Your Baby

At 39 weeks, most babies weigh 7 pounds or so. This is about the size of…a healthy newborn! As you might expect, growth is much slower now. But until he or she is born, your baby will continue to build a layer of fat. Her hair and fingernails also grow day by day.

Your Body

In your final prenatal visits, your doctor or midwife will check your cervix. With gloved fingers, your healthcare provider will gauge whether and how much the cervix has thinned and shortened (effaced) and opened (dilated).

Although it's not an exact science, cervical changes are clues to your body's readiness for labor.

Healthy Tip

Remember that during pregnancy, your baby has been surrounded by a fluid-filled membrane (the amniotic sac). In about 1 in 11 pregnancies, this sac will leak or break before labor begins. If your water has broken, you may notice a constant trickle of fluid from your vagina — or a sudden gush of fluid.

Call your doctor or midwife if you think your water has broken. The truth is, it's not always easy to know if your water has broken, and your healthcare provider can advise you on next steps.