This week of pregnancy, your baby is about 20 – 21 inches in length and weighs at least 6 pounds. Your baby is now considered to be “full term” and if born now it’s unlikely that he or she would have any major complications, although your baby still continues to fill out and gain weight, but is not likely to grow in length too much more. Things are getting pretty tight inside the womb and it is becoming increasingly difficult for your baby to move around.
The lanugo (fine hair) that has been protecting your baby’s skin is wearing off and mostly gone. Your baby may still have a little Vernix (creamy coating) that has been covering his or her skin, but mostly confined to skin creases and folds.
The top of your uterus may be well over 6 inches from your belly button and your total weight gain is probably somewhere between 25-35 pounds. You are only three weeks away from your due date and you are most likely counting down the days (and possibly hours!) Remember that only about five percent of babies are born on their due date. You may be becoming anxious about the delivery of your baby and how you will cope, since your baby’s arrival is not far off.
Soon, you may have your first internal exam (pelvic exam) to see if your cervix has softened, thinned (effaced), dilated and also if your baby’s head has moved down into your pelvis. Also, as your cervix stretches and dilates, you may experience some bleeding, which is often referred to as “bloody show”. Along with a bloody show, you may pass a mucus plug at the onset of labor, although this doesn’t necessarily mean you will go into labor for sure. You could still go for days before labor begins. If you experience any of these things, you need to let your doctor or midwife know immediately.