BabyCentre mums tell: how did you know you were in labour?

What do contractions feel like?

Early contractions may resemble period pains, and if you’ve already experienced them, you may be wondering if they are simply more Braxton Hicks contractions.

Your tummy will feel hard during a contraction as your womb’s muscles tense up and work to gradually open your cervix and push your baby out. As labour goes on, the contractions will become more intense. After each one, your muscles will unwind, and the discomfort will subside.

Your contractions may stop and start during the latent stage of labor, and they may vary in length, frequency, and strength. You might experience a lot of regular contractions before they slacken or stop altogether.

When labor has officially begun, your contractions will become more frequent and continue. When you experience a 30- to 60-second contraction every five minutes, contact your midwife, a birthing facility, or a hospital labor and delivery room. A home birth will require the midwife to travel to you.

Key Takeaways at 38 Weeks Pregnant

  • Feeling the burn? Baby may be wreaking havoc on your digestive system and causing heartburn and reflux. Their quarters are nice and cramped in there, so they’re putting pressure on all your organs. Maybe avoid spicy food—despite the old wive’s tale that it may kick-start labor.
  • Diarrhea is also common at this late stage of the game as hormones continue to loosen you up for the big delivery event!
  • At this week’s appointment, your ob-gyn or midwife will give you an exam to check if you’re effaced and dilated. In other words, they’re feeling around to see if your cervix has thinned and opened at all yet.
  • Don’t panic if you experience a lightning-like sensation running up and down your legs (and in your vagina!). Baby is probably sitting pretty low in your pelvis at 38 weeks pregnant, which means they are rubbing against a variety of nerves there, including some very sensitive ones you may not be aware you have. The major event might not take place for a few weeks, or it might occur at any moment. Until then, try to chill. Watch Week 38 Highlights.

    Your baby may already have about an inch of hair inside your belly at 38 weeks. You might see some of the vernix caseosa, a white substance that the baby is gradually shedding from the skin.

    38 weeks pregnant is how many months?

    At 38 weeks pregnant you’re nine months pregnant. You’re heading down the home stretch of pregnancy.

    You currently visit the OB once a week, so you have a scheduled appointment this week. Your doctor will examine the baby at these scheduled checkups to ensure that it is head-down and to determine whether the head has descended into the pelvis. Prepare yourself for a pelvic exam as well, where your cervix will be examined for effacement (thinning) and dilation (opening), both indicators that your body is preparing for labor. Sadly, there is no “normal” when it comes to anticipating labor based on dilation or effacement; if you have started, it could take hours or weeks before labor begins. However, even if you are not at all dilated, you could still go into labor the following day. Ah, the unpredictability of childbirth!.

    A 38-week ultrasound to measure the baby’s size may be requested by your doctor if they want to perform a more thorough check on the baby. A biophysical profile may also be ordered, which involves scoring the baby’s breathing, movement, muscle tone, heart rate, and amniotic fluid. Depending on the outcome of the biophysical profile, your doctor may decide to deliver the baby before the due date in some circumstances.

    What does it mean if I have dull back pain and slight stomach cramping at 38 weeks?

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