Drag to read about a different week.


    That little body gets antibodies.

    A developing fetus in the thirty-ninth week

    Your baby’s development

    The countdown begins…
    39 weeks. She probably weighs between 6-9 pounds, and she’s busy making final preparations for her arrival:

    The waxy vernix covering her skin and the fine hair called lanugo is nearly gone by now, but some may remain at birth.

    Your baby gets antibodies from the placenta to protect her against illness.

    She’ll also get more antibodies if you breastfeed her at birth.
    Four plastic containers with food

    Your nutrition and health

    Get a jump on breastfeeding.
    While your baby is prepping for her first moments in the outside world, your body is making its final preparations for her first meal.

    Your breasts reach their full size. They might enlarge again after delivery until your milk comes in. They also might begin to leak a thick, yellowish milk called colostrum. Packed with nutrients and antibodies, it helps give your baby a great start.

    Plan ahead for your mealtimes

    If you are planning to breastfeed, it’s important to continue vigilance with your diet, as you have throughout your pregnancy, as it may impact the nutrient quality of your breast milk. It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that breastfed infants get a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU per day.

    Important nutrition tips for lactating moms include:

    • Continue to eat from the five food groups. Lactating moms can get a food plan of their own at www.choosemyplate.gov.
    • Get 1000 mg of calcium a day.
    • Drink approximately 13 cups of water and other beverages per day.

    Some easy ways to make sure you are getting the nutrients you and your baby need for breastfeeding:

    • Before your baby arrives, plan ahead for nutritious meals after she arrives home.
    • If you can, cook and freeze a few simple meals that you can quickly reheat in the oven or microwave.
    • Stock up on nutritious foods and snacks to make mealtime easier with a newborn in the house.
    A pregnant woman holding her stomach looking downwards

    Things to think about now

    Is it time? Is it time?
    Contractions occur when the uterus tightens and relaxes, helping your baby travel through the vagina.

    At 39 weeks, contractions could be the real thing, but some may be Braxton Hicks contractions—also called false labor—which help your body practice for the real thing.

    In most women, uterine contractions get closer together, become more intense, and last longer as childbirth approaches. But sometimes contractions stop altogether.

    You can use a stopwatch or clock to time the contractions when they start. Call your doctor when they occur closer together, intensify, or last longer.

    During a contraction, you will feel pressure and pain in your lower back and abdomen, and your abdomen will tighten.

    Between contractions, your abdomen and uterus will relax.
    A pregnant woman in the hospital holding her newborn on the bed

    What happens next week

    This is it.
    Hormones will surge through your baby’s body, which could initiate labor, and you’ll be off to the races.