39. WOP

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.

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.

Also interesting:

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.

Muscle relaxation

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

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.

Descending contractions

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 labor

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!

Opening contractions

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:

Midwife tip

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.


39th WOP: When does it start?

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.

How does the baby lie in the 39th WOP?

Your gynaecologist can tell you the position of your baby in the 39th week by ultrasound.

Contractions in the 39th WOP: When to go to hospital?

As soon as you feel contractions, you should go to hospital immediately.

Heartburn in the 39th WOP – what to do?

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.

What happens in the 39th WOP?

In the 39th week, the lungs have matured and your baby may have a delicate fuzz of hair on the head.

How do contractions feel in the 39th WOP?

There are many different types of contractions. However, with almost every type of labour you will feel a pulling sensation in your lower abdomen.

39th WOP: When will the water break?

It is impossible to predict exactly when the water will break. However, it is possible at any moment during the 39th week.

39th WOP: Pulling in the abdomen like period pains – what helps?

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.

The best products for you and your baby.

Baby monitor

With a baby monitor, you can use your time flexibly, sleep peacefully at night and still know at all times that your baby is doing well.

Nursing pillow

A good breastfeeding pillow has several advantages, because it helps you not only to breastfeed, but also to fall asleep and is also suitable as a nest.

Diaper bags

A diaper bag offers you a lot of storage space, so that you have everything you need for your baby on the go - from the changing pad to the bottle.


A pucksack gives your baby the feeling of security, like in the womb, and thus supports a peaceful and restful sleep.

Bicycle trailer

Bicycle trailers can be used in combination with a baby seat shortly after birth. They are not only safer than child seats but also more comfortable.


A playpen can be very practical in everyday life! Which model is suitable for your needs, you can read in my guide.

Baby bed

The first bed accompanies your child for years. Fortunately, there are beds that grow with your child. I have made for you on the search for the best baby beds.


A stroller is a worthwhile purchase. But there are the most diverse models on the market. Find out which is the right one.

Radiant heater

Radiant heaters provide your child with the necessary warmth when changing diapers or after bathing.

Extra bed

Side beds are very practical and offer both mother and baby a lot of advantages, because for babies, especially in the first months of life, it is reassuring to be able to sleep next to their parents.

Our latest articles

Read all articlesRead all articles