Common Signs To Expect When You Are 38 Weeks Pregnant.

This is probably the most exciting time of your pregnancy experience. The baby is so close to his her birth. The thoughts of having the baby in a couple of weeks comes with anxiety. Most first time mothers would naturally be asking: what shall I expect at 38 weeks pregnant?


At 38 weeks pregnant, you’ve carried your baby for approximately 8 months and 2 weeks. During this exciting period, mothers begin to look out for signs that the baby is well positioned to pop out in full term. At 38 weeks pregnant, there would be some body changes in the mum as well.


Right away, I’ll deal with the most common questions in the minds of mothers wondering

what should L expect at 38 weeks pregnant?



What is expected at 38 weeks pregnant

How can you tell the position of your baby?

Signs that the baby is positioned head-down at 38 weeks pregnancy.

Signs that the baby is not positioned head-down at 38 weeks.

How can I get my baby to go head down at 38 weeks pregnant?


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As the all important D-day, is getting closer, the mum will notice more intensity in the following signs:

  • Frequent urination. 

As the baby grows and develops, you may need to go to the bathroom more often. As expected, the size of the baby will put more pressure on your bladder.


  • Pelvic pressure. 

You may feel increased pressure on your waist and hips. You might also experience some back pains as a result.


  • Swollen ankles and feet. 

You may notice swelling in your hands and legs. Of course not all mothers experience this.


  • Nausea.

At 38 weeks pregnant Some slight nausea can might show up. Again, in your case, there could be no such experience. These stuff vary from woman to woman.


  • Changing shape of the belly.

At 38 weeks pregnant, your belly may look like it has dropped much lower than your waist-line.


  • Contractions

At 38 weeks pregnant, you may have already felt some contractions. Such “mock contractions” will occur irregularly and will often stop when change positions. On the other hand, the real-deal-labor-contractions will last more than 30 seconds, coming around every 5 minutes at regular intervals and intensify in strength.

When the real deal contractions start, it is often intense enough to clear your doubts.


  • Water breaking

Your baby in the womb is surrounded by a fluid-filled membranous sac. Contractions could cause the fluid filled sac to break. This is referred to as “water breaking”. When your water breaks you might experience a constant leaking of small amounts of watery fluid from your vagina, or a gush of yellow fluid. If your water breaks at the right time, labor follows, that is if it hadn’t already begun.

If your water breaks without contractions, the doctor may have to stimulate contractions before labor begins on its own.


But water breaking is definitely a major sign that this is the real deal. At this point, your baby should be on it’s way.

Preparing For Baby Arrival

Other signs that are common at 38 weeks pregnant include: 


bloating and constipation

increased vaginal discharge


How can you tell the position of your baby?

At the 35–36 week appointment, your doctor will check that the baby has assumed the head down position. If this is not the case, they may undertake a scan. The position of 96% of babies would be head-down at 38 weeks pregnancy.


Once the baby is positioned head down at 38 weeks pregnant, it is said that “the baby has engaged”. That is a good thing to hear for every 38 week pregnant mum. This does happen even earlier than 38 weeks. Note that in few instances, a baby may not engage until during labour. It may also be possible for you to tell the position of your baby.


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To know that the baby is head-down at 38 weeks pregnancy:

  • If there is a lump to the right or left of your tummy, gently press it. If when you press it, you feel your baby’s entire body move, he/she is likely head down.
  • You may feel the baby’s hiccups and heartbeats beneath your belly button.

However, if you have twins, one of the twins might not be able to get into the correct position.


The baby is not positioned head-down at 38 weeks If:

  • You are feeling a hard, rounded lump under your ribs it could be the baby’s head, meaning it is not in the head-down position.
  • You feel the two round, hard areas of the baby at the sides of your belly, your baby may be lying horizontally.


Getting the baby to go head down at 38 weeks pregnant

If a baby’s position is not head-down at 38 weeks pregnant, a doctor or midwife may try to turn the baby manually.

Some babies may eventually turn by themselves even during labour.


Home solutions to change your baby to a Head-Down Position:

  • Try not to be over stressed during pregnancy, to have gotten to 38 weeks, you are almost there!
  • Avoid squatting positions during pregnancy.
  • Try sleeping on your stomach if it’s not too uncomfortable.
  • If you swim, keep your legs as straight as you can when you kick.
  • Do not keep your feet up when you lie back.
  • Exercise by crawling on your hands and knees for around half an hour if possible.

Further reading on what to expect at 38 weeks pregnant


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