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Safety and Wellness

Week 39


Your Baby's Development

Pregnancy Calendar

Umbilical cords, which carry nutrients from the placenta to the baby, vary in size but average about 22 inches (55 cm) long and half an inch (1-2 cm) thick. Sometimes the umbilical cord can become wrapped around a baby’s neck. Generally, this doesn’t cause problems, although a cesarean delivery could be required if it causes pressure on the umbilical cord during labor or delivery. A true knot in the umbilical cord is much less common, occurring in only about 1% of pregnancies.

Most of the vernix that covered your baby's skin has disappeared, as has the lanugo. Your body has been supplying the baby with antibodies through the placenta that will help the baby's immune system fight infection for the first 6-12 months of life.

Week 39

Your Body

Braxton Hicks contractions may become more pronounced. Also called "false labor," these contractions may be as painful and strong as true labor contractions but do not become regular and do not increase in frequency as true contractions do.

Another sign of labor, the rupture of your amniotic sac, could happen any day now. When their water breaks, some women experience a large gush of water and some feel a steady trickle. Many women don’t experience their water breaking until they’re well into labor. Others need to have their water broken by their health care providers to get their labor started or to speed it up. If you think your water has broken or you are experiencing regular contractions, contact your health care provider.

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995–2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

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Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)


Miracle Makers 2014 3:07:00Expand

The 30th annual Miracle Makers fundraising special aired on KOMO 4 TV on June 6, 2014. The special takes us on a journey through the hopes, fears, victories and challenges facing patients at Seattle Children's. Cosponsored by Costco Wholesale and KOMO 4. 

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Overcoming the Odds: A KING 5 TV Children's HealthLink Special 0:44:45Expand

In the spirit of the holidays, patients, parents and doctors share inspirational stories of healing and hope. From surviving heart failure and a near-death drowning to battling a flesh-eating disease, witness how the impossible became possible thanks to the care patients received at Seattle Children's Hospital.

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Miracle Season 2013 0:57:06Expand

Miracle Season, hosted by Steve Pool and Molly Shen, aired Dec. 8, 2013, on KOMO 4 TV. The annual holiday special celebrates the remarkable lives of Seattle Children's patients.

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