Hello to all my beautiful mommies-to-be, as you noticed on the tittle this post is going to be about your 38-weeks pregnancy and ultrasound, you’ll learn in this post about pregnancy symptoms, fetal development, prenatal visit and most importantly the Ultrasound. Are you ready? let’s begin.
At 38 weeks pregnant, you are still considered to be at “early term,” which means baby is practically ready. At 38 weeks, you’re in month 9 of your pregnancy. Only a few weeks left to go!!
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How Big Is Your Baby at 38 Weeks?
Your baby at 38 weeks will be as big as a Small water Melon or a pumpkin. The average 38-week fetus weighs about 6.4 to 6.8 lbs. or about 2900 grams, and measures about 34 centimeters long.
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Normal pregnancy symptoms at 38 weeks!
Aches and pains in the hips and pelvis: Your ligaments are loosening so that baby can make his down to the pelvis and/or her way out of your uterus and into the world later on.
Insomnia or trouble sleeping: With all the hormonal changes, midnight bathroom trips, leg cramps, heartburn and your big belly, it’s no wonder sleep is a luxury at this time. Try to find a sleeping routine that works for you. Anything from soothing music, a warm bath, reading a book, or a good massage will do. Avoid near bedtime caffeine and exercises. Remember you and the baby need to rest.
Braxton Hicks contractions: Contractions are most likely getting frequent and stronger as time goes by. There’s one big difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and the real deal, Braxton Hicks will go away. Real contractions don’t, they just keep coming. Women who are 32 weeks or more pregnant with twins are at higher risk for preterm labor, so definitely watch for contractions that don’t go away.
Itchy belly: At 38 weeks pregnant your belly is stretched as far as it can go, therefore is extremely sensitive. Hydration can probably makes a big difference, you may want to try to a good moisturizer like pure shea butter or some oils, in my case pure coconut oil was fantastic, and don’t forget to to drink lots of water. What’s not normal is a rash, so let your OB know if you develops one.
Swollen feet and ankles: You’re 38 weeks pregnant, so basically you have the excuse to sit back and put up your feet as much as humanly possible. Take regular walks though, to keep your blood flowing and reduce the swelling.
Leaking colostrum from your breasts: Colostrum, the first milk your baby will get when born, it contains more protein but less fat and sugar than more mature breast milk, making it easier for baby to digest in the first few days after birth. It’s also full of antibodies (immunoglobin A, or IgA) your baby didn’t encounter in the womb which help protect her from germs that can infect the mucous membranes of her throat, lungs and intestines.
As you already noticed the majority of your symptoms at 38 weeks are related to your big belly, you might be feeling anxious and tired, I’ll promise this will all be better soon.
My amazon picks for this time of the pregnancy.
Fetal development at 38-weeks!!
Nature is putting the finishing touches on your baby.
Baby is gaining half an ounce of fat every day, which means that your baby might looks beautiful and plump.
The lanugo is almost gone, and most of the vernix has fallen off.
Your baby is going to take the optimal position for birth, that is head dowm, facing to your spine.
Your baby is also swallowing amniotic fluid, some of which winds up in his intestines, where it along with other shed cells, bile and waste products will turn into your baby’s first bowel movement (meconium) and your first diaper change.
His lungs are still maturing and producing more surfactant, a substance that prevents the air sacs in the lungs from sticking to each other once he starts to breathe.
He’s continuing to add fat and fine-tune his brain and nervous system.
Your baby’s head measures about 3 1/2 inches around. the bones in their head are still not fused and soft so they’ll be able to pass through the birth canal.
The rest of the organs are ready and functioning by now.
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What to know about doctor visits?
You’re seeing the OB weekly now, so you’ll have an appointment this week.
At these weekly appointments, your doctor will check that baby’s in a head-down position and to see if the head has moved down into the pelvic cavity. Also you will be probably having a pelvic exam, where your cervix will be checked for dilation (opening) and effacement (thinning) both signs your body is readying for labor.
Unfortunately, there’s no “normal” when it comes to predicting labor based on dilation or effacement; if you’ve started, it could be hours or weeks. But even if you’re not dilated at all, you could still go into labor tomorrow.
Continue checking in on baby by doing kick counts. Set a timer and see how much time it takes the baby to move ten times. Then check back each day to make sure the approximate time is similar. Let your doctor know about any notable changes.
If your doctor wants a more in-depth check on baby, she may order a 38 weeks pregnant ultrasound as part of a biophysical profile. As part of the profile, baby‘s breathing, movement, muscle tone, heart rate, and amniotic fluid will be scored. In some cases, the result of the biophysical profile could make your doctor decide to deliver baby earlier than your due date.
To know more about the biophysical profile please check this link.
This ultrasound will include.
Fetal heart doppler.
Amniotic fluid index.
Rest of the biophysical profile testing which is checking Fetal breathing, movements and muscle tones.
This is what you can expect from your 38-week ultrasound.
Remember a Biophysical profile don’t require baby measurements unless:
Your belly is measuring bigger.
You have gestational diabetes.
Previous history of macrosomia fetal ( Big babies before)
Your baby was measuring over 90%Tile in growth on your previous ultrasounds.
Tips for You This Week
Double Check Your hospital Bag: Make sure the items in your hospital bag still fit you. Make sure to include these feel/good items inside: lip balm (your lips will become very dry), bands or scrunchies to keep your hair back, a hairbrush, massage oil, warm socks and slippers, moisturizer, a warm and comfortable robe. These items will make your labor, delivery and overall stay at the hospital more pleasant.
Prepare for the postpartum stage: small things like, preparing some healthy snacks or freeze food options that you can heat and eat will be good.
A must have list at this time.
Car seat for baby.
Birth plan, already discussed with your doctor.
baby’s nursery ready.
Freeze foods and healthy snacks.
Home clean and organized, laundry up-to-date.
Do Squat Exercises
We’ve all heard tales of women squatting in the field to give birth. Well, it turns out there’s something to it: Squatting actually speeds labor because it increases the pelvic opening, providing more room for baby to descend.
What about the mucus plug?
You could go into labor at any time after passing the mucus plug, but there is no need to go to the hospital right away. Passing the mucus plug means that your body is preparing for labor, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are going into labor inmediately, losing the mucus plug can actually happen up to 2 weeks before labor begins. Is always a good idea to call your doctor if you are having concerns.
Here you have the most important information about your 38-week Pregnancy. We talk today about your fetal development, Prenatal care (doctor visits) and Fetal Ultrasound at 38 weeks.
I hope this information was helpful to you. Remember, in this final weeks slow down, pamper yourself, rest as much as you can and have some quality time with your partner, things are about to change big time for you and him. On my next post, I will be talking about 39 weeks pregnancy and ultrasound.
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Disclaimer: Due to HIPPA regulations all patient information is protected on this site. The majority of the Ultrasound images are my own. The information provided on this blog is designed to be used for educational purposes and is made with the best of my knowledge. Therefore, this post is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. For diagnosis or treatments consult your doctor. The author is not responsible or liable for any mistreated pathologies.