Week by Week

What pregnant women need to know in week 39 of pregnancy?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

msBahasa Malaysia

Baby Development?

How is my baby growing?

Your baby now is about the size of a mini-watermelon, weighs over 3.5kg and the length is about 50cm from head to heel.  Sometimes, the umbilical cord can wrap around a baby’s neck. In general, this doesn’t cause problems, although a cesarean delivery could be required if it causes pressure on the umbilical cord during labor or delivery. A true knot in the umbilical cord is much less common, occurring in only about 1% of pregnancies.

Most of the vernix that covered your baby’s skin has disappeared, as has the lanugo. Your body has been supplying the baby with antibodies through the placenta that will help your baby’s immune system fight infection for the first 6-12 months of life.

Body & Life Changes

How is my body changing?

Braxton Hicks contractions, also called “false labor”, may become more pronounced to you. These contractions may be as painful and strong as true labor contractions, but they do not become regular or increase in frequency as true contractions do.

Another sign of labor, the rupture of your amniotic sac, could happen any day now. When your fluid breaks, you may experience a large gush of fluid and some feel a steady trickle. However, many women don’t experience their fluid breaking until they’re well into labor. Besides, others need to have their fluid broken by their doctor to get their labor started or to speed it up. If you think your fluid has broken or you are experiencing regular contractions, call your doctor.

What should I be concerned about?

Sometimes, it is better to have premature births, especially if your doctor worries about your health or you are more than two weeks past your due date.

Doctor Visits

What should I tell my doctor?

Many people say that herbal can help pregnant woman speed up labor. There is no study about the safety of herbal remedy, which is used to speed up labor, so you should not use any herb without asking your doctor.

What tests should I know about?

As you near your due date, your doctor may do pelvic exam regularly to determine your baby’s position inside your uterus. Those exams can help the doctor to determine the position of your baby for delivery: top-first, leg-first or bottom-first in your womb.

During gynecological examination, doctor will also do a cervical exam to check whether your cervix has begun to open or soften or thin and this information will be shown by numbers and percentage.

Health & Safety

What should I know about staying healthy and safe during pregnancy?

Lack of sleep

You are probably worrying that lack of sleep can harm your baby. The truth is the baby can sleep even when you are awake. There is no proof of the independence of your baby’s sleep to yours, even though sleep is one of the strongest physiological needs of  the human body.

Lack of sleep can affect your health, your activities and make you fall asleep while driving or easy to fall.

Migraine medication

You concern about taking migraine medication in pregnancy. It depends on the medications you take, but most of the other medications used are problematic. Some of the older medications can cause blood vessels to contract and hypothetically could cause a similar tightening of your baby’s vessels. If your baby’s blood vessels are tightened early in the pregnancy, it can disrupt the development of the bowel or cause rupture of arteries going to the spine, leaving your baby paralyzed.

No one knows if these drugs actually do affect your baby, but it’s been a hypothetical concern, and there have been a few reports of problems.

How will your baby’s growing in next week?

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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