Baby developing inside you
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Weeks, Months and Trimesters Guides
Week Thirty Eight: Development is complete
|You are 38 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 36 weeks)|
Baby may have a full head of hair now, an inch or more long, but some babies are born with only peach fuzz. Speaking of hair, most of the downy coat of lanugo that covered your baby for weeks has disappeared, but you may see some on the upper back and shoulders when he or she arrives. Almost gone has most of the vernix caseosa, the whitish substance that also covered baby.
Your baby will swallow the lanugo and exterior coating, along with other secretions, and store them in their bowels. These will become your infant's first bowel movement, a blackish waste called meconium. Your child's intestines are accumulating lots of meconium. About 30% of babies move their bowels before birth. Usually this is a sign that the baby is under some stress and can cause pneumonia if the baby inhales any amniotic fluid with meconium in it. If there are signs of meconium in the amniotic fluid at birth your care provider will make sure that the baby's throat and lungs are suctioned thoroughly.
This week, your baby weighs around seven and a half pounds and measures about 20 inches (51cm) head to toe. You are almost at the end of your pregnancy. Your weight should not increase much from this point. It should remain between 25 and 35 pounds (11.5 and 15.5 kg) until delivery.
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