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38 Weeks’ Gestation of Pregnancy: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

About

At 38 weeks’ gestation, the baby gets plumped up and weighs around 6.8 pounds. Length of the baby is almost 19.5 inches. She/he develops a firm grasp. Her/his organs become matured and she/he is ready for life outside the womb.

- Not self-treatable
- Usually self-diagnosable
- Lab tests or imaging are required
- Short term: resolves within days to weeks; the baby is ready to be born

High risk of jaundice: Babies born before 38 weeks are more likely to suffer from jaundice

Baby’s brain, lung, and liver development move right along in the last few weeks inside the womb. The baby also starts to shed some of its vernix (white cheese-like layer on the skin of baby) and lanugo (fine hair that covers the skin) into the fluid. The baby also tends to swallow some of that fluid and it becomes her first poop.

Symptoms

Self-diagnosable:
● Braxton Hicks contractions: Pregnancy cramps or belly contractions
● Trouble sleeping due to anxiousness or aches/pains
● Increased vaginal discharge: Globs of thick mucus-like substance may increase
● Itchy belly
● Nipple discharge and frequency of kicks increases

People may experience: Swollen feet and ankles
Also common: Anxiety and fear

Signs of labor: Mucus plug and/or bloody show, diarrhea, nausea, contractions, back pain, water-breaking

Treatment

Tests: Ultrasounds and imaging are done by the doctors to test for the proper growth, development, and movement of the baby.

Self-care: Keep drinking plenty of water and liquids to stay hydrated, try different labor positions, schedule a 39-week prenatal visit, try to control anxiety, and sleep on your side.

Medicines: Take medicines, if any, at a regular and proper time.

Specialists: For further concern, consult a gynecologist. At mfine, you will receive a holistic treatment plan for yourself as well as your baby’s optimum health.

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