At 39 weeks pregnant, you should be watching for signs of labor. False labor contractions, which may be as painful and as strong as labor contractions, may begin this week. False labor contractions can get better if you change positions.
Braxton Hicks contractions may become more pronounced. These contractions may be as painful and strong as true labor contractions but do not become regular and do not increase in frequency as true contractions do.
Your water may break at any time. Some women experience a large gush of water and some feel a steady trickle when their water breaks. Only 10 percent of all women have their water break on its own. If you think your water has broken or you are experiencing regular contractions, contact your doctor immediately.
Most of the pregnancy discomforts you may be feeling by now have appeared in earlier weeks, such as hemorrhoids, constipation, increased urination, swelling, varicose veins, and heartburn and indigestion.
Almost all will disappear with delivery of your baby.
By the time you are 39 weeks pregnant, your baby is likely between 19.5 and 21.5 inches long from head to toe and may weigh around 7 pounds.
While your baby has very little room to move around if you notice absence of movement completely, call your doctor or midwife immediately.
During week 39 of pregnancy, the placenta will continue to supply your baby with antibodies. These antibodies will help your baby fight infection the first 6 months to 12 months of life. The umbilical cord that carried nutrients from the placenta to your baby is now 20 inches long and half an inch thick.
By now your baby's arm and leg muscles are quite strong. All of your baby's organs are fully functional. Your baby's lungs are getting stronger in preparation for life outside the womb.