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Mother and Baby

38 Weeks Pregnant – What You Need to Know

38 Weeks Pregnant – What You Need to Know

At a glance:

  • Your baby is fully developed
  • Toilet life
  • Dad-to-be checklist

What’s happening to your baby

Your baby is a fully functioning little human – still practising breathing and swallowing, though. If you’ve got a little boy, then his testicles have descended into the scrotum by now.

And little girls might have slightly enlarged breasts (this is just the effect of your hormones and will go down after birth). Your placenta is also fully grown and weighs, gasp, 1 pound 9 ounces!

What’s happening to you

You might feel you’re spending most of your life on the toilet – the pressure on your bladder is so extreme now that it’s squished into a pancake (seriously!). But, annoying as it is, you keep hydrated. Another reason you might have to set up camp in the loo is that you could have diarrhoea  now, too. Oh joy.

If so, it’s your body making room for the baby to emerge – yep, it’s a sign your small one is on his or her way soon. Word of advice: avoid rich, fatty or fibre rich foods and instead eat light soups, toast and ice lollies. And if leaking from your bottom end isn’t enough, your boobs (which by now might be of gigantic proportions) could be discharging a thin, yellowish fluid called colostrum.

It’s basically the first milk your baby will get, which is full of antibodies. If this affects you, it’s probably not the time to wear your best floaty, silk Whistles top. And if it’s more full-on seepage than mere droplets, pop some nursing pads in your bra. Your last antenatal appointment is this week (unless you go overdue) so make a list of any last minute questions to ask your midwife.

Dad-to-be checklist

Some fathers feel like they’re a spare part around now – but they’re far from it. There’s loads of things they can do to help you out. Make a list and stick it to the fridge – it’ll make him feel needed and important. Which of course he is! Here’s some ideas of things he can do:

1. Make a list of emails/phone numbers of all the doctors, antenatal experts and friends you can call on for advice/support

2. Stock up on a month’s worth of grocery essentials, and some simple ready meals you can freeze. (Or, if he’s handy in the kitchen get him to cook loads of things that you can freeze)

3. Plan a ‘date night’ around Week 39 – an evening during which you make each other feel loved and special

4. Clean out the bath! Your stomach is too big to do this now, and a warm bath can be really relaxing in the early stages of labour

5. Give you a pedicure. You haven’t been able to see your toes for a while, let alone groom them!

6. Give you a relaxing, sensual massage.

7. Check that the baby car seat is installed properly 8. Ensure the car has enough petrol in it at all times

9. Learn more about postnatal depression and warning signs to watch out for.

10. Create a labour playlist together.

Dos And Don’ts For Dads During Childbirth

11 signs that your man is ready to become a dad

<< SEE Week 37
SEE Week 39 >>

Have you got any more top tips? Let us know below.

Image courtesy of Your Pregnancy Day-By-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell, published by Carroll & Brown, £9.99

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