*Your body *

Even if you're not still visibly growing, you may be feeling uncomfortable and may notice a strange sensation in your vagina as baby's head moves against your pelvic floor.

The waiting game

Feeling weary, cumbersome and can't wait to meet your baby? Don't be too impatient – the vast majority of babies are born between 38 and 42 weeks of pregnancy, which means you could have her today…or not for another month! Try to enjoy the last few days of knowing she's safe inside you.

Your baby

She weighs about 3.1kg, is about 35cm crown to rump long and 47cm long from head to toe. As she's nicely filled out, she won't be moving much at all. She's lying in a bath of 1.2 litres of amniotic fluid – the maximum volume at any point in your pregnancy. From now, the amount of amniotic fluid gradually reduces.


This week, your baby sheds most of the lanugo (downy hair that covers her body) and vernix caseosa (grease that protects her skin). These waste products are swallowed by your baby and stay in her bowel until birth, when they are passed out as her first bowel movement: a sticky, tar-like black mixture called meconium."

The majority of babies are born between 38 and 42 weeks of pregnancy.

Labour positions

Research has shown that lying down can prolong labour, so many midwives encourage women to stand up and move about during labour, and to choose positions that use gravity to aid delivery.

Stirrups may be used towards the end of labour if an instrumental delivery (involving the use of forceps or a ventouse) is required.