What's happening when you're 39 weeks pregnant? It’s week 39, and you’re in the homestretch now. Good news for your very-stretched out belly – and your larger-than-ever baby, since it’s pretty crowded inside there. It helps that your baby’s just about done growing, weighing in at 7 or 8 pounds – or maybe even heavier – and measuring up at 19 to 21 inches. The only thing still growing up a storm at the moment is your little one’s brain, which will continue to develop at a mind-boggling rate for the first three years of your smarty-pants’ life.
Also in development this week are his tear ducts, though they won’t actually produce any tears until several weeks after birth. So while your newborn will definitely be able to communicate his needs by crying – trust me on that – the waterworks won’t start rolling down those cheeks for a while. It’ll be all crocodile tears for your little gator.
And speaking of cheeks, your baby’s are chubbier and more deliciously kissable than they were just a short while ago. His skin now has a protective fat layer covering the blood vessels across his body, and his formerly translucent pink complexion becomes a tad darker as skin pigment starts to develop. No matter what skin color your baby will eventually wear, your little one will be born with a light skin tone until his pigmentation deepens to the color he’s destined to be.
And on top of his sweet little noggin he might be sporting a full head of hair. Or, he might be a cutie cue ball. Or, somewhere in between. But it doesn’t matter much. From head to toe, this just-about-baked baby finally resembles the little person you’ll soon come to know and love.
About video: Wondering what's going on now that you're in the 39th week of pregnancy? Let Heidi Murkoff guide you through this week, tell you what to expect and answer some of those questions you may have!
Did You Know?
Women that give birth, whether vaginally or by c-section, should expect some vaginal discharge in the following week after birth. Officially called lochia, the discharge will resemble a heavy menstrual period, consisting mostly of blood and tissue remaining from the lining of the uterus for the first few days. By the fourth day, if all is well, the discharge will be watery and pinkish in appearance and eventually disappear altogether.