pregnancy week 38 developmentHelp your baby develop in the thirty-eighth week of your pregnancy

Your baby’s brain has grown so much that it weighs 14 ounces by week 38. Continue to support your baby’s brain development by eating a healthy, balanced diet.

What’s happening this week?

Your baby is getting plumper as more fat is deposited under the skin. The reproductive system is now fully formed. If you are having a boy, the testes are starting to descend into the scrotumi. Among girls, the uterine circumference increases from about 20mm to just under 60mm and the width increases from less than 10mm to just over 20mm between week 19 and 38ii.

Your little one has tiny toenails now, and the brain continues to grow to the point where it weighs 14 ounces (nearly 400 grams)iii.

On average, baby weighs about 6.75 pounds (3.1 kilograms) and measures 19.6 inches (49.5 centimeters) from head to toeiv.

What can you expect? 

You may experience diarrhea in the last few weeks of pregnancy. It’s a normal indication that labor is coming.v Here’s what you can do to ensure the continued health of your pregnancy:

  • Drink plenty of water to replace the fluids you lose from any watery bowel movements.
  • See your doctor. While most people will recover from diarrhea after a few days, you may need to get a prescription if it doesn’t clear up.

You might also start to feel “the lightning crotch”, a sharp and painful sensation in the vaginal area or increased pressure in the pelvic areavi. It occurs as your baby bumps into sensitive nerves in your pelvisvii. Don’t be alarmed when it happens – it’s not unusual to experience such a symptom at this stage of your pregnancy. Stay off your feet as much as possible to help relieve the pressure and discomfort.

What can you do to support your pregnancy?

It’s true that your baby’s brain develops rapidly during pregnancy. But it’s still not fully developed even after he or she is born. Your baby’s brain at birth is about 25% of adult’s brain weight and will continue to grow to about 75% in the first 2 yearsviii.

Continue to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in DHA and other essential nutrients like iron, zinc, copper, choline and folate, to support baby’s brain developmentix. Taking care of your baby’s brain development, effectively supports his or her IQ and EQ development, which eventually helps your child become future-ready.

Discuss with your partner or close family members how present and involved you’d like them to be in your birth. The more involved they are, the stronger will be the bond forged with baby.




i.    Undescended Testicle. Harvard Health Publications. Harvard Medical School. Retrieved 29 May 2017 from,        
ii    Uterus Development. Retrieved 29 May 2017 from,      
iii    Fetal development: The 3rd trimester. (2014, July 11). Retrieved April 12, 2017, from      
iv   Curtis, G. B., & Schuler, J. (2016). Your Pregnancy Week by Week (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press.
v    Signs and Symptoms of Labour. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2017 from      
vi   Brusie, C. (2016, February 29). How to Identify Lightning Crotch Pain During Pregnancy. Retrieved April 16, 2017 from      
vii  Rost, C. (2007). Relieving Pelvic Pain During and After Pregnancy: How Women Can Heal Chronic Pelvic Instability.        
      Alameda: Hunter House.
viii Dobbing J, Sands J. Quantitative growth and development of human brain. Arch Dis Child. 1973; 48: 757-767.
ix   Georgieff, M. K. (2007) Nutrition and the developing brain: nutrient priorities and measurement. American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition, 85(2): 614S-620S.