Development – Week 39

Week 39 –  Ready to be born!

Week 39! The baby is now considered to be in “full term”. Studies show that when babies are ready to be born, a chemical signal of androgens is then sent to the placenta, causing an increase in the production of estrogen – this is how you go into labour, all courtesy of your baby growing inside. If so, it’s proof of the old saying that “only a baby knows when it’s ready to be born. This week, the baby weighs 3500 grams and is the size of a leek (hara pyaaz) or a mini-watermelon. The baby has one more week 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. It may be time for your delivery soon. Your little one is slowly making its way down the birth canal.

Developmental Milestones Summary:

By the 39th week, the baby is ready to be born! All the organs start functioning immediately after birth.

 Ultrasound findings:

The baby is fully developed inside the uterus when you see the ultrasound. Like the last week, the level of engaging is assessed now, the baby may pop-out any moment now.

Fetal Size:

The baby now measures 19 – 23 inches from crown to rump (CRL).

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