Development – Week 38

Week 38 –  Late preparation for birth!

Congratulations on entering week 39th, some women deliver by now without any complications. Since you are on this page, guessing you are in your 38th week of pregnancy. Initially, it was considered that once the mother reached 37th or 38th-week mark she was in “full term”. But, as per the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG), babies born in between week 39th and 40th are much better when compared to babies born during the weeks 37 and 38. This week, the baby weighs 3500 grams and is the size of a leek (hara pyaaz). The baby has two more weeks to be considered as full term. The longer the baby is in the womb, the more mature the lungs and brain get.

So, let’s summarize the main events that you will see in this week:

As we have been seeing in the previous weeks, the brain and nervous system development are continually happening within the womb. The brain now continues its role in regulating bodily functions like breathing, circulation, excretion, and digestion

The baby’s major organs are fully mature. Once the little one is born, the organs take up their respective roles.

Lungs are the last organs to develop and they start functioning immediately after birth (as there is no air in the womb for the baby to practice breathing). Nevertheless, the lungs keep producing large amounts of surfactant (which prevents the sticking of the layers of the lungs).

The skin tone is somewhat closer to the coloration of the little one at birth

Your baby will start moving down your pelvis, so his head can engage to be ready for birth (babies to engage between weeks 32 and 36)

Developmental Milestones Summary:

By the 38th week, the baby is exactly as what he/she should be at birth. All the organs are fully mature

 Ultrasound findings:

The doctor sees a fully developed baby in the ultrasound. The level of engagement is assessed now.

Fetal Size:

The baby now measures 19 ½ – 20 inches from crown to rump (CRL).

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