Week 38 of Pregnancy - FamilyEducation

Third Trimester

Your 38th Week

Even if you have enjoyed your pregnancy, you may be longing for it to be over.
The baby is nearly ready, you are more than ready, so when is the birth going to happen? Probably not yet-especially if this is your first pregnancy. For another week or so, the uterus is still the best place for your baby while the finishing touches to her development take place. If you have other children, you can tell them that their new brother or sister won't keep everyone waiting much longer.
1. Parts of the skeleton, particularly the long bones of the arms and legs, have hardened, a process known as ossification.
2. The hands may be curled into fists, grasping the umbilical cord, or free-floating with fingers outstretched. The grasp reflex is very strong.
3. The head may now be fully engaged. At this stage there are several normal variations in position and the direction in which the baby is facing.
4. At 38 weeks the average crown to heel length is 18.6 in (46.2 cm) and the average weight is 5.8 lb (2.6 kg).
5. The placenta has reached its full size and is spread out like a plate. It will continue to function for the full duration of the pregnancy.
Parts of the skeleton, particularly the long bones of the arms and legsThe hands may be curled into fistsThe head may now be fully engaged.At 38 weeks the average crown to heel length is 18.6 inThe placenta has reached its full size

Pregnancy Day by Day

By Consultant Editor, Paula Amato, MD

Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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