Baby Fetal Development 39 Weeks Pregnant: The Final Stretch

Congratulations! You have made it to 39 weeks pregnant, and your baby’s due date is just around the corner. Your little one has been growing and developing in your womb for the past nine months, and now it’s almost time to meet him or her face to face. In this article, we will explore what’s happening during week 39 of your pregnancy and what you can expect as you prepare for labor and delivery.

What’s Happening with Your Baby

Baby Fetal Development 39 Weeks PregnantSource:

At 39 weeks pregnant, your baby is approximately 20 inches long and weighs around 7 to 8 pounds. He or she is now considered full-term and can safely be born at any time. Your baby’s lungs are fully developed, and he or she is practicing breathing movements in preparation for life outside the womb.

Your baby’s head is likely engaged in your pelvis, and he or she is getting into position for delivery. It’s normal for first-time mothers to experience “lightening,” which is when the baby drops lower into the pelvis. This can cause increased pressure in your lower abdomen and make it easier to breathe but may also lead to more frequent trips to the bathroom as your baby puts pressure on your bladder.

Your baby is also shedding his or her lanugo, the fine hair that covered his or her body. The vernix caseosa, a white waxy substance that protected your baby’s skin in the womb, is also beginning to disappear.

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What’s Happening with Your Body

As you approach your due date, you may be experiencing a range of physical and emotional symptoms. It’s normal to feel excited, anxious, and even a little scared as you prepare to give birth to your little one.

Your body is also preparing for labor and delivery. You may experience increased vaginal discharge, which is your body’s way of getting rid of any bacteria and mucus in your cervix. You may also notice that your Braxton Hicks contractions are becoming more frequent and intense as your body prepares for labor.

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to pack your hospital bag and make a plan for who will take care of your other children or pets while you are in the hospital. You may also want to consider taking some time off work before your due date to rest and prepare for your baby’s arrival.

What to Expect at Your Doctor’s Appointments

At 39 weeks pregnant, you will likely have weekly appointments with your doctor or midwife to monitor your baby’s health and development. Your doctor may perform a pelvic exam to check your cervix for signs of dilation and effacement.

Your doctor may also perform a non-stress test, which measures your baby’s heart rate in response to movements. This can help determine if your baby is under stress and if he or she needs to be delivered soon.


As you near the end of your pregnancy, it’s important to take care of yourself and listen to your body. Rest when you need to, eat healthy foods, and stay hydrated. Labor and delivery can be unpredictable, but with a little preparation and support, you can have a safe and healthy delivery and meet your little one for the first time!

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If you have any concerns or questions about your pregnancy or labor, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or midwife. They are there to support you and help you have a positive birth experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it safe to have sex at 39 weeks pregnant?

It’s generally safe to have sex during pregnancy, but if your doctor has advised against it or if you are experiencing any complications, it’s best to avoid it. If you do have sex, use a condom to protect against sexually transmitted infections, and avoid positions that put pressure on your belly.

2. How can I tell if I’m in labor?

Signs of labor include regular, painful contractions that get closer together over time, a bloody show (mucus with streaks of blood), and a breaking of your water (amniotic fluid leaks or gushes out). If you’re unsure if you’re in labor, contact your doctor or midwife for guidance.

3. Can I still exercise at 39 weeks pregnant?

Yes, but it’s important to listen to your body and avoid any high-impact or risky activities. Walking, swimming, and gentle yoga can be great exercise options as you near the end of your pregnancy.

4. How long does labor typically last?

The length of labor can vary greatly from woman to woman and even from pregnancy to pregnancy. Most first-time mothers have a labor that lasts between 12 and 24 hours, while subsequent labors tend to be shorter.

5. What can I expect after I give birth?

After you give birth, you can expect to spend a few days in the hospital recovering and bonding with your baby. You may experience postpartum bleeding, which is normal, and you will need to wear pads and avoid tampons until your doctor clears you for regular activity. You can also expect to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby and receive support and guidance from hospital staff.

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