Your Baby ’s systems have matured enough to sustain life outside your body. Meanwhile, you may start seeing thick mucus discharge with stains of blood.
Your Baby ’s development
At this stage, Your Baby weighs 2.6 kg and measures 48cm — the size of a durian. The little one is now considered to be near-term since the baby is mature enough to maintain life after birth. Now, it’s basically a matter of when your baby wants to come out.
Ready to breathe: The lungs are getting ready to breathe air as Your Baby continues practicing with amniotic fluid.
Position: Already in the head-down position, Your Baby might start descending further down into your pelvis.
The grasp reflex: Your Baby has already developed strong reflexes, including the grasp reflex. So, your little one would easily grasp any object placed on the palm.
The thyroid hormone: Thyroxine, a hormone that helps regulate Your Baby ’s metabolism and brain development, has now reached the adult level.
The first poo: Your Baby ’s gut now contains meconium, the first dark-greenish poo which will pass within 24 hours of birth.
With labor approaching very fast, your cervix may have started getting thinner and dilating, but you can’t feel it anyway. During your next appointment, your doctor will examine your cervix to know the extent of thinning so as to estimate the onset of labor.
Mucus discharge: As your cervix gets thinned out, you may start seeing mucus discharge, which may be blood-stained, indicating the rupture of blood vessels in your cervix as your body gets ready for childbirth.
What you can do
You can start making plans about breastfeeding and bottle feeding and get the equipment and tools to help you.
Breast milk in bottles: Your breast milk costs nothing and comes with the optimal balance of nutrients Your Baby needs. It also contains antibodies to help protect your child from allergies and illness, which formulas don’t have. If you can’t breastfeed your child all the time, you may consider bumping your breast milk and store it in a freezer, from where you gradually feed Your Baby with a bottle.
Problems with breastfeeding: If you experience any problems with breastfeeding, it’s important to ask for help from your midwife, doctor or a breastfeeding specialist as soon as possible.
- The Endowment of Human Development (http://www.ehd.org/)
- Pregnancy Week 37, American Pregnancy Association (https://americanpregnancy.org/week-by-week/37-weeks-pregnant/)
- Breast-Feeding vs. Formula-Feeding: What's Best?, Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/breast-feeding/art-20047898)
- Benefits of Breastfeeding, NHS (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/benefits-breastfeeding/)
- Breastfeeding Problems, NHS (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/problems-breastfeeding/)
- Failure to pass meconium: Diagnosis neonatal intestinal obstruction (https://www.aafp.org/afp/1999/1101/p2043.html. )
- Pregnancy -37 to 40 weeks (https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/pregnancy-37-to-40-weeks)
- Fetal development: The 3rd trimester, Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/fetal-development/art-20045997)