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Your Pregnancy at Week 38

This week, your baby is as big as a winter melon.

Explore your pregnancy at Week 38

Week 34
Week 35
Week 36
Week 37
Week 38
Week 39
Week 40
Week 1
Week 2

2 Weeks to go!

The following information was reviewed by Dr. Chor, Michael

At A Glance

Week-38

Your baby's lungs and brain are developed enough to function

Your baby's lungs and brain are already functioning and will continue to grow after they are born.

Swollen feet

Expectant mothers' feet and ankles are likely to be swollen and uncomfortable. Keep an eye on this as a sudden increase in swelling could be a sign of preeclapsia which requires immediate mitigation and monitoring.

Baby Development at 38 Weeks

Fully-Developed

Baby's development is complete

Your baby's organs are fully developed, and his lungs and brain are functioning normally. They are just enjoying their last few moments in the cosy womb before braving the world. 

Fetal-Movement

Baby's activity slows down

The mobility of the baby slows down, and the baby's movement starts to be less forceful, because there is not much room for the baby to move in the womb at the 38th week of pregnancy.

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Your Pregnancy Symptoms at Week 38

Swollen feet

Swollen feet are normal in the last weeks of pregnancy, but don't worry, most women will discharge most of the excess liquid in their body through urination after birth. If you notice a sudden increase in swelling as well as swelling in your hands or face, persistent severe headache, or upper abdominal pain, call your obstetrician right away.

Increased bladder pressure

As the baby's head enters the pelvic cavity, you will feel increased pressure in the bladder, causing more frequent urination.

Colostrum

Your breasts may be producing more colostrum this week, and some women need to use breast pads to absorb leakage.

Fidgeting

At the 38th week of pregnancy, the weight of the stomach has reached its peak. It is almost difficult to find a comfortable position now. It is recommended to lie on the left side with knees bent and a pillow on the thigh.

At 38 weeks, pregnant women will still gain about 450 grams of weight per week. The bladder of pregnant women will feel more and more pressure, and even be flattened, but mothers-to-be need to continue to drink plenty of water to ensure sufficient water in the body .

In addition to ongoing bladder compression, pregnant women may experience an increase in Braxton-hicks/false contractions this week. Braxton-hicks contractions will appear irregularly, and will disappear quickly.

If you have decided to have a caesarean section, it can usually be scheduled for the 38th week of pregnancy, so you will see your baby soon if not already. Congratulations!

Advice from OT&P Obstetricians

An obstetrician or midwife will continue to monitor your health and examine your cervix for signs of thinning and dilation. As your due date approaches, prenatal visits consist of your obstetrician doing internal pelvic exams to determine your baby's position and they may even perform cervical exams to see if your cervix has begun to dilate, soften, or thin.

It is not uncommon to go past your due date, particularly with your first child. If you go a week past your due date, your doctor or midwife may use an electronic fetal monitor to track your baby's heartbeat, or use an ultrasound to watch your baby's movements and check the amount of amniotic fluid.

Tips for 38 Weeks Pregnant


  • Braxton-hicks contractions may be painful, lie down and rest
  • Take advantage of the last alone time doing the things you love
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