In the blink of any eye, you are now in Week 40 of pregnancy! Soon, you will be cradling the baby you have watched over throughout the whole 10 months of pregnancy. The organs in Baby are now developed and are all geared up to start supporting Baby for life after labor. The very last week of pregnancy, the new start you’ve been slowly walking towards the past 9 months – what awaits you at the finishing line of labor?
40 Weeks Pregnant: Weight gain
Tightness in the abdomen, pelvic pain, the increase in vaginal discharge and innumerable visits to the toilet continue even in the last week of pregnancy. After the baby drops and you feel like you’re able to breathe easy, your stomach is now freed from the “prison” it was confined in, and it’s no surprise if both your appetite and weight increases.
Think of pregnancy as a race: There is a finish line, and you can’t afford to cut yourself some slack or neglect your own body before you reach the end. It’s almost the end so don’t give up now! Say no to calories you don’t need – especially empty calories that don’t benefit Baby or you!
You will probably feel the butterflies in your stomach grow each day as you do the countdown. Delivery will come – so stay positive and don’t let yourself be beset with worries. Enjoy what’s left of maternity life!
40 Weeks Pregnant: Overdue? No contractions, higher risk?
A term pregnancy is defined as the period between Week 37 Day 0 to Week 41 Day 6, and it’s the norm for babies are delivered during this period. Although you might be overdue and still have no signs of labor, don’t be anxious!
There is a legitimate reason why you should keep calm. Approximately 20% of all pregnancies take place in Week 41 of pregnancy, and about more than half of women pregnant for the first time go into labor after their expected delivery date has passed.
If you feel that something is amiss in your case, consult your practitioner and get the answers you need – it’s best to get advice from the person who’s been watching over you throughout your entire pregnancy.
Fetus: All ready to be delivered
In Week 40 of pregnancy, the fetus is 6.6 to 7.7 lb (3 to 3.5 kg) and 18.9 to 19.6 in (48 to 50 cm) long. The fetus is now all but ready to be delivered. The fetus’ hair, nails and even the muscles around the mouth to help them with sucking continue to be strengthened.
Baby does not yet have the ability to shed any tears and so can’t shed any tears of joy upon meeting you – so to make up for it, your baby might just greet you and the world with a healthy loud first wail.
Late term: Fetus is still in your belly?
When your pregnancy goes past the Expected Delivery Date (EDD), the pregnancy enters the “late term” period. If your baby is delivered in Week 42 or later, that is termed a post-term pregnancy.
The uterus starts to lose its function and the baby is not able to get all the nutrients and oxygen needed. The amniotic fluid decreases, and as a result, when contractions begin, the stress on the baby will be higher. Another concern is that the fetus continues to grow in the uterus, and this increases the possibility of a giant baby (macrosomia).
If you have yet to deliver by then, go to the practitioner’s for a checkup and talk about the procedures available to help you give birth. You can opt for a Cesarean section or a labor induction that cause contractions to start so that you can give birth vaginally.
40 Weeks Pregnant: Signs of labor
If your Expected Delivery Date (EDD) has gone by but you have zero signs of labor, you‘ll probably be feeling a little panicky. You might just be wishing that you can get this over and done with. However, only 5% of all pregnancies take place on the EDD. Most babies are delivered in the two weeks before and after the EDD.
As every baby is unique, the pace of growth and the baby’s “readiness” to come out into the world is different. Until your contractions come, do your best to keep yourself calm and positive!
40 Weeks Pregnant: At long last!
Only a few more days left to the end of your long pregnancy journey. When your baby pops out, you’ll definitely become busier, and the time you have to sit around and chill will definitely decrease.
Although you might be feeling a little worried about why the baby is not coming out yet, why not change your perspective and start looking at things from another angle – it’s a good time for you to reflect on your pregnancy journey. First-time moms will probably be worried just imagining the labor pain, about whether they can deliver their babies safely or whether they can bear the pains of pregnancy.
Try to imagine yourself delivering, as well as your child’s face and voice – that might help you when the time comes. Spend the remaining time well, and you will finish this journey well. For the very last time, you might want to check your hospital bag and its contents – things you need for your stay and baby products – and steady your heart. It won’t be long before you trade that hospital bag for your own bundle of joy.