What to expect

What’s happening to my baby?

At week 38, your baby continues to refine all its organs and systems and practice its reflexes for life in the outside world. There are no more major milestones of development as your baby is essentially ready for birth. Even your baby’s hair is fully grown and may be up to an inch long.

An average baby’s weight is over 3kg now and most babies are around 50cm from head to toe. Height and weight are a combination of genetic factors as well as your nutritional intake over the duration of the pregnancy.

What’s happening to me?

At about 1kg, the mature placenta takes up a significant proportion of your baby’s total weight. It is now processing around 12 litres of blood per hour. The placenta will be passed up to 30 minutes after your baby is born.

You may notice that your Braxton Hicks contractions are increasing and your breasts are leaking more frequently now.

Although you may have stopped working already, you might be planning ahead for when you’ll return to employment. Consider family members, friends and even childcare to help you manage the transition back to work.