39 Weeks Pregnant

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39 Weeks Pregnant

Postby admin » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:23 am

Your Body at 39 Weeks of Pregnancy

Your pregnancy is now considered to be at term as the baby normally delivers between 38 weeks and 42 weeks. You are no doubt increasingly impatient, not to mention a little apprehensive, about the imminent birth. One or two of the following signs marks the onset of true labor; the commencement of regular uterine contractions that may be painful, the passage of a small amount of bloodstained mucus from the vagina and gushing of amniotic fluid from the vagina (the ‘show’), signifying rupture of the membranes. Labor generally starts within 24 hours of the ‘show’. If labor does not start within 24 hours of your membranes rupturing, your doctor may consider inducing contractions with oxytocin or prostaglandins.

It is not clear why labor starts in the human but it is most likely a combination of your baby, your uterus and the prostaglandins secreted by the membranes may be the result of infection spreading up from the vagina through the cervix. Intercourse may precipitate labor in late pregnancy as semen is rich in prostaglandins, which cause the uterus to contract; however, the uterus must be ready to start contracting in order for this to occur.

Obstetricians sometimes ‘strip the membranes’ while doing a internal examination in order to start labor, as this also releases prostaglandins.

Your Baby at 39 Weeks of Pregnancy

Your baby now measures over 51 cm and weighs around 3.3 kg; however, do remember that babies vary enormously in size, with the normal range extending from 2.5 kg to 4.5 kg. As a rule, boys are slightly heavier than girls by an average of 100 g.
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