The Baby has now lost most of the vernix and lanugo that used to cover his or her skin, although you may see traces of them at birth. Your baby now has enough fat laid down under the skin to
hold his or her body temperature as long as there’s a little help from you. This fat gives baby the familiar healthy chubby look seen at birth. Even though the rest of the body has been catching up, baby’s head is still the largest part of his or her body, and that’s why it’s ideal when babies are born headfirst.
You continue to supply your baby with antibodies, protein substances that help protect against bacteria and viruses. The antibodies cross the placenta from you to your baby. During the first six months of your baby’s life, these antibodies help your baby’s immune system stave off infections. Some of these antibodies also are provided through breast milk.
By the 39th week of pregnancy the average baby weighs about 7 to 8 pounds. By now individual differences in babies become noticeable. A 39-week old baby may weigh 6 to 9 pounds.
You and your body after 39 weeks
The waiting is nearly over and you will probably be feeling both excited and apprehensive. You may be having quite strong Braxton-Hicks contractions as the cervix softens in readiness for the birth. Although you may be feeling heavy and weary, don't simply sit around waiting for something to happen. Keep up your social life and talk to other friends from your parent-craft classes who are at the same stage as you.
Your growing baby
The baby is now able to function on its own, although it is still getting nourishment from the placenta. The baby is in position for birth and is about 20 inches (50,7 cm) long and weighs
around 7.2 pounds (3,3 kg)