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Your Pregnancy Week by Week: Weeks 35-40

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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.

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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