Third Trimester 1stTrimester     2ndTrimester

Previous
Day

38 WEEKS, 4 DAYS

10 days to go...

Next
Day
|
ultrasound of human fetus 38 weeks and 4 days

Your baby today

Your baby's neck muscles have strengthened, so the head can be held well away from the chest wall. Once delivered though, the buoyancy provided by the amniotic fluid will be lost and you will need to support your baby's head at all times while holding him.

Could your baby be dreaming already? A lot of his movements are occurring when he's fast asleep.

Your baby has been practicing breathing since the 10th week of pregnancy but now the pattern has changed from short practice bursts lasting 10 seconds or so, to a regular rhythmic breathing pattern of approximately 40 breaths per minute, just as the baby will breathe after birth.

Eye movements have also matured with periods of rapid eye movement (REM) lasting for just over 25 minutes at a time and rest periods lasting just under 25 minutes. REM sleep is closely coupled with periods of increased activity and a faster heart rate. So, just because your baby is moving it doesn't always mean that he's awake.

Although your baby cannot stretch out as freely as before, movements of at least 10 times a day should continue in the same familiar pattern and are a reassuring sign of a healthy baby.

Focus On... Nutrition

Fuel for labor

Most hospitals don't allow women in labor to eat or drink, because if you need general anesthesia, there's a risk of aspiration. But in 2008, the American College of Nurse-Midwives issued a clinical bulletin stating that allowing a woman in labor to eat or drink provides her with hydration, nutrition, comfort, and can even reduce stress. Ask your doctor if you can eat, and if so, what. A few suggestions: Choose something light, such as soup or broth, popsicles, applesauce, or ice chips-which you can chomp on even if you're not allowed food. And your partner should snack to keep his strength.

Pregnant woman drinking water

Ask your doctor if you can drink or eat during labor. Drinking will keep you hydrated while your body is working hard.

Ask A... Doctor

What is "stripping the membranes" and could I have this instead of being induced if I end up being overdue?

Depending on your health and the baby's condition, and many other factors (for example, you're more than 42 weeks along, you have high blood pressure, you have an infection), your doctor may induce labor. There are many ways to do this, including stripping the membranes. With a gloved finger, your doctor checks your cervix and sweeps her finger over the membranes that connect the amniotic sac and the uterine wall. The goal of this is to stimulate the release of hormones that may start labor contractions. Although this is likely to be an uncomfortable procedure, it should not cause you actual pain; you will also experience a mucus/bloodstained "bloody show" (see The "bloody show")-following stripping of the membranes, which is quite normal.

The procedure can be done at your doctor's office or in the hospital (see Induction of Labor). Your doctor will advise you closer to the time.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

Name of the Day

Quick Polls

Q: If money wasn't a factor, would you be a stay-at-home mom?

Yes

No

View Results

highlights

Create Your Baby Registry with Target
Do you have everything you need to care for your new bundle of joy? Create your Target baby registry today!

6 Tips to Help Your Marriage Survive a New Baby
When the going gets tough, follow these tips to help your marriage during the stressful newborn months.

Where Should Newborns Sleep? Comparing Bassinets, Cradles & More
Where will your bundle of joy sleep when she comes home? Get shopping and safety tips for choosing a bassinet, play yard, or other crib alternative that will fit in your bedroom, per AAP guidelines.

Top 100 Baby Names of 2015
Want to see which baby girl names and boy names are hot in the U.S. right now? Check out these lists from the S.S.A., and click on the names to see their meanings!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

© 2000-2016  Sandbox Networks, Inc. All Rights Reserved.