The finish line is quickly approaching as pregnancy week 39 appears. You and your partner – as well as family members are most likely getting the famous 'butterflies' as your first child is about to be born. Your baby is still continuing to add on some extra layers of baby fat and allowing their lungs to continue developing. Meanwhile; although you're primarily concerned about you and baby – don't forget to ask how your partner is handling this moment. You might be surprised by their answer.
Most new parents are often scared and filled with questions when they first find out they are pregnant. However, as the time progresses and they both see changes in mommy’s belly and her colorful, hormone infused nature in its infinite glory, those worries often quickly transform to anticipation. As you enter pregnancy week 39, your baby is most likely nearing 8 pounds in weight – and make no mistake, this once tiny, microscopic life is now a fully developed baby ready to snuggle with his or her mommy for the first time. You can expect to begin your contractions, water breaking or other warning signs of delivery anytime now – so hold on, take a deep breath and just wait for it to happen.
In week 39 of pregnancy your baby is in the birth position. This means that over the period of the past six to eight weeks, they've turned 180 degrees from being located in your upper tummy region to facing head down, and slowly creeping into your lower pelvic area. This does a few things for the baby that should be discussed. First, it does become a bit more cramped down there – especially since they are growing at a rate of ½ of a pound every week. But, this reduced space really doesn’t bother the baby too much.
They'll continue moving around inside, but you'll feel them literally lower inside your body. The baby is also beginning to slow their heart rates down slightly by now and still dream while they sleep as they too anxiously await to meet mom for the first time.
Who is ready for some old wives’ tales about how to 'trigger' delivery? Some of the best we've heard over the years includes eating tons of pineapple, drinking raspberry leaf tea, eating curry (yikes), having sex or enjoying a light stroll around the house at 3am. Let us be the first to tell you that there are no scientific discoveries that have verified that any of this will quicken your body's decision to give birth.
The simple truth is that by week 39; you are more than ready to deliver this baby. As hard as this might sound, do the best you can to try and enjoy the last remaining days you have – especially with your partner. When you visit your doctor in week 39, they will check everything and might begin to discuss induction options with you.
A baby born at pregnancy week 39 has the same odds of living a happy and healthy life as one born in week 38, week 40, 41 or even 42. Once your baby has hit the 'full term' magic number in week 37, they can be born at any time. The question that many new mommies ask is – why do some babies come earlier than others? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. However, the next time you see a stork flying by – you might want to ask them? Perhaps they'll have some solid data to help fill in the gaps.