Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Weeks 35-40

Week 35

Baby: Your baby's lungs are almost fully developed. It's still building fat deposits beneath its skin to keep warm after it leaves your womb.

Mom-to-be: Your uterus is about 6 inches above your navel. By now, you've probably gained 24-29 pounds. Your doctor will test you for Group B streptococcus bacteria between now and 37 weeks.

Tip of the Week: Are you ready for the baby? Be sure you've collected the necessary baby clothes, equipment -- especially a car seat -- and furniture to get you through the first few weeks, at least, after your baby is born.

Week 36

Baby: Your baby measures about 20.7 inches from head to toe and weighs about 6 pounds. The baby may drop lower in your abdomen, usually assuming the head-down position to prepare for birth. The brain has been developing rapidly, and your baby is practicing blinking.

Mom-to-be: Your uterus has grown bigger these last few weeks and is probably up under your ribs. But you're in the home stretch! After this week, you'll see your doctor weekly. You may switch between fatigue and extra bursts of energy. You may also have an achier back and feel heaviness and discomfort in your buttocks and pelvis.

Tip of the Week: Start stocking your freezer with foods that can be easily popped into the oven or microwave after you bring your baby home. Chili, casseroles, and other simple dishes can be prepared and frozen ahead of time for use later.

Week 37

Baby: Your baby is about 21 inches from head to toe and weighs almost 6.5 pounds. The baby is getting rounder every day, and skin is getting pinker and losing its wrinkly appearance. Your baby's head is usually positioned down into the pelvis by now.

Mom-to-be: Your uterus may stay the same size as it was for the last week or two. Your weight gain should be about as high as it will go, about 25 to 35 pounds. About this time, your doctor might perform a pelvic exam to check on the progress of your pregnancy.

Tip of the Week: Just in case you deliver early, consider packing two bags for the hospital. Pack one bag for you, with warm socks, a robe, lip balm, and everything you'll want during labor. Pack the other bag with the items you'll want for your newborn.

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Week 38

Baby: Most of your baby's downy hair, lanugo, and whitish coating, vernix, are disappearing. Your baby is getting its antibodies from you to protect against illness. The baby's growth is slowing, but fat cells under skin get plumper for life outside the womb. Your baby is almost ready for birth.

Mom-to-be: You're probably not getting any bigger, but you may be feeling more uncomfortable. Make sure you have a bag packed for when you deliver. It won't be long now -- 95% of all babies are born within two weeks of their mother's due date.

Tip of the Week: You may want to consider whether you'll circumcise your baby if it's a boy. Circumcision isn't as much a medical issue as a cultural or religious one.

Week 39

Baby: Your baby's arm and leg muscles are strong, and toenails and fingernails are in place. The baby's head has dropped into the mother's pelvis -- a head-down position lets you breathe a little easier.

Mom-to-be: You're probably feeling quite large and uncomfortable. Your uterus has filled your pelvis and most of your abdomen, pushing everything else out of the way. Your center of gravity has shifted, so you may feel clumsier than usual.

Tip of the Week: Watch for signs of labor, but don't get too obsessed. It could happen soon or still be a week away. Some differences between false labor and contractions: False labor pains usually concentrate in the lower abdomen and groin, while true labor pains may start in the lower back and may spread through the entire abdomen. Real labor also becomes stronger and more powerful as time passes and will not go away with eating, drinking water, or lying down..

Week 40

Baby: Boys often tend to weigh a little more than girls. More lanugo falls out, but some may remain at birth on the baby's shoulders, folds of skin, and backs of ears.

Mom-to-be: It's almost time! Birth should happen soon now, but don't worry if your due date comes and goes. Only 5% of all babies are born exactly on the predicted due date. It may be more difficult for you to get a good night's sleep, because it's hard to find a comfortable position. Still, try to rest as much as possible, with your feet up if you can.

Tip of the Week: If you think you're in labor, don't eat. Even something light in your stomach can cause nausea.

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What's Happening Inside You?

Your baby continues to grow and mature. The lungs are nearly fully developed. Your baby's reflexes are coordinated so he or she can blink, close the eyes, turn the head, grasp firmly, and respond to sounds, light, and touch.

36 Weeks

You should still feel movement every day. Your baby's position changes to prepare itself for labor and delivery. The baby drops down in your pelvis, and usually his or her head is facing down toward the birth canal.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on September 12, 2016

Sources

SOURCE:

Mayo Clinic.com: "Fetal development: What happens during the third trimester?"

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