Congrats are in order: Your baby is considered full term now that month 9 is drawing to a close!

Whether he's aware of his invitation to exit remains to be seen, but you can anticipate that he's reached his birth weight by now.

At 39 weeks, you'll want to watch out for signs of labor — and get that hospital bag packed, if it isn't already.

Your Baby at Week 39

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It’s week 39 and you’re in the homestretch now. Good news for your very-stretched out belly — and your larger-than-ever baby, since it’s pretty crowded inside there. It helps that your baby’s just about done growing, weighing in at 7 or 8 pounds (or maybe even heavier) and measuring up at 19 to 21 inches. The only thing still growing up a storm at the moment is your little one’s brain, which will continue to develop at a mind-boggling rate for the first three years of your smarty-pants’ life.

Also in development this week: His tear ducts, though they won’t actually produce tears until several weeks after birth. So while your newborn will definitely be able to communicate his needs by crying — trust me on that — the waterworks won’t start rolling down those cheeks for a while. It’ll be all crocodile tears for your little gator.

And speaking of cheeks, your baby’s are chubbier and more deliciously kissable than they were just a short while ago. His skin now has a protective fat layer covering the blood vessels across the body, and his formerly translucent pink complexion becomes a tad darker as skin pigment starts to develop. No matter what skin color your baby will eventually wear, however, your little one will be born with a light skin tone until his pigmentation deepens to the color he’s destined to be.

And on top of his sweet little noggin he might be sporting a full head of hair. Or he might be a cutie cue ball. Or somewhere in between. But it doesn’t matter much. From head to toe, this just-about-baked baby finally resembles the little person you’ll soon come to know and love — and get to hug, hug, hug.

At a Glance

Big baby brain
While your baby’s body isn’t growing as much, his brain is. It’s already 30 percent bigger than it was just four weeks ago.
Pink skin turns white
Your baby’s pinkish skin has turned whitish or whitish-grayish and won’t have pigment, no matter what his eventual skin color will be, until shortly after birth.
Baby's at his birth weight!
Your baby has likely reached his birth weight of somewhere between 6 and 9 pounds, about a third of which is accounted for by his head.

39 weeks pregnant is how many months?

If you're 39 weeks pregnant, you're in month 9 of your pregnancy. Only a week or two 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 39 weeks?

At 39 weeks pregnant, you've got what is officially considered a full-term baby. Your baby now weighs around 7 to 8 pounds and measures 19 to 21 inches.

Those measurements won't change much from now on, but his brain is still growing at an astonishing rate — a pace that will continue for the first three years of life — with changes you'll be able to recognize firsthand as your baby's skill-packed bag of tricks expands almost daily.

No tears just yet

Heard that babies cry a lot? There's definitely truth to that rumor — as you'll find out soon enough, usually in the middle of the night.

But what you may not have heard is that tiny babies don't produce tiny tears when they cry, since their tear ducts aren't fully open for business yet. While you'll be consoling your crying baby right from the get-go, it won't be until sometime after the first month that you'll be wiping tears off those chubby cheeks.

Baby's skin is white

Your baby's skin has now finally changed from pink-tinted to white, no matter what its eventual color will be. (Pigmentation will occur soon following birth.) That's because a thicker fat layer has been deposited over the blood vessels, making your baby's cheeks pinchably and kissably round.

Your Body at Week 39

39 Weeks Pregnant

Almost go-time

The end — and a whole new beginning! — is in sight at 39 weeks pregnant. These last few days, or last couple of weeks if your baby is late, may seem to speed by or drag out.

You're probably feeling increasingly uncomfortable by now, as you lug around your ever-heavier uterus and its contents — plus your pelvis is feeling achier and achier as your baby bears down. Braxton Hicks contractions are likely increasing in strength and frequency — and that's a good thing, since it means your body's gearing up for the big event.

Signs of labor

Knowing that you can go any day, you should be watching out for signs of labor.

These include the rupture of the membranes that contain your amniotic fluid (also known as your water breaking); diarrhea or nausea, which many women experience just before the onset of labor; spurts of energy, aka the nesting instinct; the loss of the mucus plug, which is the "cork" of mucus that seals the opening of the uterus; and bloody show, which arrives when your capillaries rupture from the dilation and effacement of your cervix, causing any discharge to appear pink- or red-tinged.

Once you've seen bloody show, labor is probably just a day or two away — though don't try to set your watch to it, since it's not a definite timetable. Just make sure your bag is packed!

Preparing for a C-section

Many hospitals and birthing centers are increasingly sensitive to an expectant mother's desire to be awake, comfortable and with loved ones both during and after delivery — even if that delivery is via C-section.

Whether you have a scheduled C-section or induction, or are already in labor, these days most places will try to accommodate as many of your requests as possible in a non-emergency situation.

Ask if you can use a mirror or clear screen so you can see your baby emerge. You may also be able to listen to music during delivery, have your hands free to touch your baby after birth, have your partner cut the cord and breastfeed in the recovery room. This is one time when it can't hurt to ask for what you want.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 39

Braxton Hicks contractions
Change in fetal activity
Heartburn or indigestion
Bloody show
Mucus plug
Water breaking
Pelvic pain

Tips for You This Week

Has your water broken?

Not sure if your water has broken yet? If you wake up in a pool of fluid that smells like ammonia, and the flow has stopped, it’s probably urine, not amniotic fluid, which has no odor.

If your water breaks, liquid will continue to trickle out and you won’t be able to stop it as you would if you were going to the bathroom.

Try an at-home facial

If your complexion needs a boost, or if you're just trying to pass the time while you wait for your baby's arrival, treat yourself to an at-home facial mask.

One simple method is to take a cup of plain yogurt and add a few key ingredients according to your skin type: avocado and honey for dry skin, strawberries and lemon juice for oily skin.

For maximum benefit, steam your face for five minutes before applying, and leave the mixture on for 20 minutes.

If you're in need of a quick exfoliating scrub, add warm water to some oatmeal until it forms a paste, then massage the mix into your skin. Rinse, and voila! — skin as soft as your soon-to-be baby's bottom.

Eating during labor

Research has shown that women who are allowed eating privileges have shorter labors — up to 16 minutes shorter.

After all, labor lives up to its name — it's hard work, and hard work requires fuel. Laboring on empty can make it tough to summon up the strength for those last pushes.

If your practitioner gives you the go-ahead to eat, think small, and if your health care team has suggestions, try to stick with them. In general, light snacks can keep your energy up and liquids will keep you hydrated. Stick with broth, toast with jam, plain pasta, ice pops, sorbet, applesauce or Jell-O.

Take a nap

Take it easy! Your body is working overtime to support the full-grown baby in your tummy. Nap whenever you can and let others help you with chores.

Lightning crotch is a thing

Feeling pains that shoot from your vagina down your legs? Don't worry, that's just "lightning crotch," which is possibly caused by your baby pressing on pelvic nerves.

The good news is that it isn’t dangerous, nor is it a sign that there’s a problem.

Breech baby? Try this

If your baby is breech, many nurse-midwives recommend specific exercises you can do to help turn your baby head-down — the best exit strategy when it comes to birthing.

Try doing pelvic tilts or kneeling with your knees hip-width apart, bending over so your breasts touch the floor and your belly nearly does. Repeat three times a day. Good luck!

Expect electronic fetal monitoring

Chances are, your baby is eager to enter the world — and will sail right through with little problems. But after nine months of floating peacefully inside your uterus, some babies don’t take to the tight squeeze through the pelvis.

If there’s a change in your baby’s heart rate — a rapid acceleration or a slowed-down movement — you’ll likely be hooked up to an electronic fetal monitor so your doctors can continue to monitor how your baby is handling labor.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You're Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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