Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 39
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Welcome to week 39. Just one week to go (or maybe three).
 The Baby
Your baby is now his full height of between 18 and 22 inches and weighs about 7 lbs. His skin has now changed from pink to white, regardless of race, as more fat is deposited on top of the blood vessels. His skin colour will change pigmentation after he is born.
You may have heard horror stories about babies being born with their umbilical cord wrapped around their necks, and the problems this can cause and might be worried that it will happen to your little one. Umbilical cords are different lengths and thicknesses but on average are about 22 inches long and half an inch thick. With all of baby’s somersaulting in the uterus it is actually quite a common event and gets wrapped around the neck in about a third of all pregnancies, whereby it becomes known as a nuchal cord. Normally there is no cause for concern: it will simply be slipped over baby’s head during stage two of labour. Sometimes the cord needs to be cut and the baby delivered quickly so that he does not suffer while he is no longer receiving nutrients from the placenta , and occasionally it becomes necessary for the mother to have a caesarean delivery.
 The Mommy
Your uterus is now about 6 ½ to 8 inches above your navel. Braxton Hicks contractions may become stronger and more pronounced around now, and will often be accompanied by cramping too. On many an occasion you will find yourself wondering ‘is this it?’ only for the contractions to ease off again and labour put off for another day. Don’t worry, you will get there eventually. Just remember that every day baby stays in the womb, he gets bigger and chunkier, his lungs become stronger and his brain develops. Plus, it’s nice and warm in that lovely little home you’ve created for him, and he’s getting all the food he wants: would you want to leave?
You will probably hear plenty of advice as to how you can bring on your labour, all of which should be taken with a pinch of salt. To date there is no proof that anything gets labour going other than the body’s readiness for it to start. However, many women will still try various methods, some of which are safer than others. These include:
 The Daddy
You’re probably very nervous right now, about both the labour and delivery and about becoming a father. You may find you get jittery every time the phone rings and are suddenly wondering whether it’s too late to change your mind about this whole fatherhood thing. Well, it’s normal to be worried, but you will be fine. Parenthood comes more naturally than you think: you will learn what to do and baby will soon let you know when you’re doing something wrong. As for labour and delivery, the most important thing you can do is be there, and be supportive. Read everything you can, and learn ways you can help make the process easier for your partner, but above all else, listen to her and do what she wants you to do. There is no point in you trying to persuade her a massage will be a great relief, if being touched is the last thing she wants.
 For more information
Track your pregnancy week by week using the pregnancy calendar at our sister site, 3Dpregnancy.com. Take a look at how your baby develops from every perspective using their rotatable 3D images. Read all there is to know about every week of your amazing pregnancy, including info on your baby, you as the mother, the father and siblings! Click here: 3Dpregnancy.com to go!