Week 39

Support and information from NCT

NCT offers reliable support and information about the various stages of pregnancy, week by week.

Your developing baby

Now you are 39 weeks pregnant you are almost at ‘term’. 

Your baby has now developed as much as they will in the womb. Though they won't grow much more, they will put on a little bit more weight.

Week 39

Mucus plug

You may now experience symptoms that labour is not too far off. One of these is when the plug of mucus - that sealed your cervix during pregnancy - loosens and comes away. You’ll see it as a jelly-like substance, which might be clear or slightly pink or streaked with a small amount of blood. It could be in one single piece in your underwear or on toilet paper, like a blob of gel. Or it could be in smaller pieces which come away over several hours or more. 

You don’t normally need to tell your midwife about it. However, if it’s accompanied by more blood loss, or is very bloody, then give the midwife or antenatal ward a call to ask for advice.

During early labour, the support of your birth partner can really help. They can make sure you have everything you need if you are having the baby at home, birth centre or hospital. They should try to create a relaxing and safe environment for you and reassure you that you will be able to do this. To ease the pain they could hold you or rub your back, if that's what you want. 

Guide for birth partners

During early labour, the support of your birth partner can really help. They can make sure you have everything you need if you are having the baby at home, birth centre or hospital. They should try to create a relaxing and safe environment for you and reassure you that you will be able to do this. To ease the pain they could hold you or rub your back, if that's what you want. 

You can find more helpful information for your birth partner on our website.

What happens after the birth

You may be wondering what happens after the birth. At this point, many women instinctively want to cuddle their newborn baby 'skin-to-skin'. This is an instinct which has important benefits for both mums and babies, helping you both to recover from the birth and get to know one another. It also keeps your baby warm, helps regulate their heart beat, reduces crying and enables breastfeeding.

After birth your midwife will also check your body post-labour. For example, she will check your blood loss, feel how your uterus is contracting, and should check your blood pressure, temperature and pulse.

Checklist

Have you stored important numbers in your phone?

Add your midwife and/or hospital numbers to your phone.

Further information

NCT offers reliable support and information about the various stages of pregnancy, week by week.  Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

 

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