Guide to 38 Weeks of Pregnancy

May 17, 2021 4 min read


Guide to 38 Weeks of Pregnancy

You and your little one have made it a long way. It likely wasn’t always easy (nothing worth it ever is), but itwill be a rewarding experience beyond measure. One that you’ll look back on with fondness in the future.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you can expect at this stage of your pregnancy, from “38 Months Pregnant Symptoms” to what’s next.

38 Weeks Pregnant: What to Expect

At this stage, your little peanut has graduated from the circus and is now weighing in at around 6-9lbs give or take, and a shocking 20” or so in length.

As we near the finish line of this beautiful journey (with only 2-4 short weeks until showtime) you no doubt have questions.

Let’s start with some basics…

How Many Months is 38 Weeks Pregnant?

Seems simple, but ‘brain fog’ is a real thing with pregnancy and math might not be your strong suit at the moment. One of the most asked questions (believe it or not) is ’38 weeks pregnant is how many months?”

At 38 weeks you’re now in your final trimester, in month 9 of your pregnancy.

Related: Baby Names Nature Inspired

Preparing for the Birth: week 38

By week 38, most of us mothers-to-be are eager to ‘get it over with’ and welcome our little bundle of joy to the world. But this is also a time when we must stay the course and prepare for their arrival.

Checklists are simple, yet highly effective at this stage. They help you feel a sense of accomplishment with each little task marked off the list, without making you feel overwhelmed at all the things that need doing.

The last thing you want is to panic about ‘not being ready’ when the big moment arrives.

Prepare a list for:

  • The hospital
  • Baby’s first night and week at home

38 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms

Your baby is preparing for its debut, but so is your body.

At this stage, your body is preparing for one of the most momentous tasks it will ever undergo: bringing new life into the world. Although some of these signs and symptoms may be uncomfortable, it is important to remember that they are normal and will all pass soon.

Stay Informed: What does it mean to Dream Feed?

Increased Frequency of Urination

If you’re noticed that you need to pee more often, you’re not crazy. We don’t want to point the finger, but its totally your baby’s fault (lol). Their not so little anymore head is pushing up against your pelvis now, leaving less room for your bladder to expand and putting pressure on it at the slightest bit of filling up. But don’t skip on the fluids! Staying hydrated now is more important than ever.

Mucus Plug (yeah, its kinda gross)

As a future mom-to-be, there is no time like the present to start getting more comfortable with bodily fluids. You may notice an increase or change in discharge color, or even the passing of a ‘mucus plug’ (a clear to yellow/brown-ish glob of mucus that plugs your cervix throughout the pregnancy).

A Little Pink

During this period your vaginal discharge may have a pink or brown hue to it. This is no cause for alarm and completely natural. It's also a sign the baby may be on its way sooner rather than later.

Loose Stools (Diarrhea)

Think of this as your body’s way of doing a bit of ‘spring cleaning’ to make room for the baby. Diarrhea is a good indication that labor isn’t far away. For now, stay hydrated, eat light, and avoid foods with lots of fiber or fat.

Irritated or Itchy Tummy

At this point, the skin on your belly is stretched to the max. This makes it irritated and often itchy or sore. Consider using an oil infused with vitamin E or cocoa butter to soothe the area.

See More: How Early is it Safe to Give Birth?

Do My Ankles Look Fat?

No, this isn’t a trick question. Edema (swelling in the feet and ankles) is quite common at week 38 of pregnancy. Pantyhose can help your veins clear out excess fluid. Put them on first thing in the morning, and try to avoid standing for long periods of time (especially on hard surfaces).


If you had plans to get a few nights of good sleep before the baby comes, you might be out of luck. Turns out, insomnia is a classic symptom of week 38 of pregnancy.

Nesting Instinct Kicks In

Energy levels might be all over the place during week 38, ranging from bursts of enthusiasm to deep lows that make you want to take a mid-day nap. Some final preparation, organization and cleaning is fine, just don’t wear yourself out before the big day.

Plan Ahead: Baby Sleep Training

The Faucet Isn’t the Only Thing That’s Sprung a Leak

Turns out, your nipples might just turn into faucets leading up to pregnancy, with enlarged breasts putting additional and hormone fluctuations causing you to leak colostrum.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

Braxton who??? These ‘practice’ contractions that may or may not have been coming and going for some time now, tend to get more intense and frequent during week 38 of pregnancy and beyond. Use this time to practice your visualization and breathing techniques.

38 Weeks Pregnant Signs of Labor

At this stage, labor is almost constantly on your mind. As your body prepares for this natural process, you are likely keeping a keen eye out for the signs you may be going into labor a little earlier than you had thought.

Think your little one is on its way a couple of weeks earlier than you planned? The following may be signs that you’re in labor:

  • Your cervix is dilated
  • You have increased cramping and/or back pain
  • Your baby “drops” (not literally)
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of mucus plug and/or changing of vaginal discharge
  • Contractions (typically stronger and more frequent)
  • Your water breaks

Everything You Need to Know at Week 38 of Pregnancy

That just about covers week 38. As you near the entry of your little bundle of joy, we wish you well and can’t wait to welcome your newborn to the world.

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