Prenatal Visit Week 39

Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on December 20, 2020

You're almost there -- and probably very ready to have your baby! This will be one of your last pregnancy well-visits. Your doctor will make sure that you're prepared for labor, delivery, and motherhood. They will also check your progress and answer any questions.

What You Can Expect:

Your doctor will tell you your Group B Streptococcus (GBS) status, which you may need to know in the hospital.

Your doctor will ask if you have any questions about:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Choosing an appropriate birth control method
  • Recognizing symptoms of postpartum depression

As with other visits, your doctor will:

  • 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 will want you to know what to expect after the birth. Be prepared to discuss:

  • Lochia. For several weeks after the birth, women have a vaginal discharge called lochia. Initially, it's heavier than menstrual flow, with a similar consistency. Gradually, the flow slows and the color lightens.
  • Recovery from a vaginal birth. Your vaginal area will be swollen for a few days. Your doctor will recommend ice packs at first, then warm baths, for relief. You also may receive pain medication.
  • Recovery from cesarean section. If you have a C-section, your incision may hurt for a few weeks, so you'll receive pain medication. Your doctor will remind you to avoid heavy lifting while your body heals from surgery. This includes lifting your baby in a car seat, so your partner or someone else will have to do it for you until you heal.
  • Your postpartum visit. Your doctor will examine you again 6 weeks after the birth. They may recommend that you wait until after this appointment before having sex again.

Ask Your Doctor:

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

  • What circumstances require a C-section?
  • Will I have lochia after a C-section?
  • What is operative delivery and when is it done?
  • What is an episiotomy and will I need one?
  • Will I be able to sit comfortably after a vaginal birth?
  • What should I do to recover after delivery?
  • How soon should I expect to get my period again?

Show Sources


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

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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