38 Weeks Pregnant Signs of Labor

Pregnancy is a long and tedious process of different physiological changes. For example, the size of belly increases till the 38th week of pregnancy and then remains constant. Just before the pregnancy when baby descends to pelvis, the size begins to reduce slightly and the game of watchful waiting begins. Just keep a lookout at the signs of upcoming labor with patience. Some common signs include contractions, breaking of water and losing the mucus plug. Don't panic but if anything unusual happens, pay attention to that and keep your bags ready for the hospital. Read on to find out possible signs of labor in your 38 weeks pregnancy.

What to Expect at 38 Weeks Pregnancy

Believe or not, the body keeps on changeing both inside and outside till the very end—delivery. When you proceed to the 38th week of pregnancy, the time of labor is near. You can expect more mucus discharge. While others may face more back pain and pelvic pressure, which can be relieved by massages and belts.Swelling is also common in later pregnant weeks but if there is persistent pain in abdomen or head, you should consult your doctor immediately. In addition, monitor your blood pressure regularly. Otherwise, hypertension triggered by pregnancy can keep the placenta from getting adequate blood, food and oxygen for baby.

How is your baby doing? In 38 weeks, the baby's head is on your pelvic bone, while the max length of your baby can be 20 inches with an average of 7 pounds weight. And their organs are matured and functional themselves.In 38th week of pregnancy, formation of the tear duct begins. The baby starts reacting on different sounds; s/he also clenches fists and prepares to be born.

38 Weeks Pregnant Signs of Labor

As for the initial signs of labor may differ in every woman but there are some common signs of labor that you may experience in 38 weeks pregnant.

1. Contractions

At first, make sure that you are not experiencing Braxton hick's contractions (these uterine contractions make your uterus ready for the labor with short, tightening yet painless spasms). The actual contractions are weak in the beginning (just like pain of periods) but then increase in intensity and frequency.

As one of the common 38 weeks pregnant signs of labor, when you have contractions, just let your doctors know about your feelings but there is no need to rush to the hospital. You can have Paracetamol with suggested dosefor ease.

You are near the labor when you regularly experience at least 3 times of 1-min lasting contractions within 10 mins. And you may feel difficulty in talking when they become intense and it's time for hospital.

2. Bloody Show

It's pink and looks like jelly that can appear as a blob or may come in few pieces signaling that the labor is just around the corner. You may have brownish mucus or blood-tinged discharge. There can be some mucus with blood in it but if there's more bleeding, then you need to contact your doctor.

3. Water Breaking

Another one of the 38 weeks pregnant signs of labor is the water break. It could come as amniotic fluid pouring out or just a trickle, call your midwife in such a situation.

4. Diarrhea

You may also experience diarrhea just before giving birth to the baby. This is due to the same hormones that help contracting your uterus. To take care of this, drink more water and limit the intake of milk and drinks having sugar as they worsen the diarrhea.Bland foods like rice help in keeping the energy levels up.

5. Sudden Energy Burst

As one of the 38 weeks pregnant signs of labor, you may experience sudden energy spurt also known as nesting instinct. It may urge you to clean up your kitchen or do the undone dishes. It is always a pleasant surprise because just a day before, getting up from sofa was not less than an activity so try making the best of it. Consume this energy bust by organizing the baby's closet or sorting out your house or you may set up welcome stations for your new baby in home.

6. Lightening

Lightening is the phase when your baby's head is dropped into your pelvis for labor. This can make you breathe easily because the baby's head weight is no longer on there to press your diaphragm.

7. Other Signs

You may also experience some other 38 weeks pregnant signs of labor, like disrupted sleep time, consistent abdominal pain or lower back pain, or a too much emotional period.

When to Call a Doctor or Midwife

It is always recommended to discuss with your midwife/doctor about what to do at the start of labor but if you still want to talk, don't feel embarrassed as they are used to provide guidance  anytime. The time you must ask for your doctor's recommendation include:

  • On leaking of amniotic fluids, known as water breaking.
  • There are movements more than usual.
  • Your vagina is bleeding.
  • You feel extreme headache, fever, and abdominal pain or vision changes.

38 Weeks Pregnant But No Signs of Labor, Why?

With all the above 38 weeks pregnant signs of labor, some have the concern that no sign is present yet. Can it be something serious? Usually, it is ok for that. The normal range of mature pregnancy is between 38 and 40 weeks of pregnancy but sometimes it can vary, and your due date can be off by 14 days or more. Our bodies don't follow the typical calculated timetable, which sometimes causes delay in the parturition.

The due date is calculated on the basis of each cycle of 28 days and with the assumption that ovulation occurs on the 14th day for every cycle. After identifying the last menstrual period's first day, you due dates can be generally estimated. But the menstrual cycle length may vary, and the baby's stay in womb may increase as well. Ultrasound of early first trimester also identifies the due dates.

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization pregnancies) are those in which the approximate fertilization time is known. Mothers giving birth for the first time can deliver in between 41+0 weeks and 287 days on average, and women can go into labor is 2 weeks before or after the due date. So don't take it as a due date but a due month. Don't panic and try to spend time with your loved ones, take enough naps and meals you love. Make yourself comfortable because after having the baby it will get difficult for you to take out time for yourself.

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