Welcome to week 39 of your pregnancy. If you’re not feeling any signs of labor yet, don’t worry. Trust that your body and your baby will let you know when they’re ready for the big day. If you haven’t packed your hospital bag, now’s a great time!
You're probably feeling pretty uncomfortable these days between increasing Braxton Hicks contractions and other pregnancy symptoms like heartburn and trouble sleeping. You may also start to lose your mucus plug this week if you haven’t already (although many pregnant women can’t tell when they’ve lost it).
Your baby at 39 weeks is the size of a pumpkin. You’ll be meeting your bundle of joy in a week or two. They're officially considered full-term, and your OBGYN or midwife won't stop labor even if you haven’t reached your due date (or 40 weeks gestation).
39 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Change in Fetal Activity
With a pumpkin-sized baby on board these days, things are super cramped in your uterus. Given their tight quarters and improved coordination, your baby may be wriggling a lot. But with so little room for them to move, you might also feel less movement, so continue to monitor your baby’s fetal activity with kick counts.
If you’re having diarrhea at 39 weeks pregnant, it might be a sign of labor. When labor is near, your body will release hormones called prostaglandins that tell your uterus to contract. These same hormones can affect your digestive tract, causing stool to move more quickly, which leads to diarrhea.
Diarrhea doesn’t always mean labor is near. Whether or not you’re in labor, make sure you’re staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Talk to your doctor or midwife before taking any anti-diarrheal medications (or any new medications, for that matter).
“Water breaking” is the rupture of the amniotic sac that your baby has been living in for the past 9 months. This gives your body the signal that it’s go time: your baby is almost ready to be born. Despite what you may have seen in movies, you probably won’t have your water breaking out of the blue in the grocery store checkout line. Only 10-15 percent of women experience their water breaking before they’re in labor.
It’s impossible to guess how much fluid you’ll lose when your water breaks. It may feel like a slow and steady trickle of amniotic fluid or it may feel like a stream of warm liquid that soaks your pants (and maybe even your floor).
If you’re not sure whether your water broke, call your doctor or head to the hospital or birthing center as soon as possible to help reduce the risk of infection.
The waiting game before labor can test the patience of even the most laidback mom-to-be. With all of the excitement and even apprehension building up, you might experience intense mood swings. It’s okay to take a step back from social media and focus on self-care – like getting a prenatal massage or going on a date (or two) with your partner or a friend.
If you’re sad every day or have thoughts of harming yourself, contact your provider immediately. You may be experiencing prenatal depression (also known as pregnancy depression), which affects more than 10% of all pregnant women.
Baby on Board
At 39 weeks, your baby is between 19 and 21 inches long and weighs between 7 and 8 pounds. With delivery on the horizon, your little one is likely close to their birth weight.
Under Construction: The Brain
Your baby’s growth may have slowed at this point, but their brain is still developing. In fact, your baby’s brain is now 30 percent larger than it was a few weeks ago. When they’re born, a third of their birth weight will be from their head!
Under Construction: Tear Ducts
You’ve probably heard that newborn babies cry a lot. But did you know that these cries don’t actually produce tears? When your baby is born, their tear ducts won’t be fully developed yet – so it’ll take a month or so before you’re wiping tiny tears from your baby’s cheeks.
Under Construction: Skin Pigment
Your baby’s skin pigmentation doesn’t occur until after they’re born. At this point, their skin has changed from a pink tint to beige/peach (regardless of what their eventual skin color will be).
What to Wear This Week
If you’re preparing for a cesarean delivery, check out our Under-the-Bump Bikini Underwear. This low-rise maternity underwear is perfect for C-section recovery since you won’t have to worry about a waistband irritating your incision.
If you’re making any last-minute changes to your maternity bag, don’t forget an excellent nursing bra. Our French Terry Racerback Nursing & Sleep Bra, featuring a crossover design and super-soft fabric, is the perfect maternity bra to wear during or after delivery. It pulls aside for easy nursing and skin-to-skin contact.
This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice that has been medically reviewed. Please reach out to your doctor or midwife with any questions.