Week-by-Week Pregnancy Guide

Select a week of pregnancy from a trimester

38

 Weeks 

Pregnant

November 18, 2021
10
min read
IN THIS ARTICLE
Your baby is the size of a water melon!
Height
48-54
cms
Weight
3.0-3.2
kg
How far along now?

9 months and 2 weeks

Which trimester is this?

3rd Trimester

How many more weeks to go?

2 more weeks to go

Week

38

of your pregnancy

Experiencing sudden bursts of energy? Well, your ‘nesting’ instinct has kicked in and you want to prepare for the baby’s arrival. Take it easy though, give your swollen ankles some rest. At the end of this week, your baby will be considered ‘full term’. If you're feeling extra clumsy or having more difficulty moving around, take it as a sign to rest up. For some women, breaking of water happens before they go into labour. The bag of water that breaks is the amniotic sac. The sac is made up of two membranes, and they hold the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby. Your water breaking is also called the rupture of the membranes.

Garbha Vriddhi

तस्मिन्नेकदिवसातिक्रान्तेऽपि नवमं मासमुपादाय प्रसवकालमित्याहुरादशमान्मासात। एतवान प्रसवकालः, वैकारिकमतः परं कुक्षाववस्थानं गर्भस्य ॥ (चरक शारीरस्थान)

Ayurveda says that the intrauterine stay of foetus should be monitored regularly to check the wellbeing of the foetus after the end  of the 9th month of pregnancy.

Your Baby's Development

Main Highlights
Ready and Steady
Ready and Steady
Crying
Crying
Lanugo is shedding
Lanugo is shedding
Excretion
Excretion
Ready and Steady

This week, all organs are in their final refinement. The baby’s nervous system functions increase. His brain helps him refine breathing, improve digestion, regulate his heart rate, and prepare for eating during the 38th week of pregnancy. If the baby passes solid waste, called meconium, prior to delivery, the water that breaks will be greenish-brown in color, this might indicate meconium spotting in your amniotic fluid. This needs urgent attention! Eighty-five percent of babies are born within two weeks of their due date, so, get ready, mum.

Crying

Your baby’s lungs have strengthened and the vocal cords have developed, which means she’s ready to communicate loudly through her first language, crying.

Lanugo is shedding

By week 38, your baby is shedding the soft, fine hair (known as lanugo) that covers their body in utero. Most of this hair is typically gone before a full-term baby is born—although some hair may remain on the baby's shoulders and arms.

Excretion

The vernix and lanugo that is shed by the baby ends up in your baby's intestines, where it becomes part of the meconium. Meconium is the greenish-black, tarry substance that will make up your baby's first bowel movement after he's born. It also consists of dead cells, amniotic fluid, and waste products from your baby's liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

Your Pregnancy Symptoms

Main Highlights
Frequent urination
Mucous plug
Bloody show
Trouble sleeping
Pelvic pressure
Itchy belly
Leaky breasts
Frequent urination

With the baby's head in your pelvis, the bladder can hardly hold much urine, making you want to empty it sooner than usual. But, you can’t reduce your liquid intake since you need to stay hydrated as you get closer to delivering. So, don’t plan an outing that might keep you away from a bathroom for long.

iMumz Tip
Mucous plug

You may be experiencing more discharge now and you may even pass the mucous plug — a clear, yellow or brown glob of mucus that’s been plugged like a cork on your cervix throughout your pregnancy — as you become dilated.

iMumz Tip
Bloody show

This term denotes a vaginal discharge that is tinged pink or brown as the blood vessels in the cervix rupture during dilation and effacement.

iMumz Tip
Trouble sleeping

Your belly and hormones may keep you restless and awake. But, do try to get some sleep because once the baby comes, it will become a forgotten dream! Talking of dreams, in this week, you might have some intense and vivid dreams. These could be caused by the anxieties of upcoming parenthood.

iMumz Tip
Pelvic pressure

When your baby drops lower into your pelvis, you may feel increased pressure on your pelvis, bladder, and hips. In addition, relaxin, the hormone which softens the ligaments, muscles, and joints in preparation for childbirth, could also contribute to some back or pelvic pain, especially as you get closer to your due date.

iMumz Tip
Itchy belly

The thinly-stretched skin over your big belly might feel dry, flaky and itchy. Resist the urge to scratch. Application of warm coconut oil can be soothing.

iMumz Tip
Leaky breasts

You will notice a further increase in the size of your breasts. They may even start leaking a few drops of colostrum, the first milk your baby needs. Use some breast pads, if needed.

iMumz Tip

iMumz Wellness Tip

Basti  (Enema) 

As you near your due-date, you should do all you can to support your ‘apana vayu’. This helps the baby to get into position to emerge out of the birth canal.

Chances of premature contractions are induced due to vitiation of Vata, mainly Apana Vata. For alleviating Vata, the best method is Basti. Basti cleanses nicely by aiding evacuation of stool.

Basti is a procedure in which the medicated oil/ kashayam/ fluid which is given through the anal route gets absorbed in the intestine. The medicines in it, if added, begin their work!  It nourishes the body, pacifies the vata and allied doshas in the body.  Make sure this procedure is done by a trained practitioner.


The iMumz App has helpful tips in its feed section and the nutrient rich weekly diet plans  backed by Ayurvedic science base to help you manage pregnancy fatigue.

Your Pregnancy check-ups

The doctor’s visits will be weekly now. The non-stress test will be done and blood pressure checked. A physical exam might also be conducted to check for dilation and effacement. If your doctor wants a more in-depth check on the baby, they may order a 38 weeks pregnant ultrasound to see the size of the baby. They may also order a biophysical profile (also called ‘growth’ test), during which baby’s breathing, movement, muscle tone, heart rate and amniotic fluid will be scored.  If needed, the doctor may plan an earlier delivery.

Here is an interesting piece of information: cutting the cord immediately after the birth was routine practice for 50-60 years but recent research shows that it is not good for the baby. 

So now cord clamping is delayed for at least 1-5 minutes (unless the baby's heart rate is less than 60bpm and not getting faster).  Delayed Cord Clamping (DCC) allows the blood from the placenta to continue being transferred to the baby even after they are born and the baby can receive up to 30% more cord blood.

Within the first 24 hours, a health professional will offer to give your baby an injection of vitamin K. This is an injection to help baby’s blood to clot to prevent a rare but serious blood disorder. 

Your baby will also have the blood spot (heel prick) test  offered on day 5 and a newborn hearing screening test in their first few weeks.

What should you eat in this week of pregnancy?

The date’s getting closer and the best thing you can do is stay hydrated! With 95% water, cucumbers cleanse and hydrate extremely well. The Vitamin C content in cucumbers actually helps in fat oxidation. They have very few calories and rank extremely low on fat content, cholesterol, sodium and carbs. They are full of fibre and can fill you up without adding a substantial amount of calories to your diet.

Main Highlights
  • Cucumber Salad on Toast

The goodness of cucumber with the crunch of peanuts! This is a treat for your taste-buds.

Ingredients  

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 a cup peanuts (freshly toasted)
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp chilli paste
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 black peppercorns
  • 1 pinch jeera (cumin) seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves

Method

  • In a pan add equal parts of sugar and vinegar.
  • Add the black peppercorns, fennel seeds and chili paste.
  • Add fresh lime juice and lime zest to this brine.
  • Heat & stir until it begins to look syrupy.
  • Slice the cucumber thinly.
  • Let it marinate in the pan.
  • Transfer into a bowl & cool.
  • In a blender add green chillies, coriander leaves, salt, freshly toasted peanuts and blitz until it resembles bread crumbs.
  • Garnish the pickled cucumber with this peanut crumble and fresh coriander.
  • Layer on toast and munch away!


iMumz provides micro nutrients week by week for your pregnancy nutrition. Diet charts and recipes are made by mothers to give your daily dose of health for your baby and you.

To know more
GET THE APP

Ideal Weight Gain

3.0-3.2

kg

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.
Why am I vomiting in Week 38 of pregnancy?
A.

While it is not that common for women to suffer from nausea at this stage, some women have it all nine months. Nausea and vomiting in the final weeks of pregnancy happen mostly because the baby is growing and the uterus crowds into the space of the gastrointestinal tract. Do eat small meals and avoid spicy food. Eating a piece of amla (Indian gooseberry) empty stomach helps in nausea and vomiting due to its kashaya rasa (astringent taste).

The iMumz App has yoga exercises and webinars that can help you manage pain with a good sense of control and diets to manage tummy troubles.

Q.
What is considered high-blood pressure in Week 38 of pregnancy?
A.

Normal blood pressure even for pregnant women is 120/80  mmHg. However, it may rise in the 24-48 hours before your baby is born. If you have preeclampsia,  induction of labour is advised when diastolic blood pressure is 95 mmHg or higher or you have mild preeclampsia at a gestational age beyond 37 weeks.

Here are measures that will clarify this further:

  • Elevated blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure is a systolic pressure ranging from 120 to 129 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and a diastolic pressure below 80 mm Hg. Elevated blood pressure tends to get worse over time unless steps are taken to control blood pressure.
  • Stage 1 hypertension. Stage 1 hypertension is a systolic pressure ranging from 130 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure ranging from 80 to 89 mm Hg.
  • Stage 2 hypertension. More severe hypertension, stage 2 hypertension is a systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or a diastolic pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher.

Myth Vs Fact

MYTH

Women shouldn’t eat or drink in labour

FACT

Eating during early stages of labour is not an issue. But, as labour progresses, just sucking on ice chips is better. This is because eating before getting an epidural can make you feel sick and vomit. Once you are in active labour, your doctor may not allow you to eat, and you may not feel like either.

Bonding with your baby

Garbh Samvad or Talking to the baby 

The baby is about to arrive but instead of the joy you had expected, are you anxious? Your feelings during pregnancy can affect the baby too. If you are feeling stressed, the baby’s heart rate will respond to this and potentially increase. Garbh Samvad time that you spend with the baby, talking about  qualities of endurance and mental strength is a superb training ground. It aligns your mind with the baby’s  in a positive way. The body takes note of it.

There are definite benefits in preparing internally for labour. The mind has immense powers. Be mindful of not only the external details of birth plans but the inner preparation. Try to avoid over-scheduling and block off some time for yourself and talk to the baby giving affirmations. Nap, change your exercise routines and find time to relax and connect with yourself, your partner, and your baby.

The quiet time will allow you to pay attention, hydrate, and rest, which will decrease risks for preterm contractions, improve swelling, help you enter childbirth energized, and provide your baby with cues of safety and calmness as it prepares to enter the world.

Download the iMumz app now to access pregnancy music that will make you calmer and your baby healthier and smarter!

The award-winning iMumz App is helping 350,000 + women make their pregnancies healthier and happier.

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What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?
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