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This is the finish line. You are here and you’ve made it. It has been a long 38 weeks of a journey, taking you from a woman who has discovered her pregnancy, to someone who is on the verge to be a mother to multiples, looking up to her as their birth-giver. The barrage of emotions that would be coming your way this week would be inexplicable. If you’re lagging behind in any preparations for your hospital visit or taking care of home activities, this is your last chance. But if you’re done with all of it, there’s nothing to do but wait patiently and let your babies do their thing. Any sign of a cramp could get you rushing to the hospital bag and your car, but do take things gradually and safely this week, too.
Baby Growth at 38 Weeks
The 38th week of pregnancy is medically termed to be a full-term pregnancy, and not without good reason. Most babies have reached their peak of growth and are ready to start living the real life soon enough.
If the body hair has shed away by now, the hair on their head would be pretty thick at this stage. The hair colour might differ from yours in some cases but can revert back when the actual hair begins to grow when they are outside. Since this development is genetic, if the parents have light and thin hair, there is a good chance your baby would have similar hair, too. The vernix covering the bodies of the babies would no longer be present on them. Despite that, some babies are born with a little vernix present on them. Again, there’s no reason to worry about it and the doctors will take care of that for you.
Since the babies are already at full term, their growth would have reached a pretty good stage. However, in some scenarios, the babies might not even emerge in this week and continue to stay within for a few more days. Even during that period, their growth continues to take place with layers of fat being deposited regularly. Furthermore, the placenta also continues to grow and provide all the nutrition these large babies require. Bodily growth carries ahead in different forms, not just in the region of hair, but also with the growth of fingernails. When the babies are delivered, you would notice the nails to be pretty sharp and worry that your little one might hurt itself with it. Even if that might be the case, you should not clip the nails of a newborn baby ever. These nails are pretty soft since they have been immersed in the amniotic fluid all this while. Once they harden, you can definitely clip them.
What is the Baby’s Size
While the babies will continue to put on layers of fat under their skin to support themselves, the size of twins or triplets by the 38th week of the pregnancy has already reached a maximum level. This is the biggest they need to be in order to properly survive outside the womb.
In such conditions, most babies weight roughly between 2.7 kilograms to 3 kilograms, depending on their number and the growth. Their height can also be as much as approximately 50 centimetres when measured from head to toe.
Common Body Changes
The 38th week of pregnancy is going to be the time when your triplets will pop out of your body and say hi to you. Therefore, your body is focused on changing itself in ways that would support the delivery and be conducive for the children in all respects.
- Contractions and aches will be continuing since the previous weeks and will stay in this week as well. The Braxton Hicks contractions are extremely important since those are the ones that will help you tackle the real contractions effectively. While these continue to occur randomly, your cervix would also be undergoing certain changes, right from effacement as well as dilation. It starts by thinning out slightly, layer by layer until the mucus covering it has been thinned out completely. The dilation follows later on, which signals the onset of labour. With these numerous cervical changes taking place, there would be chances of blood making an appearance in the discharges from your vagina. These would be light spots and are usually indicative of incoming labour, which might begin in a few hours or even after a couple of days.
- The heavyweight babies would be weighing down on your body significantly. The uterus has reached a large proportion by this week, and its presence would be establishing tons of pressure on various veins surrounding it. On the other hand, since your body is aware of the imminence of delivery, the blood circulation would be boosted to assist you in that regard, with a focus on the uterine region, leaving your feet and legs devoid of proper blood. Combined with retention of fluid, swelling would be quite evident in your ankles and feet in the last stage of your pregnancy. While this can ache at times, it can even make walking around a difficult task for you. Nevertheless, this is totally normal, unless it also begins to set in extreme headaches, eyesight blurring, and nausea at the same time.
- Your babies would be coming out of you any time this week and they would be hungry within a few hours of their birth. This stage also signals the breasts to start lactating, if they haven’t already. Therefore, many women might observe increased leakage of breasts this time around, which also contains the presence of colostrum or the first milk. Since it contains a lot of key nutrients necessary for your babies, talk to your doctor regarding its storage and feeding it to your babies when they are ready.
Symptoms of Twin Pregnancy at 38 Weeks
The final week of your pregnancy is not just tough for you. It is making things difficult for the babies inside you as well, causing them to struggle around for more space and making you quite aware of it via numerous symptoms.
- You can pretty much kiss deep sleep goodbye this week. The pressure of delivering your children safely can get quite intense, knowing that you will be delivering your children this week for sure. Furthermore, the changes in your body can leave you extremely tired but unable to fall asleep successfully. While you might make peace with this, it is essential to get some sleep and conserve your energy for the delivery. Make use of calming music or some nice tea to help you lull into sleep.
- Another aspect of your body that would be bearing a lot more than it usually does would be the skin covering your belly. The size would have increased by some more proportion in the final week, and your skin would be truly stretched to its maximum capacity. The resulting thinness and high sensitivity can cause it to be dry more often than not, and lead to an irritating itching sensation all the time. Using simple moisturizing creams can do the trick along with drinking water to keep your hydration levels to an optimum quantity.
- Out here, you are doing your best to keep yourself calm and prepare for the delivery. But your own babies won’t share the same patience that you have. With the amniotic fluid present in low amounts and the uterus expanded to its limit, many movements of the babies would be evident to you. This can cause you to feel their kicks in the ribs and their punches in various areas of your body.
Belly at 38 Weeks Pregnant with Twins
Even though you might be observing your stomach on a daily basis, this week might make it seem to be larger than usual. While it might be true, it could also be the result of expecting your babies to have reached their peak growth by now. The movement would be restricted and your little navel would be jutting out, making your belly resemble like a purse with a button. All of it will return back to normalcy once the little ones are out.
38 Weeks Twin Ultrasound
Doctors continue to conduct ultrasound scans if they feel the need to have them. Most of the times, these are only usual checkups that monitor how far the babies have progressed, whether they are still in the ideal position for birth. Your doctor might also conduct a quick examination of the cervix to check for the proportion of dilation and predict your delivery date.
What to Eat
Your diet should continue to be just the way it is. Certain adjustments might be made in order to help you with weight control, as well as include food items that can make the entire experience of delivery easier for a woman. Fibrous food items and drinking lots of fluids should continue without fail.
Pregnancy Care Tips
Your delivery is all that would matter at this stage. So it is best to have some tips that would help you through that stage.
- Make yourself aware of numerous signs that can indicate the onset of labour
- Join a breastfeeding class to learn the basics and various ways to hold a child
- Keep away from any kind of exercises that have the potential for an injury
- Scratch your belly to relieve the irritation since that can leave permanent red marks
What You Need to Shop for
This would be a good time to purchase any items you would need following your delivery, such as:
- Vitamin E capsules
- A planner and books to track baby development
This is the final stage where you would be 38 weeks pregnant with twins or multiple babies and pretty much on the verge of delivering them. Congratulate yourself on a job well done and know that you will be a great mother to them through their lives.
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