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39 weeks pregnant: What to expect

Your baby at 39 weeks pregnant

Your baby is the size of a mini watermelon (length: 19-19.9”; weight: 3.3kg).

Hormone helpers. Your baby’s endocrine system will secrete more stress hormones during birth than at any other time in life. Once he or she is out of the uterus, those hormones will help manage her bodily systems without the help of your placenta. These tremendous changes demand lots of effort and energy, but your little one will be ready.

First baby breaths. Your baby's lungs continue to develop right up until she's born. The lungs carry on manufacturing surfactant to keep the air sacs from sticking together when baby takes that first breath.

Your pregnancy at 39 weeks

True or false. If you have contractions that are irregular and go away when you change position or walk around, you are probably experiencing false labour. However, false labour can turn into real labour in a matter of minutes. Time your contractions carefully. Once they're at regular intervals and occurring five minutes apart for at least an hour, call the labour ward. If your water breaks, it’s go time!

The pain domain. You have many options when it comes to medications. Some take the edge off, while others aim to block as much discomfort as possible. You may want to go natural with breathing exercises.

Did you know? Did you realise that your blood circulating through the placenta shares your antibodies with baby to help fight infections after birth? These antibodies are another benefit of baby staying in your uterus as long as possible. And if you breastfeed, your milk will provide additional antibodies.

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