39th Week Pregnancy - Symptoms, Baby Development, Tips And Body Changes

39th Week Pregnancy

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At week 39, yours pregnancy is officially a ‘full-term’ pregnancy. If you opt for C-section or induction, now is the time for doctors to schedule a delivery. Are you in your 39th week and wondering about the way things will move forwards? If you said yes, or you simply wish to know what goes on in the 39th week of pregnancy, you should consider reading our post. Here’s a simple guide to help you understand the changes that takes place in you and your baby at 39 weeks.

‘Full-term’ Redefined:

Although doctors consider pregnancies between weeks 37 and 39 to be full-term, the timeline was earlier redefined by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The new guideline considers pregnancies between week 39 and 40 and six days to be full-term. In fact, the ACOG does not recommend elective deliveries like C-section and induction before 39 weeks pregnancy unless tests prove that the baby’s lungs are mature. Studies indicate that babies born (through elective delive

ry) before full-term may develop respiratory problems. Similarly, babies born between now and week 40 were found to perform better on academic tests according to a joint study conducted by Columbia University Medical Center and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The baby’s lungs and brain continue to mature until week 39 resulting in better brain development, it concludes.

[ Read: 40th Week Pregnancy ]

39 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms:

You will go through many symptoms of pregnancy at 39 weeks, and some of them include:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions become stronger and increase in frequency.
  • Vaginal discharge.
  • Pressure and discomfort in the pelvic area.
  • Frequent short yet sharp pain around the pelvic area.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Varicose veins or leg cramps.
  • General discomfort, backache, headache, and lightheadedness.

Changes In Your Body:

The doctor may call you every week for examination to look for signs of labor. Besides an ultrasound scan, she may also perform a cervical examination to check if the cervix has dilated (opened) and effaced (thinned). She’ll also check if the cervix has softened- the texture should be the same as the insides of your cheek. Here are some of the changes your body is likely to undergo at week 39 pregnancy:

  • Braxton Hicks Contractions Increase in Frequency:

Somewhere from the second trimester onwards, your uterus muscles begin to tighten and contract. Initially, they are barely noticeable, but as you get closer to your due date, they become frequent and intense. Sometimes, these contractions can be rhythmic and closer together tricking you into believing that you could be in labor. But real contractions grow stronger and longer over time and are preceded by other signs of labor. Even if you do not observe other signs of labor, contact your doctor immediately if these contractions increase in frequency or if you find your baby unusually inactive.

  • Discomfort Around the Pelvic Area:

If the baby has dropped into the pelvic area, he is more likely to pressing against your internal organs like the bladder, hips, and pelvis. As a result, you may feel uncomfortable around the lower abdomen. Sometimes, you may experience a short yet sharp jab around the pelvis- this happens when the baby turns his head.

  • General Discomfort and Pain:

Emotional stress coupled with the physical symptoms (of pregnancy) may sometimes leave you exhausted and tired. But if you constantly feel drained, contact your doctor immediately. Chances are, you could be anemic or you may not get enough sleep. And in some cases, tiredness could be a sign of approaching labor.

  • Vaginal Discharge:

If the mucus plug hasn’t discharged by now, it may happen this week. It may fall off all at once or as tiny discharges. The mucus is typically white in color although it is sometimes tinged with blood. In fact, this is one of the early signs of labor. But wait, it isn’t time yet to pack your bag. Sometimes, vaginal discharge happens just before labor and sometimes it could take a day or two for labor to begin. And sometimes, the mucus plug may have discharged while in the bathroom, in which case you may not have noticed the discharge at all.

[ Read: 10th Month of Pregnancy ]