Baby Growth at the End of Pregnancy in Weeks 35-38
Wow! You’ve reached the end of pregnancy, and it’s almost time to greet baby into her new world. What is happening now?
- Baby weighs from 6 to 7 ½ pounds.
- She measures 18 to 20 inches.
- This is her “finishing” stage, and baby gains a tremendous amount of subcutaneous fat, filling her out for birth.
- The lanugo hair has disappeared.
- Some of the vernix caseosa has disappeared, and it seems that just enough of this cheesy substance remains to lubricate her for a smoother passage during birth.
- By this time baby has pretty much run out of room and is tucked up like a little ball.
- During the final weeks inside the womb, baby sucks, swallows, breathes and blinks.
- She steps, turns her head, and sucks her thumb.
- She grasps and clasps her hands, practicing all the movements she will need after she makes her appearance in the world.
- The air sacs of her lungs are now lined with a substance called surfactant, that keep the lungs expanded after each breath, enabling nearly all babies born at this stage (even early in this stage) to breathe air outside the womb.