40 Weeks Pregnant


Your pregnancy is actually going to end and this can be seen as an exciting, happy period or a trying period for you. Enjoy the final few hours with the baby inside you. Finally, you are about to see your child! Continue to prepare for your baby’s miraculous and amazing journey as he or she enters our world. Mostly 50% of the pregnancies extend beyond the 40 weeks period, but the practitioner will not allow it to continue beyond 42 weeks.

40 Weeks Pregnant-- What Are the Pregnancy Symptoms?

You may find it difficult to sleep at night during this period. To make up for this lost sleep, it is good for you catch a short nap sometime in the day time. You can also try to sleep on an armchair that might make you comfortable at this stage.

When your due date passes and you continue to remain pregnant, it may seem frustrating. But you should understand that a due date is not exact and it can only be an estimated date. Some mothers have pregnancies which may extend 42 weeks. Your practitioner will definitely keep a watch over you.

It may also seem a little irritating when friends and relatives call up or message to find out about you and your baby that is yet to arrive. So if all these unwanted factors are bothering you, you can keep yourself occupied by choosing your baby’s name or by reading on how to take care of your baby and yourself after the childbirth.

How Does Your Baby Grow When 40 Weeks Pregnant?

An average baby weighs 71/2 pounds and the length is around 20 inches. But it is difficult to say how big your baby is for sure. The child’s bones of the skull are not fused, so they let them to be overlapped if its snug fits when it comes through during labor. This molding is the cause for the cone head of a new born child. This is very normal and this cone head look is only temporary.

If you want to have a vivid picture of how your baby grows at 40 weeks pregnancy, you can watch the video below:

How Does Your Life Change When 40 Weeks Pregnant?

After waiting for months together, when your date rolls by and you continue to be pregnant you may find it a little disturbing. The due date is not accurate, especially if it is calculated solely on the basis of your last period day. Also, some women have prolonged pregnancies.

The practitioner may advise you to do an ultrasound to look at the breathing movements, overall movements, the muscle tone of your child and also to check the quantity of amniotic fluid that envelopes her. The checking of the amniotic fluid is of prime importance as it shows how strongly your baby is supported by the placenta.

The heart rate of the baby is also monitored. Fetal heart rate monitoring is also done if the test lacks reassurance or if the amniotic fluid is low, doctors immediately advise to have a c section. Your practitioner will check your cervix to see if it is soft.

When Should You Head to Hospital?

Normally, women with low-risk pregnancies may be asked go to a hospital when the contractions have started becoming frequent. Women undergoing pregnancies with a high risk will be told to go to the hospital when they notice the first labor signs.

Even if you don’t have any other labor signs, you may need to go to see the doctor if your water breaks.

Signs of Labor and Labor Induction

1. What Are the Signs of Labor?

Your baby requires a complete 40 weeks to grow completely. During the last weeks of pregnancy, it may appear tempting to be done with pregnancy. But labor should be induced only on medical grounds and not for your own convenience. It is definitely good to go through the full 40 pregnancy weeks.

When the labor isn’t induced on its own and when the medical practitioner worries about risks of pregnancy which is prolonged, he will induce labor. After the 42nd week, the placenta might become ineffective to provide nutrients to the baby which again may result in complications. Lots of women go for induced labor for a number of reasons including convenience (such as being able to control when your baby will come into the world) and medical reasons (continuing the pregnancy is not recommended).

2. Ways of Natural Labor Induction

  • Stripping of the membranes may be performed by the doctor by placing the gloved finger inside the cervix and sweeping the amniotic membranes. When the doctor does this, you may feel deep cramping and also bleeding. This is done to make your body produce prostaglandins that soften the cervix which may trigger labor.
  • Vigorous walking also induces labor naturally.

3. Ways of Planned Labor Induction

  • Medicines

Your doctor can induce labor by giving certain medicines that will soften the cervix and make it ready for labor. Some prostaglandins may be inserted in the vagina to induce labor.

  • Amnitomy

Your doctor may do a procedure called “amnitomy”, where he uses a plastic hook to break the amniotic sac. This procedure is used if you have a partially dilated cervix.

  • Oxytocin

Another method may be used by the doctor along with amniotomy, if labor has not still occurred. Your doctor can use oxytocin, which causes contractions. This is a hormone which may make stronger contractions or may induce labor.

More Tips on 40 Weeks Pregnancy

This would be your last week of pregnancy but it might be a little longer for a few unlucky ones with about 1-2 weeks more. You might be overwhelmed with anxious feelings and thoughts but you must relax as much as you can to welcome your baby.

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