Help my growing baby develop in the 39th week of pregnancy

You are now entering the third trimester of your pregnancy! As your growing baby’s mental & physical development continues to develop rapidly from week 28 onwards. Learn more tips
about adding DHA in your diet for you and your developing baby.

What’s happening in the 39th week of pregnancy?

Your growing baby’s umbilical cord, which up to this point has allowed your growing baby to receive the 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 delivery.

Your growing 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 growing baby measures about 20 inches from head to toe (50.5 centimeters).iv

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 pre-labor symptoms.

What can I expect in the 39th week of pregnancy?

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 ruptured.iv
  • 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 time.vii

What can you do to support your pregnancy?

It’s time for your growing baby last spurt of growth, so continue eating healthy foods with a range of essential nutrients. Support your growing baby’s mental and physical 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 labor. 

If you have anxieties and 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 growing baby that you have been nurturing right through your pregnancy. 

Your growing baby’s development in week 40



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