At the 38th week, your baby is as big as a stalk of rhubarb
With only two weeks remaining for the end of your journey of pregnancy, you must be quite anxious and excited as well. Very soon, you will be able to go home with your little one, who has been living and growing within you for the last 38 weeks. Well, you would be surprised to know that your baby could be born sometime this week as well. They would just be labelled as an “early term” baby. Doctors, however, usually prefer if the baby is born at the 40th-week mark to ensure complete development of the baby inside the womb. This week, your baby is as big as a stalk of rhubarb.
What are the new things your baby can do this week?
Your baby is now 48 to 51 cm in length and weighs approximately 3.2 kg. It is about the size of a stalk of rhubarb
The baby’s eye colour is usually blue or grey or brown at this stage. However, this is not their final eye colour. Upon exposure to sunlight, their eye colour might vary. Their final eye colour may take up to a year to show.
The lanugo that was covering the baby’s body, protecting the temperature of the body, has now almost completely shed as the baby’s skin is thicker now.
The baby’s lungs have now strengthened and their vocal cords developed fully; this means that the baby is now ready to make themselves be heard through wails and cries.
Babies at this stage will be swallowing amniotic fluid frequently, so some of it ends up in their intestines. This amniotic fluid will then turn into the bay’s first bowel movement, along with other things.
The baby’s lungs at this stage are producing more and more surfactant, which helps to prevent the air sacs from sticking to each other when the baby starts breathing on their own
Fat continues to develop and accumulate under the baby’s skin, keeping the baby warm, and making them appear plumper than before.
The baby’s brain and nervous system continue to develop at this stage
Chances are that your baby has started “dropping” (lowering themselves) into your pelvis
Although babies born at this stage would still be called “early term” babies, they are not at any kind of life risk or risk of lifelong disabilities.
What can you expect to see in the ultrasound this week?
Your baby is so big at this stage that their elbows and knees constantly need to be either flexed or folded
Your baby’s movements are restricted but they will still be turning and wiggling. However, you can feel that anyway so you do not need an ultrasound to tell you that
Since your baby is inhaling a lot of amniotic fluids right now, they can be seen (and felt) hiccupping very frequently
You can see your baby breathing very prominently at this stage, so you can be sure that their lungs are most likely fully developed now
You can also possibly observe your contractions in an ultrasound; you will see your uterine wall thickening slightly
Things to do
To save yourself from staining your clothes due to colostrum now is a good time to invest in nursing pads if you haven’t done so already. However, not all women experience this, so decide accordingly
At this stage, most women complain of an itchy belly. Slap on some vitamin E oil onto your belly to soothe the itchiness that you may experience this week
Say hello to sleepless nights! However, if you are not ready to embrace them yet, indulge in some low tech methods of relaxation before you go to sleep, like reading a book or a magazine
You must be experiencing severely swollen knees and ankles at this stage. Going for walks can ease up your swollen knees and ankles. Additionally, they also help ease your baby’s head to slide down into your pelvis
Make sure you check your hospital bag frequently. The clothes you may have stuffed into the bag at 36 weeks may not feel quite comfortable anymore, so choose accordingly
You are only two weeks away from seeing your little one now! Feeling anxious and uncomfortable is quite common now, but try and distract yourself by preparing for the arrival of the latest addition to your family. As for all medical concerns, on Cloudnine we know moms and are always there to assist them for everything.
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