38 Weeks Pregnant: Head-down and Healthy?“I believe in my power to birth my baby.”
With your baby and body nearly ready for birth, baby is likely head-down. If your baby is breech, the doctor or midwife may have already tried to turn baby manually to a head-down position and may offer to do so again this week. Keep doing our Turn a Breech techniques or following our 6-day program for Helping a Breech Baby Turn. Even if the baby is already head-down, comfort in pregnancy is a worthy outcome of self-care with the Fantastic Four myofascial release technique.
If this is your first baby and they are head-down, they may start to engage or “drop” into the pelvis over the next weeks—one step closer to meeting you! What helps babies engage? Walking. Balance in the body helps, too, as does keeping the pelvic brim open by resting in smart maternal positions that use gravity. If this isn’t your first child, they will likely wait for labor to engage.
If you know your baby is head down but posterior (facing your front), we hope that baby’s chin will be tucked and that baby will rotate before engagement. This is most important if your baby is still high after 38 weeks and is your first child, or if you are hoping for a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean (VBAC). Labor contractions will help baby’s position when accompanied by an Abdominal Lift.
Avoid spending much time now in a squat, child’s pose, or knee-chest (see why this is not Open-knee Chest).
If self-care doesn’t help your baby drop this week, seek the help of a bodywork professional who sees a lot of pregnant people. Otherwise, keep balancing and rely on the uterine contractions of actual labor to help rotate and engage baby. The more you do to prepare (without doing too much) the easier this will be in labor.
Spinning Babies Activities of the Week
Begin counting baby’s kicks using Spinning Babies® Kick Chart pdf. This is a great way to monitor your baby’s health near the end of your pregnancy.
Let’s continue bringing balance to the body. Balance, in this case, means daily exercises for full range of motion to help your anatomy be more symmetrical on both sides. Spinning Babies recommended techniques help release tension and encourage relaxation (or tone) of the muscles and ligaments, as well as alignment of the pelvic bones.
Your Baby This Week
Baby is maturing nicely and will continue developing brain cells, fat and immunity until birth. Your baby could have up to an inch or so of hair and is covered in vernix—a thick, white, waxy coating on the skin. Once baby arrives, be sure to leave the vernix (even if you think it’s gross), rather than wipe it off because this stuff is miraculous. It boasts protective, antibacterial, antimicrobial, germ-fighting powers. Plus, it’s “clean”, moisturizes the skin, and insulates baby’s body temperature immediately post-birth.
You This Week
It’s normal to feel emotional as you approach baby’s due date. Journal, talk to good friends, and surround yourself with beauty. Physically, your uterus is preparing for the exercise of birth. You may feel a zinging sensation in your cervix as it softens and practices contractions, or Braxton-Hicks. Practice surges such as these keep the uterus healthy.
Affirmations are short, powerful statements that can affect your conscious thoughts. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, and repeat the following to yourself each day throughout the next week. Fill yourself with breath and feel the joy: