39 Weeks Pregnant
All About You
Many women lose their mucus plug a week or two before delivery (though for others it doesn’t happen until right before delivery). If the mucus is pink or streaked with blood, it is known as the “bloody show” and usually means labor will begin within the next day.
One week to go—although doctors already consider you full-term, so you could have your baby anytime. With your uterus stretched tight to hold your full-sized baby, he has little room to move around. With the lack of space, you may notice your baby isn’t kicking as much. Your little one isn’t the only one who’s scrunched—your internal organs have less room too. Breathing will become more labored as your lungs have less space, and your stomach has less room too, so you should expect to eat several smaller meals throughout the day.
Your First Meeting with Baby:
You’ve probably been thinking—even dreaming—about meeting your baby. If you’re picturing the pudgy, perfect-faced babies that adorn books and popular magazines, you may be surprised at your newborn’s appearance. Childbirth isn’t just a workout for you; it’s strenuous for your baby too. His appearance will most likely be a reflection of his time in the cramped birth canal.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Your baby’s face: After a tight squeeze through the cervix, your baby’s face may be swollen. You may even notice bruising on her face and other parts of her body.
- Your baby’s head: Your baby’s malleable skull bones shift position to make it possible for him to pass through the birth canal. This may result in a temporarily disfigured head, such as a “cone-head,” but the skull bones will go back into place, giving your baby a more normal head shape in a week or two.
Your baby’s skin: Inside your uterus, your baby lived in the amniotic sac surrounded by fluid. To protect your unborn baby’s delicate skin within her watery home, her body was covered with a coating, called vernix. This cheesy-looking coating goes away as your baby’s due date draws closer, though you may notice bits of it in your baby’s skin folds. If your baby is born premature, she’ll have more of this coating left on her body.
Your baby’s hair: Earlier in your unborn baby’s development, soft tiny hairs covered her body and acted as an anchor for her skin to form. As your baby draws nearer her delivery day, these hairs downy begin to disappear, though you may find a few on your newborn.
Your baby will also have hair on her head. The amount of hair babies have varies, but the hair your baby has at birth will look very different from her hair once she gets just a few weeks older. Don’t count on your baby having dark hair or light hair just because that was her hair color at birth.
- Your baby’s eyes: While your baby’s eye color may be one color at birth, that doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way. Baby’s true eye color won’t appear for at least two months, sometimes up to six months of age, according to the University of Michigan Health System. If you’re trying to figure out your baby’s true eye color, it may not be as easy as looking at your own and your partner’s. Research from the Oregon State University shows that while brown is still a dominant eye color, there are several genetic factors that go into creating your baby’s unique eye color.
No matter what your baby looks like right after birth, you’ll know he’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. And just like it will take you a few days to recover from delivery, it will take your baby a few days to recover, too!
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