39 Weeks Pregnant

Week 39 photo
length ~ 20 in  |  50 cm     weight ~ 7 lbs  |  3.1 kg   /   I'm almost done bakin'!

Fetal development in week 39

Your rocket-baby may have already launched, but for those of you still waiting for the signal, it's just a matter of time before this entire situation gets rollin'!

You're all ready to have your sweet little bun's first birthday party, but are you prepared for their inability to communicate with anything other than crying?

Infants cry for several simple reasons, which any attentive mother can immediately recognize. Crying communicates that your infant is unhappy, scared, tense, frustrated, hungry, or uncomfortable and/or in pain.

Without language, an infant can only cry in order to let you know what negative feelings they're experiencing.

Take home-message: your infant's cries are always meaningful and should be attended to, if only by picking them up to let them know mama's here.

Even after your toddler learns to speak, whenever they're sick, hurting, frustrated, or otherwise being challenged beyond their developmental capacity, reverting to their first form of communication - crying, will be the normal response and nothing to penalize them for.

In the meantime, your tiny new infant will need very little beyond the strength and warmth of their mother's arms holding them... and of course, your life-giving immunity-boosting breast milk.

And how's mom doing?

While you're in your antsy pre-birth limbo monitoring all your symptoms and feeling the size of an international airport, try to take some time to reflect on the world into which your highly sensitive, helpless and vulnerable infant will be born.

If you've got the nursery finished and you're all stocked up on newborn diapers, blankets, and onesies, you've finished the easy part. Soon, the real work of parenting will have you newly in love and sleep-deprived all at once.

In general, the first is the worst - the first month of breastfeeding and sleep deprivation, the first year of diapers, crying and immobility... as you get to know your child and your relationship deepens, you'll both grow together to a less sleep-deprived existence. The more support you have during the first months of your child's life, the better.

Thanks to breastfeeding increasing post-partum oxytocin (the love hormone), most women naturally delve into the nurturing behaviors of motherhood effortlessly, demonstrating an impressive capacity for loving personal sacrifice and patience for the sake of their tiny helpless babe.

That doesn't mean it's easy - it's not. Newborns are tiny sleep-destroying monkeys, but you've got mother nature on your side if you breastfeed.

Did You Know?

Women that give birth, whether vaginally or by c-section, should expect some vaginal discharge in the following week after birth. Officially called lochia, the discharge will resemble a heavy menstrual period, consisting mostly of blood and tissue remaining from the lining of the uterus for the first few days. By the fourth day, if all is well, the discharge will be watery and pinkish in appearance and eventually disappear altogether.

Pregnancy Psycho-Meter

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Week 39 cartoon

Sarcastic Journalist ?

Tweak a little here and voila: Insta-baby!

Just like there are old wives tales for determining the gender of the baby, there are tales for how to get labor started. If you’ve made it to 39 weeks and haven’t had a baby yet, expect to start hearing them soon.

For some reason, the thought of an impending birth makes women think they have the right to tell you what to do to get things moving. I can’t tell you how many times someone called me, insisting that their aunt drank castor oil before going into labor.

So, let me get this straight…you want me to have the runs?

Then there’s the whole “nipple stimulation” thing. I had a friend that pumped her b***s one night and then went into labor a few hours later. So, when it was time for me to have my first child, out came the breast pump. I put it to the b**b and pumped. Nothing happened. I pumped some more. I tweaked. I tweaked the right, then the left, then both. I tweaked up and then pumped down.

Still, nothing happened. I wanted to cry. I probably really did cry. The deal is this: I was scared to have a baby, but I was so tired of being pregnant that I would do anything to get it over with. But, when I actually went through with trying to start having the baby, nothing worked.

A lady I had just met asked me if I had tried sex. When is it acceptable to meet someone and say “So, have you humped your husband recently?”

NO.

I looked at her and rolled my eyes, stating that the carnal act would have to wait until a human being had exited my body. I don’t know about you, but getting it on isn’t very fun when a little person’s head is firmly rammed into your crotch.