In our pregnancy week by week guide, you can find out what to expect when you’re 39 weeks pregnant.

You at 39 weeks pregnant

Your cervix is probably getting thinner now – this is called ‘effacement’.

You could have a ‘show’ at any time. If your waters break, take note of how the fluid looks and smells and call your midwife, doctor or hospital.

Your baby might have ‘engaged’, so you’ll get the feeling of pressure low down in your pelvis.

You’ll probably have lots of Braxton Hicks contractions. In fact, it might be difficult to tell them apart from the real contractions. If in doubt, call your doctor or midwife and be guided by them.

pregnancy illustration, week 39

Your baby when you’re 39 weeks pregnant

Your baby’s growth might slow down now, because your baby is ready to be born:

  • Your baby is about 35-36 cm from head to bottom, and might weigh about 3.3 kg.
  • Your baby has lots of fat under the skin.
  • If you’re having a boy, his testicles are probably fully descended into his scrotum.
  • The vernix (a white, creamy substance that protects baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid) is probably all gone, although there might be a little left under the arms, in the elbow creases and under the chin.
Some parents look at their newborns after birth and fall in love straight away. For other parents, bonding can take longer. Find out more about bonding with your newborn.


40 weeks pregnant

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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