With 38 weeks in the books, month 9 of pregnancy is about halfway done.
Your baby's lungs are stronger and she's getting ready to announce her entrance into the world.
It may come sooner than you think, especially if you experience a heads-up in the form of your mucus plug or bloody show.
Your Baby at Week 38
At about seven pounds and 21 inches long on average, your bun in the oven is now a fully cooked loaf of bread. He’s still got some work ahead of him, though, before his big debut. He’ll lose the vernix — the waxy coating that’s been protecting his fragile fetal skin from amniotic fluid — and he’ll shed any remaining lanugo — the fine hair that was temporarily covering his body.
Wondering where it all goes? Once the vernix and lanugo are shed into the surrounding amniotic fluid your baby ingests them along with other waste products such as bile, urine, and old cells. These all percolate in those teeny intestines, ultimately winding up in his diaper as the very first, very dark green, and very sticky poop known as meconium. Might not be a tasty first meal, but it’s pretty efficient!
Also gearing up for the big day are your baby’s lungs… now fully mature, but still producing surfactant in large quantities to ensure that the transition from watery womb to wondrous world is a smooth one. Your little diver’s been practicing his breathing moves underwater for months and he’s just about ready to try the real thing.
As baby prepares for life in on the outside, the placenta — his lifeline in this underwater world — starts to slowly deteriorate. Not to worry — it still has plenty of life left to sustain your little one until the big day.
At a Glance
38 weeks pregnant is how many months?
If you're 38 weeks pregnant, you're in month 9 of your pregnancy. Only a few weeks left to go! Still have questions? Here's some more information on how weeks, months and trimesters are broken down in pregnancy.
How big is my baby at 38 weeks?
Your little one isn't quite so little anymore, weighing about 7 pounds and measuring 20 inches in length, give or take an inch or two. Only two more weeks — four max — before your baby makes her appearance!
Baby's preparing for birth
At 38 weeks pregnant, all systems are almost go! As you prepare for baby's ETA, she's getting ready too, big-time, and continues to shed vernix and lanugo.
Your baby is also swallowing amniotic fluid, some of which winds up in her intestines, where it — along with other shed cells, bile and waste products — will turn into your baby's first bowel movement (meconium) and perhaps your first diaper change.
Her lungs are still maturing and producing more and more surfactant, a substance that prevents the air sacs in the lungs from sticking to each other once she starts to breathe.
Most other changes this week are small but important: She's continuing to add fat and fine-tune her brain and nervous system — that way, she can deal with all the stimulation that awaits her once she makes her entrance into the world.
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