You’re officially in the third trimester of pregnancy, which means your body and baby are gearing up for birth. This is when your bump may start to feel bigger, and you might begin feeling a constant tightening sensation in your abdomen. This is called contractions and it’s completely normal. However, if your cramping is painful and comes on regularly or at specific intervals then it’s time to call your doctor.

At constant hard stomach 38 weeks pregnant you’re considered what’s known as “early term,” which means you’re nearly full term but not quite there yet. This is also when you’re most likely to lose your mucus plug, a thick gooey, and sometimes blood-streaked discharge that’s actually a sign that your cervix is starting to dilate in preparation for labor.

Understanding Constant Hard Stomach at 38 Weeks: Causes and Remedies

If you’re not sure whether that weird feeling in your stomach is contractions or just your uterus expanding, it’s a good idea to write down when your pains first start and how long they last. This way you can be sure to tell your doctor and she’ll be able to check to see whether you’re in early labor or just having Braxton Hicks contractions.

Your baby is getting really big now, they’re about the size of a winter melon and are gaining that adorable squishy baby fat at an alarming rate. On average, they weigh 6-7 lbs at this point. Baby is also starting to shed the protective layer of vernix caseosa that’ll come off during birth.

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