Even though your baby’s time in your uterus is almost over, learn why taking in the brain-nourishing nutrient DHA for your baby at 38 weeks is still important.
Mom's Tip of the Week 38
Did you know...?
During the first five years of life, a child’s brain grows up to 85 percent of its adult size. So if you’re breastfeeding, stick with your prenatal supplement with brain-nourishing DHA—the more DHA you take in, the more your breast milk will offer to your baby. Experts recommend 200 milligrams per day while breastfeeding.
Your Baby at 38 Weeks Pregnant
What's Happening in There
- The average baby at 38 weeks weighs about 6 ½ pounds. While some babies add fat to their frame at a slower pace, others may not gain at all during these last few weeks. Her height is anywhere from 18 to 21 inches from head to toe. Remember, every baby is different.
- Her toenails are ready. A few weeks ago, your baby’s fingernails were fully formed. Now her toenails have caught up, reaching the tips of her toes—and they are possibly already in need of a little trimming.
- She’s shedding her peach fuzz. Your baby continues to shed her lanugo, the fuzzy hair that has been covering her since early in your second trimester. Her intestines are gathering the lanugo, along with dead skin cells and digested amniotic fluid, to create her first poop. Called meconium, this waste will look tarry and greenish black to whoever is on the inaugural diaper duty.
- She’s getting ready to make faces at you. All of the sucking and swallowing that your baby has been doing is good practice for eating when she’s born. Your baby at 38 weeks is also developing the muscles that will allow her to make facial expressions when she’s born—so she can begin to communicate with you and those around her.
- She’s preparing to use her voice. At 38 weeks pregnant, your baby’s lungs have matured to the point at which they’re ready to work with her vocal cords to let out her first cry—and second, and third!
- Your baby’s reproductive system is fully formed. If your little one is a boy, his testes are in their final resting position in your baby’s scrotum. Having a girl? Her labia are completely formed.
Baby Brain Waves
Your Baby’s Brain Is Developing
Her brain continues to grow and weighs about 14 ounces. In this late stage, at 38 weeks pregnant, keep up your DHA intake through your diet and a prenatal supplement with expert-recommended levels (200 milligrams daily while pregnant or breastfeeding). You're 38 weeks pregnant, and your baby will soon be in your arms. Her brain will continue to make new connections for many years.
Real Issues, Real Solutions
The issue: Not all breast milk is equal in nutritional value.
The solution: If you're planning to breastfeed, you can give your milk a nutritional boost with a few smart strategies.
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