38 Weeks Pregnant

Here's what's happening during Week 38 of your pregnancy.

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Your Growing Baby:

The average newborn has a length of 21 1/2 inches and weighs 7 1/2 pounds. She is fully developed, though still adding connections between neurons in the brain (this continues well after birth). Her nails have been growing and now reach to the ends of her fingers and toes. Her movements are quite restricted by her close quarters.

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Your Growing Belly:

You're probably having a whole lot of back and neck strain, lots of fatigue, and not much relief! You continue to add a pound a week and have a hard time getting around gracefully.

Keep eating small, frequent, nutritious meals, and if you think that your contractions may be the real thing, eat something. The calories will help fortify you for the job at hand.

Tips & To-Do's:

Rethinking "Full Term"

Doctors typically refer to "term" or "full term" as the period from 37 weeks to 41 weeks, but it may be time for a change, according to commentary in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. Babies who are born between 37 weeks and 39 weeks have a higher risk of health problems and delays in reaching developmental milestones. Learn more >>

Things to think about this week

If you plan to breastfeed, read up on techniques and gather resources to have at your finger tips when you come home. Join a local La Leche League group to meet the leader and other moms; you don't want to be a stranger if you need to call them for help. Buy nursing pads and bras.

NEW:  Listen to Our Week-by-Week Podcast All About Your Pregnancy 

Each episode of the new Pregnancy Confidential podcast, hosted by our editors, walks listeners through the physical, emotional and all-round quirks of each week of pregnancy. This is real-talk, girlfriend-to-girlfriend stuff—no hard-to-understand medical information here—taking you through the real feelings of pregnancy so you’re never alone. And it’ll have you chuckling all along the way. All episodes available now!

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