38 Weeks Pregnant: Garbh Sanskar, Symptoms and Tips
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
This term denotes a vaginal discharge that is tinged pink or brown as the blood vessels in the cervix rupture during dilation and effacement.
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.
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.
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.
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 Wellness Tip
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.
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.
The goodness of cucumber with the crunch of peanuts! This is a treat for your taste-buds.
- 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
- 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!