39 Weeks Pregnant
- July 15, 2021
- by Melissa Lawrence
IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN… I’m excited for you. I gave birth to my sixth baby at 30 weeks, and my other five (in birth order) during weeks 37 (my first boy), 36 (my second two boys) and 35 (my two youngest girls). In all likelihood, you will give birth at some point during this week or next. A few women will give birth later during weeks 41 and 42 (which is why this series continues to that point). Let’s take a look at your 39th week of pregnancy!
39 Weeks Pregnant: Recurring Symptoms
39 Weeks Pregnant: Common Symptoms
Mucus Plug Passing
You and a bottle of fine wine have something in common: a cork. Called a mucus plug, your cork essentially has the same function as a cork for a bottle of wine: it helps protect your baby from any outside invaders. The loss of your mucus plug at around week 39 indicates that labor is fast approaching. Bear in mind that your mucus plug is thick and string-like in contrast to typical pregnancy discharge.
Pregnancy sure is electrifying, but I didn’t realize that should be taken literally! Lightning crotch occurs because your baby is getting on your nerves — literally. Your baby’s location in your lower pelvis may cause unwanted pressure to be placed on some nerves in your pelvis, causing this sharp lightning crotch pain. Lightning crotch should go away with time or by moving around. Talk with your doctor if this pain is persistent and chronic.
Stages of Fetal Development: Baby Growth & Size at 39 Weeks
At week 39, your baby weighs 7 to 8 pounds and is 19 to 21 inches long, about the size of a yardlong bean. At this stage of your pregnancy, your baby is essentially finished with development and growth! During this week, your baby will add a little more weight and gain a few more brain cells — gotta build up that intelligence! Speaking of brains, by week 39, your baby’s brain is approximately 30% larger than it was only a month previously!
Your baby’s tear ducts are still forming and won’t be complete until after birth. When your baby cries during the first few weeks of life, there will be no accompanying tears! Some things are coming full circle: your baby is growing new skin cells that are replacing old ones — all before entering the real world!
Fun Fact About Pregnancy
More babies are born in September than any other month.
When Is the Right Time to Go to the Hospital for Labor?
During my first pregnancy, as soon as I felt contractions, I called out to my husband and we sprinted (well, I waddled) to the car. But as we would inevitably find out, it’s not a good idea to head to the hospital too early. In my case, having suffered from preterm labor for nearly nine weeks, my labor was progressing quickly. Upon arrival, the doctor examined me and said there was no time for an epidural. Within minutes, I was on the table and pushing. In your case, when you need to head to the hospital will depend upon the frequency of your contractions, your distance from the hospital, the number of prior pregnancies you have experienced, and whether or not you’ve had complications throughout this pregnancy. Below is a guide to review before rushing off to the hospital. If you’re too early, they may send you back home. Talk with your doctor in advance so that you understand what situation he wants you to be in before you head to the hospital.
Your Pregnancy at 39 Weeks: Prenatal Appointments
The following prenatal tests remain available during Week 39 of pregnancy:
Week by Week Pregnancy Food Guide
Quick, Healthy Snack Tip
Salsamole: Combine ½ cup salsa, 2 smashed avocados, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and salt to taste. Enjoy with tortilla chips! (FoodNetwork)
Why Avocados? Avocado toast — what’s more classic than that? Believe it or not, avocados are a superfood, meaning they’re packed with nutrients, including folate, Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin B6, and more! Avocados contain lots of healthy fats — most notably monounsaturated fatty acids —which are great for your heart’s health. Avocados contain more potassium than bananas do!
How Many Weeks in 9 Months?
9 months in weeks equals about 36-40 weeks. By 39 weeks of pregnancy, you can safely consider yourself 9 months pregnant.
Week 39 Pregnancy Checklist
- Check in on your partner’s wellbeing
- Schedule your Week 40 prenatal appointment
- Keep an eye out for the signs of labor
- Do your Kegels and pelvic tilts
- Get lots of rest
- Make sure you’re up to date on your vaccinations
- Create a playlist for labor and compile list of reading material
- What to Expect & What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 5th Edition (2016)
- The Bump
- Baby List
- The Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth (2017)
- Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – Second Edition (2018)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists