Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 38
How big is my baby?
Fetal size: crown-rump 35 cm (14 inches), crown-toe 47cm (21 inches). Fetal weight: 3.1 kg (6.8 pounds).
What pregnancy symptoms will I be experiencing?
Although many women don't get any bigger during the last few weeks of pregnancy, you may still grow a little bit. By now you could be feeling very uncomfortable and wanting to get the baby out!
You should have an antenatal card on which your health care professional records notes during your antenatal visits. Each visit should have an entry. You will need to take this card with you when you go to hospital, so remember to pack it in your hospital bag.
In the past, having an enema was a routine part of early labour. These days it is probably not a routine procedure at your hospital, and if you think you would like one, you will probably need to ask. An enema during early labour may help if your bowels are full and you are unable to go to the toilet in the onset of labour. If you are unable to go to the toilet before or during labour, you may lose whatever is in your rectum when the baby's head comes through the birth canal. An enema before birth may help to make you more comfortable during labour and birth, and will minimise the possibility of contamination from faeces during birth. If you have an episiotomy, you may also be more comfortable if you don't have to empty your bowels too soon after birth. The choice is entirely up to you!
At this stage of your pregnancy you will be feeling quite uncomfortable. A common complaint around this time of pregnancy is the feeling that the baby might fall out. This feeling occurs because the baby has moved lower into the birth canal and you will feel the pressure associated with this move. You probably have nothing to worry about, but if you need reassurance that everything is OK, see your health care professional.
You may also experience pins and needles, numbness or tingling in the pelvis. This is also a result of the added pressure of your baby, and is a common complaint at this time. Again, if you are at all concerned, see your health care practitioner for reassurance.
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