Pregnancy Week 39 DevelopmentHelp your baby develop in the thirty-ninth week of your pregnancy

Your baby is ready for his or her big debut by week 39. Continue to support his or her healthy passage into the world through proper nourishment.

What’s happening this week?

Your baby’s umbilical cord, which up to this point has allowed you to feed your little one with nutrients from what you’ve been eating for almost whole nine months, is about two feet longi. His or her intestines now even contain his or her first waste called meconiumii, which will be excreted after birth.

Your baby’s immune system is using the antibodies you’ve been giving him or her. Interestingly, his or her brain has now developed up to 100 billion brain neuronsiii, which are responsible for many functions including learning and memory.

Weighing between 7.25 pounds (3.3 kilograms), your little one measures about 20 inches from head to toe (50.5 centimeters)iv.

What can you expect? 

If you are leaking vaginal fluid, it may not be a sign of immediate labor but a premature rupture of membranes (PROM).v Here’s how to maintain a healthy pregnancy until the end:

  • Call your doctor right away. Tests at the hospital will check if your membranes have rupturedvi.
  • Know the other signs of labor. Contractions can signal the onset of labor. These uncomfortable contractions will occur at regular intervals and feel stronger and longer over timevii.

Watch out for your water breaking or not breaking. If it breaks, expect a trickle or a small gushviii unlike the flood of water you may be imagining. If it doesn’t break, and you’re experiencing signs of labor past your due date, the doctor may break it for you to help things along.

Remember to talk to your doctor about this, and other prelabor symptoms.

What can you do to support your pregnancy?

It’s time for your little one’s last spurt of growth before being born, so continue eating healthy foods with a range of essential nutrients. Support your little one’s brain development by making sure that you’re still consuming nutrients such as DHA, iron, zinc, choline, and folate on a daily basis through your diet.

Take it easy in these last two weeks of pregnancy. Rest as much as you can as you’ll need to conserve your energy for labour, birth, and taking care of a newborn. 

If you have anxieties about giving birth or have any other concerns, now is the time to talk with your partner, a close family member, or your doctor for swift and positive resolutions. Focus on deepening the bond with your baby that you have been nurturing right through your pregnancy, and look forward to that all-important mother-baby bonding process that will take place after birth. 




i.    Baby Development: Weeks 37 – 38. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2017 from        
ii    You and your baby at 37-40 weeks pregnant. (2017, March 31). Retrieved April 10, 2017, from      
iii   Prenatal Form and Function – The Making of an Earth Suit. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2017, from      
iv   Curtis, G. B., & Schuler, J. (2016). Your Pregnancy Week by Week (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press.
v    Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM). (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2017, from      
vi   Premature rupture of membranes: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2017, from      
vii  Premature Labor. Sutter Health, California Pacific Medical Center. Retrieved 29 May 2017 from,    
viii Water breaking: Understand this sign of labor. (2016, October 18). Retrieved April 11, 2017, from