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Your little one has now reached a major milestone — they are full-term! And since Baby is just about ready for their birthday, now is the time to make sure that you are too.
Baby is now ready to be born and just waiting for the right time to arrive. Baby is probably between 19-21 inches (48.3-53.3 cm) tall and 7-8 pounds (3.2-3.6 kg), about the size of a small pumpkin. Bigger babies can sometimes result in a more difficult labor, but this is not always the case. Baby knows your voice by now, and their brain is still developing every day, as it will continue to do outside the womb. By this time the protective coating that’s been covering their skin, called vernix caseosa, is coming off. And Baby’s fingernails might even be so long they need a cut!
When Baby does finally arrive, you’ll want to be extra attentive to their cries, because until your little one learns how to talk, crying is your baby’s best way to tell you that they need your help. And in these final days where you’re still waiting for Baby to arrive, you’ll want to apply that same sort of care to noticing their movements. Your baby should keep moving at a mostly steady rate right up until delivery, and if they suddenly start to move less, it could be a sign of a problem. So if this is something you notice, you should let your healthcare provider know right away.
What’s new with you?
Make sure that you and your home are ready for Baby’s arrival as best you can, because that day will be right around the corner. You’ll definitely want to have your bag packed and ready to go to the hospital or birthing center, know who you want to be there to support you during labor and delivery, and be sure you have all of the necessities and care supplies that you’ll need for yourself and baby once you both get home. If you aren’t doing a traditional hospital birth, make sure you have your delivery schedule planned out, and surround yourself with the support team that you believe will best help support you before, during, and after labor.
Some signs of approaching labor will be able to give you a better idea of when Baby is coming, but in the end, even if you have a scheduled C-section doesn’t guarantee that you know exactly when your baby will decide to show up. Because of this, you should be prepared to make a hospital trip at any time in the coming few weeks. Baby’s unpredictability can go both ways, though — your baby might show up early, but then again, they could just as easily decide that they’re plenty comfortable where they are and in no hurry to leave, so don’t be worried if you haven’t had any contractions yet. Trust us when we say that they’ll happen sometime soon!
And as the big day approaches, remember that your little one entering your life is going to be a big change — there will probably be a lot of moments that will be tender and a lot of moments that will be tough — but you’ll learn as you go, as all parents do, and Baby is already so lucky to have you!
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Fetal development: The 3rd trimester.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. June 30, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/fetal-development/art-20045997.
- Mark A Curran, M.D. “Fetal Development.” Perinatology.com. Perinatology.com. March 31, 2019. https://www.perinatology.com/Reference/Fetal%20development.htm#1.