39th Week of Pregnancy: What You Should Know

Even though C-sections have become quite common, doctors don't always recommend them.
39th Week of Pregnancy: What You Should Know

Last update: 29 March, 2021

The 39th week of pregnancy is a unique moment full of mixed emotions. Excitement, anxiety and fear are usually present. However, you shouldn’t worry. Remember that you’ve already come a long way. All you have to do now is wait for the new family member to arrive.

Even though babies are ready to come into the outside world, they may continue growing a bit more during the 39th week of pregnancy. Therefore, you should keep eating healthy, and stay away from harmful substances.

What’s my baby like during the 39th week of pregnancy?

39th Week of Pregnancy: What You Should Know

Your baby is already fully developed. However, they continue growing while they’re still inside the womb. From head to bottom, they’re usually around 15 inches and 7 pounds.

Fortunately, their nervous system is already able to receive and understand stimuli from their environment. Of course, once they’re born, their brain continues growing until it develops its full intelligence.

The babies’ famous lanugo starts diminishing, and the subcutaneous adipose tissue thickens. Even though babies can face temperature changes, they’ll need warm temperatures, especially during cold seasons.

Find out more: Basic Nutrients for a Healthy Pregnancy

How am I supposed to feel during the 39th week of pregnancy?

If everything goes well, you won’t feel any new symptoms you haven’t experienced before. You may feel nauseous, vomit, experience low back pain, or even pee a little when you laugh or cough. 

What isn’t normal is to have high fever, painful urination, diarrhea or any other alarming symptoms. If any of this happens, you should go to the emergency room. Remember that your baby is coming, and nothing should hinder the process.

Do I have to visit the doctor during this period?

Your obstetrician will most likely schedule a visit during the 39th week. This is because, once your pregnancy reaches full term, it’s necessary to be more attentive. If your medical tests are up to date and everything is normal, the doctor will probably perform a vaginal examination to check the cervix.

If you have a C-section scheduled (which we’ll talk about in the following section), it will be necessary to have your medical tests up to date. This will let the surgeon know if there’s any risk of bleeding or other complications during the procedure.

Find out more: Prenatal Tests During the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

C-section or natural birth: what is best for me?

39th Week of Pregnancy: What You Should Know

This is a very common question among mothers during their last trimester of pregnancy. Actually, C-sections have become quite popular during the past few years, as a means to avoid labor pain.

However, if the doctor doesn’t recommend it, this procedure may entail many more risks than natural births. Therefore, you should listen to your doctor’s recommendation.

Doctors usually recommend C-sections when there are uterine malformations, previous C-sections, problems in the baby’s health, risk of infection during natural birth, or when someone’s life is in danger.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, you should ask your doctor.

Most frequent questions about the 39th week of pregnancy

Do you still have some concerns? If so, keep reading as we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

1. Can I decide on the date I’ll have my baby?

Even though labor induction is possible, it usually happens when either the mother or baby is suffering from a disease, so it’s better for the baby to come out earlier.

In case your doctor schedules a C-section, you may have the chance to choose the date, depending on the hospital or clinic.

2. Can I travel during this period?

If you can avoid it, you shouldn’t travel. Since the baby can come at any moment, you may find yourself in a place where there’s no easy access to health service, and things can become complicated.

However, if you have to travel, you should take your medical examinations with you, and look up information regarding nearby hospitals.

Be ready

Your baby can come at any time, and there’s no way of knowing exactly when. Remember to pack a hospital bag and make a plan regarding transportation and access to the hospital, in case it happens in the middle of the night.

Meanwhile, enjoy your family time and visit the doctor regularly. Congratulations!


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Mayo Clinic [Updated 2020 Feb 27]. 3rd trimester pregnancy: What to expect. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20046767
  • Flores Padilla, L., González Pérez, G. J., Trejo Franco, J., Vega López, G., Cabrera Pivaral, C. E., Campos, A., Navarro Solares, A., & Navarro Núñez, C. (2008). Factores de riesgo en la operación cesárea [Risk factors in cesarean section]. Ginecologia y obstetricia de Mexico, 76(7), 392–397.
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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.