Fetal Development: Week 39

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Pregnancy Week 39

Week 39 of your Pregnancy

The average baby now weighs around 7 pounds or 3.2 kg but can be 1 or 2 pounds (450 g to 900 g) heavier or lighter.

If your baby is born this week, the lungs will be mature enough. Your baby is ready and waiting  to greet his/her parents.

An interesting fact is that baby’s tear ducts do not function properly until baby is about a month old, therefore when your newborn cries, there will be no tears initially.

What to Expect

What is an episiotomy? Will you need one?

An episiotomy is an incision (either down and away from the vagina and perineum (mediolateral incision), or straight down through the perineum between the vagina and anus (midline incision)) that helps to deliver your baby’s head and avoid natural tearing.

An episiotomy was once a routine part of childbirth, but is now recommended only in certain cases such as if:

  • your baby’s head is too big for your vaginal opening,
  • your baby’s birth is happening too quickly for the perineum to stretch slowly,
  • you are unable to control your pushing,
  • your baby is distressed, or other complications arise and the pushing phase needs to be shortened,
  •  you require forceps delivery or vacuum extraction or
  • your baby is in the wrong position.

An episiotomy and the resultant scar may be the most painful part of your post birth recovery. It can take weeks or even months for you to recover fully. Sex may be painful for the first few months after birth.

You do have the option of clearly stating in your birth plan that you do not want an episiotomy unless absolutely necessary.

Tip for Week 39

Enjoy your last week or two of being on your own by indulging in a bit of pampering such as having your hair done, a manicure or a pedicure or a massage.

It will not be long before you can cuddle your newborn baby.


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