Pregnancy Week By Week

What to Expect in Week 38 of Your Pregnancy

Thirty-Eighth Week of Pregnancy: Week by Week

Third Trimester27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

An expectant mother has stepped in 38th week of pregnancy and is now well advanced in her ninth month. Babies born during this week have excellent chances of survival without unnecessary complications.


What to Expect When 38 Weeks Pregnant

One positive thing that occurs in 38th week of pregnancy is that symptoms like heartburn and indigestion eases away because a baby drops lower in pelvic area. This allows more internal space and lungs are now able to stretch and this provides relief to symptoms like breathlessness and pain in chest.

One adverse effect is that pressure doubles on a bladder and it results in an increase in frequency of urination. It can cause urine leakage at time of laughing and sneezing
Weight gain is no longer prominent and breasts continue to leak colostrums. Vagina also starts effacing and dilating and this is because it is preparing for a baby’s birth.

Your Baby at 38 Weeks

  • Development of nervous system and brain continues within a mother’s womb and brain now takes charge of functions like digestion, breathing and circulation
  • All major organs are fully ready and mature to perform their functions once a baby is born. Lungs start functioning only when a baby comes out in this world as it is impossible to practice breathing in and out without air in womb. Meanwhile in 38th week they continue producing surfactant.
  • Digestive system in 38th week of pregnancy is active and it produces meconium that is the first bowel movement of a baby.
  • Layer of fat continues to grow underneath a baby and this will enable controlling of body temperature after child-birth. Color of his/her skin also is now a bit similar to the one he will have after birth.
  • It is difficult to decide color of a baby’s eyes just after his birth as irises often gain pigment after birth
  • Pregnancy at 38 weeks finds a baby at 49.78 cm or 19.6 inches in length and he weighs nearly 3.17 kg or 7 pounds.

Pregnancy Symptoms at 38 Weeks of Pregnancy

  • Numbness
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Varicose veins
  • Headache
  • Stretch marks
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling
  • Leg cramps
  • Pain in Round ligaments, tailbone, back, joints and pelvic area

Most Recommended Link: 30 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms and Ultrasound

38 Weeks Pregnant Signs of Labor

Labor pains can start in 38th week of pregnancy as a woman is quite close to her due date. Following are some important signs of labor-

  • Having at least 5 or more than 5 contractions every hour
  • Spotting or bleeding
  • An increase in vaginal discharge
  • Extra pressure in pelvis area or in lower abdomen
  • Menstrual-like cramps
  • Throbbing pain in lower back. It can be constant or may also come and go frequently
  • Watery discharge in excess
  • Nausea

Pictures of 38 Weeks Pregnancy Ultrasound

Ultrasounds are not necessary in 38th week of pregnancy until and unless a doctor suspects a breech birth and he needs to check position of a baby. If ECV is required, then some doctors prefer Ultrasound so that they may keep an eye while trying to change his position in womb.


This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Stephanie McClane About Author

Stephanie McClane is a mother of three and enjoys sharing the knowledge she gathered throughout her pregnancies. After approaching her last two pregnancies from a more holistic prespective and having two natural births, she was inspired to share her experiences with other moms-to-be.

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