Just a handful of women deliver on their due date, so chances are that you can go into labor any time now, which is considered perfectly normal. Don’t hold your breath if you’re due date comes and goes by without much ado either. On the same token, be ready to call your hubby in to rush to the hospital with labor pains even 10 minutes from now!

What’s happening with you

If you feel your contractions may be the real thing, there is no harm in making a trip to the hospital, only to be turned back after being told that it is false labor. It happens to the best of us, so don’t be embarrassed if you may have overreacted and landed in the hospital before the real thing began. If this is any consolation, your home is much more comfortable than the hospital anyway, so being home even during the first few centimeters of dilation will beat being confined to a hospital bed.

While you may be wondering about what the difference between false labor and the real thing is, only the real thing will cause your cervix to dilate. All other contractions are practice contractions and will not cause your cervix to open up in readiness for labor. This is an important distinction as it can make the difference between relaxing at home versus making a trip to the hospital. A fairly straightforward way to distinguish between the two is timing the frequency of contractions. The real thing will continue to get closer in frequency, not to mention more painful as time progresses.

False labor contractions on the other hand, are not only irregular but can vary in intensity from mild to painful and not necessarily in that order. If this is your first pregnancy, it is more than likely that you will not experience false labor as it is more commonly seen in subsequent pregnancies.

What’s happening with your baby

week 39 of pregnancyHiccups are a mainstay of this late stage in your pregnancy. Oh, not yours but the baby’s. Remember that there is no air in the amniotic sac, so it is the amniotic fluid she is repeatedly taking in, which results in those periodic knocks you keep experiencing. Your baby’s lanugo is more than likely all gone, along with the waxy vernix, which generously coated your baby. There may be some lanugo that persists on the shoulders and back, but between the baths and lying on her back, your baby will lose this soft down in less than a few weeks after birth.

Your placenta is continuing to supply nutrition and antibodies to your baby, so don’t go overboard with food high on the mirchi meter! Your baby is continuing to get plumper and at a little over 20 inches long, weighs anywhere between 6 1/2 to 7 pounds (2.9 – 3.1 kgs). So before your first contraction hits; make sure to tell all your loved ones to be available for you at a moment’s notice. The baby will not wait, you know!