Fetal Development Week by Week – Week 38

Your baby now weighs 6.8 pounds and measures about 21 inches long.  This is what many babies weigh when they are born, and your little one is just around the corner from arriving.  Baby is gaining about an ounce each day.

Since your baby is using their lungs to practice breathing they may get hiccups occasionally and you will be able to notice these little jumps.  The head and abdomen are about the same circumference at this point.  The abdomen is large because of the liver, which is producing red blood cells. 

Tear ducts will not appear until a few weeks after birth.  The brain and the lungs are the last of the organs to develop, but both are nearly ready now.  The lungs are developing surfactant now, which helps the alveoli expand.  Baby can turn their head, react to sounds and lights and blink their eyes.

Vernix, the waxy substance that protects your baby’s skin while in the womb, is mostly gone now.  There is a small amount left to help the trip through the birth canal go smoothly.

Your appetite may decrease now, as you have less room for everything, including your stomach, as the baby has grown larger.  Remember to rest often because many sleepless nights are ahead!

Related Weeks

Fetal Development – Week 37 | Fetal Development – Week 39

Fetal Development Week by Week – Week 38