My 38 Week Pregnant Belly: Bump Update With Pictures

My 38 Week Pregnant Belly Picture

38 week bump update

Starting Weight: 123 lbs

Current Weight: 142 lbs

Total Weight Gain: 19 lbs

Now let’s go over how my week went and what to expect…

Disclaimer

Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.



Energy Level: My energy level has been okay this week. I think I am getting to the point where “I’m over it.” Though. I am still working and exercising regularly.

With that said, I am pretty much ready for bed by 8 pm!

Pregnancy Symptoms: I am definitely feeling more contractions and pelvic pressure than usual. On two occasions this week, the contractions kept me up at night. Other nights, I just can’t find a comfortable position.

I also notice an increase in my heart rate randomly, but it goes back to normal relatively quickly.

Other Physical Changes: I did lose my mucus plug this week which was quite interesting.

Diet: My diet has been pretty much the same throughout the third trimester.

I noticed I have been waking up quite thirsty so I increased my water intake throughout the day.

I also continue to take my prenatal vitamin every day.

Here is a short video of my typical diet.

Diet Modifications: No diet modifications this week.

Food Aversions: No food aversions this week.

Food Cravings: No food cravings this week.

Workouts: I made some adjustments to my workout. Instead of my usual push, pull, legs protocol, I decided to perform daily bodyweight squats to help prepare for labor as well as one upper and lower body exercise.

In addition, I have been walking and doing my pelvic floor exercises whenever I can.

My entire workout usually takes about 30 minutes.

You can see examples of my entire pregnancy workout in my Prenatal Fitness Prescription.

desktop computer showing the cover of the prenatal fitness rx workout program

Modifications to my workout: I continue to take adequate rest between sets and reps and use lighter weights.

Here is a video of one of my workouts at 38 weeks.

*Be sure to speak with your health care provider before doing any physical activity or lifting at this stage of your pregnancy.*

Other Related Questions

What should I expect at 38 weeks pregnant?

At 38 weeks you should expect to:

  • continue feeling irregular contractions (Braxton Hicks contractions)
  • increased pelvic pressure
  • have some shortness of breath with exertion
  • feel at least 10 kicks in 2 hours
  • have mild bilateral lower extremity swelling
  • experience fatigue, and/or
  • difficulty sleeping

I am experiencing all of the above.

Can you safely give birth at 38 weeks?

Yes, you can safely give birth at 38 weeks, as the baby is now considered “early term” by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

However, babies aren’t considered full term until 39 weeks, which is when the risk of complications is lowest.

If you give birth at 38 weeks, the fine hair over the baby’s body, aka lanugo will have fallen off by now.

38 weeks pregnant is how many months?

38 weeks pregnant is 9 months and 2 weeks.

You have almost completed 10 full months of pregnancy!

Make sure that your hospital bag is packed!

How much does the baby weigh at 38 weeks (in lbs and kg)

At 38 weeks, your baby almost weighs 7 lbs, which is about 3.1 kilograms. He or she measures about 19.5 inches in length.

However, this is just an average. Your baby may be bigger or smaller than this!

Here is a photo of my bump at 38 weeks.

brittany holding up sign at 38 weeks pregnant from side

How often should a baby move at 38 weeks?

You should feel your baby move approximately 10 times in 2 hours at 38 weeks pregnant.

However, you know your baby better than anyone else. If you do not feel your baby moving, try eating or drinking something sweet and sit or lie down in a quiet room.

Really focus on the movements and avoid distractions.

If you still don’t feel your baby move, you should go to the nearest labor and delivery unit to be evaluated.

How does a baby move in the womb at 38 weeks?

Your baby will continue to move in the uterus up until you give birth. If your baby is head down, you will likely feel the legs flexing and extending in your upper abdomen.

You may also feel the arms flexing and extending in your lower abdomen.

Remember, an active baby is a healthy one!

Do the movements feel different at 38 weeks?

Fetal movements may feel more subtle in the third trimester compared to the second trimester, as your baby is now bigger and has less room to move around.

Although the quality of the fetal movements will change, the quantity should remain consistent.

How long do babies sleep in the womb at 38 weeks?

38 week babies typically spend the majority of their day sleeping as they are preparing for life outside the uterus. Some reports say that babies spend >90% of their time sleeping between 38 and 40 weeks.

How does your belly feel before labor?

Before labor, you will feel lower abdominal cramping, similar to menstrual cramps, with increasing regularity.

You may also feel lower back pain as well as pelvic pressure.

Unlike false labor, true labor contractions get worse and more frequent with time.

If you are having signs of labor, be sure to speak with your provider as soon as possible.

How do I start labor at 38 weeks?

The most proven natural way of starting labor at 38 weeks is to have a membrane sweep (aka stripping the membranes) by your healthcare provider.

However, your cervix needs to be at least 1 cm dilated for your provider to get a finger inside the cervix. The membrane sweep will help release prostaglandins which may kick start labor.

Other things you can try are walking to induce labor, (though there is very little evidence that it works), eating spicy food, and performing gentle exercise squats.

These interventions may or may not work for you.

Remember, we are not in control here!

38 weeks pregnant symptoms not to ignore

The following symptoms should not be avoided at 38 weeks:

  • Headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Chest pain
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath at rest
  • Itching on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet
  • Decreased fetal movements
  • Leakage of amniotic fluid
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek care immediately.

Other FAQs

I have pelvic pain and pressure at 38 weeks – is this normal?

Yes, pelvic pressure and pain at 38 weeks are normal as your baby is getting into position for labor.

You may even pass your mucus plug or experience a bloody show.

My vagina is hurting at 38 weeks – is this normal?

Yes, it is normal for your vagina to hurt at 38 weeks, as this could indicate your cervix is starting to dilate and preparing for labor.

My stomach is constantly hard – is this normal?

It is normal to feel your stomach hardening from time to time at 38 weeks. These are practice contractions (aka Braxton-Hicks contractions). However, this tightness should not be constant. Your stomach should soften as the uterus relaxes.

I have white milky discharge at 38 weeks – is this normal?

Yes, white, milky non-odorous vaginal discharge also known as leukorrhea is normal at 38 weeks. This is due to the increase in hormones specifically estrogen that is being released.

You may even experience milky discharge from your nipples for the first time, which is also normal.

Anything else I should know?

At this point, most providers will see all pregnant women once a week until delivery.

At each visit, your provider may do:

  • pelvic exams (to see how dilated you are),
  • confirm the position of your baby
  • check your blood pressure, and
  • check your fundal height.

Final Words on The 38th Week of Pregnancy

We are in the final weeks of pregnancy!

Your due date is ~1 week away.

How did your week go? Did you have any visits to triage?

Comment below and let me know.

Check back in for my 39 week update!

My Other Weekly Updates


Get Four Free Workouts To Help Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor & Heal Your Mommy Tummy!


brittany-robles

Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness, expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.



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