38 weeks pregnant
You are now 38 weeks pregnant (or in your 39th week if that's how you prefer to count it).
How your baby's growing
Your baby is now ready to greet the world. At this point, the average full-term newborn is still building a layer of fat to help control body temperature after birth. Most babies are between 2.7 and 4.3kg/6 and 9 1/2lb at birth and boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls. All your baby's organs are developed and in place though his lungs will be the last to reach full maturity. Read more information on your baby's development this week.
How your life's changing
Your partner should try to relax, too, and enjoy some activities there won't be time for after the baby arrives. Suggest some inspirational reading - he may need it when you go into labour. Is he worried about how he'll cope with a new baby in the house? Read our new dad's survival guidefive myths of fatherhood.
This is a good time to have an in-depth conversation with your doctor or midwife about pain relief in labour. On the practical front, make sure you know where to park and which entrance to use to get to the labour ward quickly and ask about what happens when you arrive at the hospital, if you don't already know. Make sure you take plenty of change with you for vending machines and telephone calls (mobile phones usually have to be switched off in hospitals because they can interfere with medical equipment). If you have other children, make back up plans for childcare when labour begins.
If you're planning to use a birthing pool, remind yourself of how to use it, including pain relief you can use while in the water. Check whether local hospital protocols will restrict how you can use the pool - just for pain relief or for giving birth as well? If you find that you will not be able to use a birthing pool after all, consider other natural methods of pain relief as an alternative.
Pregnancy tip: hospital survival kit
"Pack a cool bag with your husband's favourite foods and snacks to take to hospital - he should be responsible for this. Bring a video camera if you like (and if your hospital allows), a camera, extra batteries and film (or digital camera), presents for siblings from the baby, massage oil, a radio, your address book and something 'fun' to read to pass the time during a long labour." - Anonymous
Why not visit our community for first-hand accounts of recent births? Everyone's experience is different - you'll read what it's really like to have a natural birth, emergency section or instrumental delivery here. It'll help you prepare for any eventuality.
Things to consider Are you ready to feed your baby? Follow our tips on starting breastfeeding and make sure you've got everything you need if you're planning to bottle feed.
At one minute and five minutes after the birth, your newborn's health will be scored according to the Apgar scale - find out what this means. Read more about the other tests and checks your newborn baby will have.
Tired but you just can't sleep? How to cope with pregnancy insomnia.
How to get your body back after the birth. Follow our guidelines for safe postnatal exercise.
Which infections can be dangerous for your baby at this stage of pregnancy?
It's very common to get engorged breasts a few days after the birth, whether you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding - read our tips on how to cope.
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Read some of our BabyCentre mums' birth stories to help you prepare for when the time comes.