Take a warm shower during this time to have a relaxation from body aches.

To stay positive spend some quality time with your family, and friends and get yourself pampered.

Keep your hospital bag packed and ready with all the essentials, like comfortable clothes, toiletries, and other necessities for the baby. Note down the contact details of the people to be contacted. The contact list may include close family, doctors, spare drivers, etc.

The baby can hear you and respond to your voice. Speak to your little darling or sing a song for her. You can read her stories or even talk to her about your daily routine. This will help you to connect and bond.

You can do some research on child parenting. There are plenty of books or articles available online. Find out answers to your significant questions useful for you after your baby’s birth.


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