At 38 weeks gestation, which is almost 9 months pregnant, it is common for the belly to become hard and there are severe cramps, which are contractions that may still be training ones are already contractions of labor. The difference between them is how often they appear. Learn how to identify contractions.
The baby can be born at any time, but if it is not yet born, the pregnant can take advantage to relax and rest, to ensure that she has enough energy to take care of the newborn.
Fetal development at 38 weeks of gestation
The development of the baby at 38 weeks of gestation is complete, so if the baby is not yet born, it will probably only gain weight from now on. The fat continues to accumulate under the skin and, if the placenta is healthy, the baby continues to grow.
The appearance is that of a newborn baby, but it has a greasy white lacquer that covers the whole body and protects it.
As the space in the uterus recedes, the baby begins to get less space to move around. Even so, the mother should feel the baby move at least 10 times a day, however, if this does not happen, the doctor should be advised.
Size and photos of a 38 week fetus
The size of the fetus at 38 weeks' gestation is approximately 49 cm and the weight is about 3 kg.
Changes to the mother's body at 38 weeks
The main changes in the mothers body at 38 weeks' gestation include fatigue, swelling of the legs and weight gain. At this stage, it is normal for the belly to be hard and there is a strong colic sensation, and what should be done is to observe how long this colic lasts and if it respects a certain rhythm. The contractions are likely to become more and more frequent, and closer and closer to each other.
When contractions occur in a certain pattern of time, every 40 minutes or every 30 minutes, it is recommended to contact the doctor and go to the hospital as the baby's birth time may be near.
If you has not felt any contraction yet, you should not worry, because the baby can wait until the 40 weeks to be born, without any problem.
The mother's belly may also get lower because the baby may fit into the bones of the pelvis, which usually occurs about 15 days before delivery.