Your Baby's Development: Week 38

Now that you are 38 weeks pregnant, baby will be constantly gaining weight. Your baby may weigh approximately 6 pounds, 8 ounces (or 3083 grams) and will measure in length around 19.6 inches (or 50 centimeters).

Slowing Things Down
The baby's body fat is still accumulating, but her growth is now slower. You may even notice that your weight gain has stopped. Some women even lose a bit of weight at his time during their pregnancy. Now that baby is 'engaged' in your pelvis, your bladder is very compressed; this means frequent bathroom trips for the next week or so.

Baby now has the muscles that enable him to suck and to swallow amniotic fluid. As a result, waste material is gathering in the intestines. Cells that are shed from the intestines, as well as dead skin cells and lanugo hair are some of the waste products that make up meconium. Meconium is a greenish-black substance and is your baby's first bowel movement.

If you are expecting a boy, his testicles will now have descended into the scrotum (unless he has an undescended testicle). And if you are pregnant with a girl, her labia are fully developed now.

Is It Labor?
When you are 38 weeks pregnant, it is not so unusual to experience "false labor." This is a series of contractions that can be felt in various parts of your body including your back, your pelvis and lower abdomen.

Keep in mind that real labor pains begin at the top of your uterus and will then spread across the whole uterus. The pain then moves like a wave across your lower back and down into the pelvis.

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