Your due date is just around the corner and at 39 weeks your body is preparing itself for labour. However, there’s one more week to go until you reach the magical 40-week mark. Learn what’s going on this week.

Your baby’s development

This week your baby is the size of a… pumpkin.
Your baby’s body and brain are continuing to grow and develop so continue bonding with your bump through your voice and music.

You may notice your baby hiccupping a lot this week. This is perfectly normal and is caused by amniotic fluid getting caught in the windpipe as your baby practises breathing.

The tiny hairs (lanugo) covering your baby’s skin have now mostly disappeared. It is common for babies to be born with some soft, downy hair on their shoulders and neck but this disappears after birth.

Physical pregnancy changes

You may find that your eyes feel itchy and dry. The extra fluid in your body causes a change in the way your tear ducts work, meaning your eyes are not lubricated in the same way as usual. Eye drops are the best remedy for this. This problem will remedy itself after the birth.
Keep an eye out for symptoms of labour. It’s possible that you could experience false labour so it’s important that you know how to recognise the difference between false and actual labour.
· False labour: is where your cervix hasn’t dilated yet. You will experience random contractions of varying pain levels but it won’t progress to actual labour.
· Actual labour: is where your cervix has started to dilate. You will experience more regular contractions that get closer together and increase in pain.
Your health and fitness during pregnancy

Do whatever it takes to be comfortable, stay well rested and be prepared. Babies generally don’t like to appear on their expected date, and with your final week approaching, labour is possible at any time. It is common for first babies to come later than expected.

Your week 39 pregnancy checklist

· Do any last-minute washing, tidying or cleaning you feel compelled to do. Nesting is a perfectly natural urge but make sure you don’t overdo it.
· Make sure you have a plan in place to contact your birth team should you go into labour.