Prenatal Visit Week 38

Your baby could be born any day now! In fact, 85% of babies are born in the two weeks before their due date. At this stage, you are probably feeling pretty uncomfortable. Your doctor will ask about how well you are eating and sleeping. He or she will also check your progress and answer any questions.

What You Can Expect:

During this visit, your doctor will:

  • Ask about your eating habits. Your baby may be crowding your stomach and you may be getting heartburn after meals. Your doctor will want to know how often you're eating and what foods you choose. He or she may offer suggestions for consuming calories that count.
  • Ask about your sleeping habits. You may be having trouble getting comfortable enough to fall asleep. You also may have started snoring lately too, which affects sleep quality. Your doctor may recommend sleeping with a body pillow or using a recliner.
  • Ask if you've received your cord-blood collection kit, if you're planning to store your baby's cord blood.
  • Check your weight and blood pressure.
  • Measure the height of your uterus to gauge your baby's growth.
  • Check your baby's heart rate.
  • Ask if your baby's movements are occurring about as often as your last appointment.
  • Ask you to leave a urine sample to check sugar and protein levels.

Be Prepared to Discuss:

Your doctor may explain some mandatory tests that will be performed on your newborn in the hospital, so you'll know what to expect.

  • Newborn heel-prick test. A hospital doctor or nurse will collect a few drops of your baby's blood by pricking his or her heel. Babies are tested for a variety of inherited conditions, infectious diseases, and blood problems. Most babies are healthy, but these tests can catch certain conditions before symptoms appear.
  • Newborn hearing test. A hospital pediatrician will use computerized equipment to test your baby's hearing before you leave the hospital. If the tests show a hearing loss, your doctor will refer you to a specialist for more testing and possible treatment.

Ask Your Doctor:

Tap the Action button above to select questions to ask your doctor.

  • Are certain foods essential toward the end of pregnancy?
  • How does snoring affect the quality of my sleep?
  • Are newborn screening tests long or painful for babies?
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on July 02, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month, 5th ed.," "Newborn Screening Tests," "Newborn Screening."

American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Guidelines for Perinatal Care, 6th ed."

Vicki Mendiratta, MD, FACOG, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

Sharon Phelan, MD, FACOG, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque.

Sonja R. Kinney, MD, FACOG, associate professor; director, division of obstetrics and gynecology; medical director, Olson Center for Women's Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.

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