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By this week, your baby has lost most of the vernix and lanugo that used to cover the skin, although you may see traces of them at birth.

Your baby now has enough fat laid down under the skin to hold his or her body temperature as long as there's a little help from you. This gives the baby the familiar healthy, chubby look seen at birth.

Even though the body has been catching up, the baby's head is still its largest part, and that's why it's best when babies are born headfirst.

In addition, this week your placenta is continuing to supply your baby with antibodies — protein substances that help protect against bacteria and viruses. During the first six months of your baby's life, these antibodies will help your baby's immune system stave off infections. Some of these same antibodies will be provided after birth through breast milk.

By the 39th week of pregnancy, your baby weighs about 7 to 7 1/2 pounds, but by now individual differences in babies are becoming dramatic. It's normal for a 39-week-old baby to weigh from 6 to 9 pounds.

The ideal — and most common — position for birth is shown here. In

The ideal — and most common — position for birth is shown here. In

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