Pregnancy week by week: Week 39

Pregnancy week by week: Week 39

Your due date is now only a week away! Exciting, isn’t it? You’re on the home stretch, and the waiting game is almost over! There’s not much to do but pass the time and prepare for birth as best you can.

How much does your baby weigh?

This week, your baby will grow to measure around 51 centimetres from head to toe and weigh approximately 3600 grams. And we do say approximately, since all babies grow differently, and some are born weighing in at 4000+ grams!

Don’t be scared though; your body is built for this, and your baby’s body is extremely soft and flexible to allow for easy passage through the birth canal.

The waiting game

Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a waiting game now; you could potentially go into delivery any day, so it makes it a bit difficult to plan anything. Also, you probably don’t have a lot of energy to do anything or go anywhere; our best advice for this time is to relax as much as you can. Your body is going to need all the energy you can give it.

If you don’t want to nap on the couch all day long, we have an idea of how to pass the time: You can practice different positions for labor and delivery, so you know just what to do when the time comes!

Positions for labor

Once your contractions start, there are different positions you can use to ease the pain and manage them. Many women prefer to walk around or stay active to manage their contractions. Many experts now believe that standing and walking are good for delivery since gravity will work in your favour to position the baby.

  • Hip rocking. Stand facing a wall a little more than an arm’s length away. Place your hands on the wall at shoulder-width. Spread your legs slightly apart, lean against the wall and rock your hips gently up and down.
  • Supported by a partner. Stand before your partner or birth support partner and put your arms over their shoulders like a loose hug. Take a step back and lean on your partner’s shoulders. Your partner should support you by extending their arms underneath yours and holding onto your back.
  • Squatting in front of a chair. Have your partner sit in a chair. Place yourself in front of the chair in-between their legs with your back to the chair. Place your arms over your partner's knees for support. Your partner can massage your back and neck while you have contractions.
  • Bouncing on a fitness ball. In week 31, we mentioned the benefits of getting a fitness ball, including using it during labor. You can sit on the ball with your legs spread and feet planted on the ground and bounce gently up and down; this movement should help you manage your contractions but also help make room for your baby. You can also kneel in front of the ball and lean your torso and arms against the ball, stretching your back – almost like the position where you supported yourself against a partner.
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