illustration of developing human baby at 38 weeks

38 weeks pregnant

For information about 38 weeks in a twin or multiple pregnancy, tap here.

This week’s most exciting news? The biggest symptoms to look for at this point aren’t pregnancy symptoms, but signs of labor! If you experience any of the big ones — like your water breaking, regular and painful contractions, or other signs like vaginal bleeding — you should notify your healthcare provider. Baby will be snuggling in your arms soon! 

How’s Baby?

Although Baby’s eyes have color by now, this might not be their final one, as your little one’s irises could continue to gain pigment during infancy, causing their eyes to turn a bit darker. The melanin that colors Baby’s eyes is actually the exact same color pigment whether they end up with blue, green or brown eyes, it’s just a question of how much melanin is there. That’s why so many babies are born with blue eyes — blue is the color that shows up with the least melanin, and babies don’t start with as much melanin as they end up with. Baby could also have up to an inch of hair, though similar to eye color, the hue of their hair could change after they’re born.

Baby could now be over 7 pounds and 19 ½ inches tall — about the size of a spaghetti squash — although genetics, the amount of time spent in the womb, the health of the pregnancy, and their sex make these estimated sizes nothing more than educated guesses at this point. Male babies are generally born larger than female babies, though female babies will catch up in height and weight early in childhood. Baby keeps producing more and more surfactant, the substance that prevents the air sacs in the lungs from collapsing. And at this point, all of their other organs are functioning on their own!

What's new with you?

There’s not much left to do now but wait! Baby is almost here — in fact, it could be any day now! At this point, if you start experiencing any nausea, blurred vision, severe abdominal pain, or a persistent headache, let your healthcare provider know — this could be a sign of preeclampsia, which can be very dangerous, so they should see you immediately. 

If you’ll be returning to work shortly after your baby is born, it’s not too early to start thinking about who is going to care for Baby during the day while you’re away. And if you plan on enrolling Baby in childcare, it’s also a good idea to look into when the childcare centers you prefer have enrollment space for your little one, even if your baby’s first day feels very far away at this point. Many childcare centers have limits to the number of children they enroll at any time, so it usually requires some planning ahead. 

But more immediately, you should also start to figure out your birth plan if you haven’t yet and ask your provider any final decisions you have about labor and delivery. You’ll get to meet Baby before you know it!

Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
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