Week 38 of pregnancy | You are considered full term

Verified by

Maria Midstam

Midwife

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    Week 38 of pregnancy | You are considered full term

    Verified by

    Maria Midstam

    Midwife

    In this article, you will be able to read about everything related to being 38 weeks pregnant. Here you'll find information on the development of the baby, how the mother's body is changing and the tips you may need along the way.

    Baby: pregnancy is now considered full term

    The baby is now about 49 cm and weighs around 3.1 kg. The pregnancy is now considered full term! 

    If the baby decides to come out now and you went through a normal birth, the baby is fully ready to breathe, feed, and keep its systems and functions running. - it is simply ready! 

    Suction reflexes
    The fetus continues to practice breathing by swallowing amniotic fluid, hiccuping and making breathing-like movements. To enable the baby to take food through breastfeeding or a bottle after birth, they train their sucking reflexes by sucking on their thumb, hand or fingers. As a newborn, babies have innate sucking reflexes and by sucking on the breast, their own hand or fingers, they can calm themselves down and feel at ease. 

    The child is gaining weight!
    Childbirth is a major stress for the baby, and to cope with it, he or she accumulates extra nutrients and energy in their organs now, which can then be accessed when needed.

    It is common for a newborn baby to lose weight in the first few days. If the birth was normal, there are energy reserves that the baby consumes during the first few days. A baby who feels well after birth and shows no signs of stress, lack of oxygen, breathing difficulties or low blood sugar can sleep through the first 24 hours. After that, the baby needs to replenish its energy reserves and be breastfed or eat regularly, often at least eight times a day. However, there is no limit to the number of times a child can eat - some eat slowly and others more quickly. In addition, the amount per feeding can vary greatly!

    After a few days, the birth weight increases and the next step is to pass the birth weight again. If the baby then needs more feedings, the midwife or pediatric nurse at the BVC will guide you and inform you about this.

    Mom: 38 weeks pregnant

    Remember, you should feel your baby's movements every day!

    Midwife visits
    This week is likely to be a return visit to your midwife to check your uterus and that your baby is growing properly. You will also summarize your pregnancy and write down your thoughts and expectations for the birth in your maternal health record. During the visit, the midwife will check your values as usual and you will listen to the baby's heart. If necessary, a urine sample will be taken, for example if you have high blood pressure or a risk of pre-eclampsia. However, there are regional differences.

    If the baby's head has descended further into the pelvis and can no longer be adjusted from the outside, the midwife usually says that the head is jerky or adjusted. If the head is higher up in the pelvis and can be moved sideways or so high that it has not yet descended into the pelvic inlet, the head is considered mobile. When the labor pains start, however, the baby's head almost always moves into a retractable or fixed position.

    Here you can read about week 37.

    Here you can read about week 39.

    You may also be interested in

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    • 7 sure signs that birth is near

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    • Getting your child to sleep in their own bed

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