In the 39th week of pregnancy, the time may come at any moment. Many moms-to-be feel anxious about giving birth at this time. We explain to you why you don’t need to be afraid of the birth.
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Important facts about the 39th week: What you should know
Final spurt! In the 39th week of gestation, the time can come at any moment. However, your baby decides when it wants to come into the world. So if you haven’t felt any contractions yet, there’s no reason to worry.
Now is the perfect time to take care of applications such as child support and the like. Also, your hospital bag should be packed and ready to go.
This is what happens to you
In the 39th week of pregnancy, most women no longer feel very well. No wonder, the abdominal girth can now be around 1 m . In addition, your baby is further down in your pelvis, so that standing and walking become difficult.
Typical complaints of the 39th week of pregnancy such as abdominal pain and the like can sometimes dampen your good mood. Nevertheless, you are naturally full of anticipation for your baby.
From the 39th week of gestation until the birth there is still one week (theoretically). In practice, your baby can already be born now – if he or she wants to. Most babies do not adhere exactly to the calculated date of birth.
Even if nothing happens in the 39th week, you should remain patient and not worry. A delay of up to 2 weeks after the expected date is not uncommon.
Your body will tell you when the time is right.
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Tip for expectant fathers
You can become a father at any moment – accept the role and try to act like one. Not only your child, but also your wife need all the support they can get. Take responsibility and live up to your role as a father.
Pregnancy symptoms in the 39th week of pregnancy and what you can do about them
You are full of anticipation for your baby – if it weren’t for those annoying pregnancy discomforts. In this section, you will find out which symptoms you will experience in the 39th week of pregnancy and what you can do about them.
Your intestines are under a lot of strain due to the pressure exerted on them by the placenta and your baby. Accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea can therefore occur repeatedly during the 39th week of pregnancy.
But it can also be a sign that the birth is about to begin.
Our tip: Eat easily digestible foods such as noodle soup, toast or rusks. Avoid eggs, meat, butter, fatty foods and flatulent vegetables (cabbage, legumes).
Carrots, apples and mashed bananas have a constipating effect and are therefore super helpful against diarrhea.
It is also not unusual to suffer from nausea in the 39th week of pregnancy. A small snack before bedtime and in the morning can already provide relief.
Important: drink plenty of fluids and give your body enough rest.
If the cervix opens and the mucus plug that previously sealed it comes out, there may be more discharge.
This discharge may also show traces of blood. Don’t panic – such discharge in the 39th week of pregnancy can be a sign of the upcoming birth.
That’s why you don’t have to be afraid of the birth
Your birth is imminent and the thought makes you feel a little queasy and scared? Don’t worry, this is completely normal. After all, you don’t experience a birth every day.
Around 13% of non-pregnant women say they don’t want to have a baby because they are afraid of giving birth. Tokophobia – this is the scientific term for the fear of childbirth.
But what exactly is behind this fear? What are the reasons behind it?
In most cases, the fear of women lies in the fact that complications may occur during childbirth, which primarily harm the baby.
But many women are also afraid of their own “injuries” during childbirth. Is this fear actually justified?
With the first child, everything is new – the growing belly, pregnancy discomforts, the baby’s first kicks and the birth. Uncertainty or fear of birth is very understandable.
Relatives, friends, gynecologists and midwives can answer many of your questions, but they can’t always take away your fears and worries.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict how painful childbirth will be. However, there are various methods of alleviating fear and pain.
One simple technique is to consciously relax your muscles during each pause in labor. Muscle cramps rob you of energy and cause pain.
You will learn relaxation techniques and “conscious” breathing in the birth preparation course.
Fear of childbirth can often be alleviated with acupuncture. Fine needles are placed in certain areas of the skin.
This is to break the cycle of fear, tension and pain.
The TENS device (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) works with small electrical impulses that act on your back muscles.
This is to reduce the pain signals from the uterus and pelvic area.
PDA for pain relief
Peridural anesthesia (PDA) is probably the most effective and commonly used method available for eliminating pain during childbirth.
The anesthesiologist inserts a thin catheter into your spinal canal of the lumbar spine under local anesthesia.
An anesthetic is injected into you through this catheter. The time at which an epidural can be inserted also varies.
An epidural is still possible even if the birth is already advanced.
Psychological help for fear of childbirth
Your gynecologist or midwife can ease your worries to a certain extent. If the fear of birth persists and you suspect an anxiety disorder, a consultation with a psychologist may be useful.
What happens with the baby
In the 39th week of pregnancy, your baby is 48 to 53 cm tall and weighs about 3.2 to 3.6 kg. This makes it about the size of a small watermelon.
How can I tell that the baby is coming?
There are different types of contractions that you experience during pregnancy: You have already gone through preterm, preterm, and preterm labor. The next contractions you will experience are the opening contractions, the pushing contractions and the after contractions.
Preterm labor is noticeable from around the 36th week of pregnancy through a pulling sensation in the abdomen. In addition, the uterus often presses on the bladder, which can lead to an increased urge to urinate .
Preterm labor is usually painless and occurs very irregularly.
By now, you are familiar with the contractions. They ensure that your child moves into the birth position and thus slides deeper into the pelvis
Sinking contractions usually do not cause any pain and pass very quickly. If they do become stronger, it is advisable to rest. If the contractions last longer or cause pain, it is probably not a contraction and you should urgently consult a doctor or your midwife.
Early contractions can in some cases lead to the initiation of the birth process, which is why you should see a doctor, unlike in the case of low or preterm contractions.
Symptoms of preterm labor include short intervals between contractions or vaginal discharge. Do not hesitate and seek urgent medical attention for these symptoms!
The opening contractions are the starting signal for the birth. What feels like period pains at the beginning is the uterus contracting, causing the cervix todilate.
The duration of a contraction is about one to two minutes. In addition, the contraction peaks in the middle and starts and ends easily
With the onset of the opening contractions, you should prepare yourself for the fact that birth is imminent. At the latest when the water breaks , the birth is not far away and you should go to a hospital, unless you are planning a home birth.
The pushing contractions are responsible for pushing your baby towards the vagina. From this point on, it won’t be long before you can hold your baby in your arms for the first time.
After the birth, there are the after contractions – which are not very painful compared to the pushing and opening contractions.
In about a quarter of an hour, the placenta is expelled and you’re done.
How your baby develops in the 39th week of pregnancy
In the 39th week, your baby has hardly any space left in your belly to move around. Therefore, you may feel fewer kicks. However, this is completely normal and nothing to worry about.
The protective cheese layer on the baby’s skin is becoming less and less. The lanugo hair also continues to decrease.
Your baby still feels comfortable in your belly and takes the opportunity to prepare for birth wrapped in the amniotic fluid.
For the first few days after the birth, it will lay down even more fat reserves. In the 38th week of gestation, lung maturityhas already been completed.
This means that your baby is able to breathe on its own. After birth, the baby’s breathing still seems a little hectic and excited. This will settle down after a few hours.
In the 39th week of gestation, almost no lanugo hair can be seen. On the other hand, your baby may already have a delicate fuzz of hair on its head.
But even here there are differences between the babies. Many are born with no or very little hair.
In the 39th week, the color of the amniotic fluid changes. Previously it was rather clear, but now it looks almost whitish. But why?
This has to do with the fact that your baby’s body is releasing the rejected cheese goo into the amniotic fluid.
Did you already know? Not only your body, but also your baby is preparing for birth. Hormones are released that put your baby under stress during birth.
The resulting hormones help the little one to get all the body functions going after birth.
This is important now
In the 39th week of pregnancy, the time may come at any moment. It is therefore all the better to make the first preparations now.
39. WOP: How to prepare for the birth
Choosing the place of birth
Together with your partner, choose a place where your baby will be born. It is important that you feel comfortable there.
The place of birth can be a clinic, a birth center or even your own home.
You are not sure yet? No problem. Just check out a clinic and a birth center and let your gut decide.
Your gut feeling and your well-being are an important aspect for the birth.
The birth plan
You usually draw up a birth plan with your midwife. This can help you in advance to record your wishes.
In addition, you can deal in detail with the phases and medical measures during the time in the birth room.
Yoga as birth preparation
With Prenatalyoga you learn to prepare your breathing technique for labor. An intensive preparation for the birth can help you to feel more secure.
Pack yourclinic bag about 4 weeks before your delivery date
Birth sometimes happens sooner than you might expect. In addition, you want to make sure that you have all the important documents with you, such as your maternity record.
In all the excitement or during a nighttime departure, something can otherwise get forgotten.
So that you can look forward to the birth in a relaxed manner, you should pack your hospital bag in good time.
Inform yourself about official applications
So that you can really relax after the birth in the postpartum period, you should prepare these applications in good time:
- Apply formaternity benefits
- For non-married parents: planning for paternity acknowledgment
- Preparing applications for parental leave, parental allowance and child benefit
In the 39th week of pregnancy, you may suddenly feel a surge of energy. You have the urge to clean the apartment, tidy up or clean out the cupboards? This phenomenon is called nest-building instinct.
It describes that the expectant mommy tries everything to make it as nice as possible for her offspring. Nevertheless, you should not overdo it. You should continue to take care of yourself a bit.
In the 39th week of pregnancy, the time could come at any moment. Pay attention to your body to see if you feel the first signs of an impending birth.
Your gynaecologist can tell you the position of your baby in the 39th week by ultrasound.
As soon as you feel contractions, you should go to hospital immediately.
A glass of milk after a meal works wonders. Various nuts, such as almonds, can also be very helpful against heartburn in the 39th week.
In the 39th week, the lungs have matured and your baby may have a delicate fuzz of hair on the head.
There are many different types of contractions. However, with almost every type of labour you will feel a pulling sensation in your lower abdomen.
It is impossible to predict exactly when the water will break. However, it is possible at any moment during the 39th week.
Pain in the lower abdomen can have various causes. Apart from labour pains, they can also be caused by a growing uterus that irritates the other organs.
Slight pain is completely normal in this phase – but if something seems different, ask your midwife or gynaecologist for advice.
Videos about the 39th WOP
Vicky and Kendra take you into their 39th week of pregnancy and tell you about their birth preparations.