Your Pregnancy: Week 38

At this point in your baby’s development, most of the lanugo, or fine downy hair, that covered her body has disappeared along with the vernix caseosa, or whitish protective coating.

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Your baby

• This week your baby weighs in at 3.1 kg (6.8 lbs) and measures about 49 cm (19.5 in) long from head to toe.

• As your baby sheds the lanugo and vernix caseosa, she will swallow them along with amniotic fluid. Once she’s born, she’ll dispose of them through her first bowel movement — black waste called meconium.

Massage away your troubles

Did you know that massages can provide relief from the headaches, shortness of breath, indigestion, lower back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, and swollen ankles of pregnancy? It will feel great now, and may come in handy during labour, too.

Breastfeeding basics

You may not realize that breastfeeding is a learned skill and some moms have trouble getting started. But studies show that women who receive instruction and support have fewer problems breastfeeding, so doing some reading now is a smart idea.

Read more: Breastfeeding problems solved!>

You said it! Advice from real moms

“Once you give birth, take advantage of people wanting to hold the baby and pick her up when she’s crying, and just rest!” – Melissa

Labour day tips: the pushing stage

Have you thought about how you will push your baby out? If you picture the typical TV birth — on your back with your legs in stirrups, and a crowd of people chanting “push, push,” you may be surprised to learn that’s not the most effective approach.

Read more: Positions for labour>

Looking ahead

The first few weeks at home with your new baby can be a challenging time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you are exhausted and caring for your newborn 24/7.

Read more: Coming home: First weeks with your baby>

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