Your baby at 38 weeks as seen in this illustration by Sebastian Kaulitzki. Your baby is shedding lanugo now (soft, fine baby hair), and while most of this is gone before a full-term baby is born, some may remain on the shoulders and arms.

Week 38

Mum

In this digital age of online photos and video footage by the gigabyte, it’s not unusual to take hundreds of baby photos every day, or to have a 15-minute movie of your baby sleeping. Most of your memories will be stored in the Cloud, but have you considered making a real memory box? You can start with the baby’s hospital bracelet, congratulations cards, a handprint or a footprint, the first beanie, the first outfit, the newspaper from the day he or she is born. As time goes on, you can add the first baby party invitation, a lock of hair from the first haircut, the first baby spoon, the first drawing, the first tooth, etc.

Dad

The first labour can easily last 12-24 hours from her first contractions to delivery. The hospital might not admit your partner if the contractions are too far apart, so if this is her first baby, call your LMC when the contractions are five minutes apart and lasting around 30 or 40 seconds. Your LMC will probably advise you to head for the hospital, or, if you’re having a home birth, they will start on their way to you.

As labour progresses, it gets increasingly painful. Depending on the pain management options your partner chooses, she might be experiencing pain that you can’t imagine. Don’t mind if she swears, tells you it’s all your fault, refuses to have you touch her during contractions, or even tells you to get out. She’s not herself and she doesn’t mean it. Don’t leave the room if she asks, by the way, be there from beginning to end – simply move out of her line of sight for a while.

Baby

You are the size and weight of a bigger watermelon. You are practising your inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping and blinking.

Photos in the bumpandbaby.co.nz/week-by-week/ are by Lenart Nilsson. Lenart's series was bought to fame when his photo, considered the greatest photo of the 20th century, appeared on the cover of Life magazine in 1965. “Everyone interprets images differently, depending on their social, cultural and religious background. In the digital era, I believe it is more important than ever to go back and take a look inside ourselves. What better way of doing that than with these photos?” ~ Jane Stene, art gallery director and curator of Lenart's definitive black and white series, told the The Guardian in 2019. It is Lenart Nilsson's wish that his images are never used for political debate about pro-life.

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