40 weeks pregnant what to expect
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   40 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect?

Guess how many months pregnant you are? YES! That’s right – NINE! This is the moment your baby and you have been waiting for! At 40 weeks pregnant, you’re at the official end of your pregnancy. 

What is the Baby’s Size?

Your baby is about the size of a small pumpkin. Your baby probably weighs anywhere from six to nine pounds and measures between 19 and 22 inches (though tons of perfectly healthy babies are born smaller or bigger).

40-week Symptoms of Pregnancy

You might experience almost the same regular symptoms that you were having for the past nine months. Just relax your mind and body and do not stress about anything.

  • Leg cramps

Cramps can be a sign of dehydration. It is a reminder to keep yourself hydrated and carry water everywhere. It is also a time where your water might break just about any time. Try to be prepared. 

  • Fatigue.

You are maybe stressing over something or just not able to sleep. It’s quite normal at this time. Try to relax and take short naps.

  • Contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are now going to be unavoidable but if it seems like you’re having a lot of them, start timing them to see how far apart they are. If they get closer together, you are in an early stage of labor.

40-week signs of labor

If you are 40 weeks pregnant and have had no signs of labor, it’s okay! It will be here soon enough. One sign of labor is contractions which are frequent. If you are timing them and you feel like they are not very apart, then its time. Another definite sign of labor is a leak or flow of amniotic fluid—this means your water has ruptured or broken. You will likely know because it will be truly watery and nothing like typical discharge. Also, it doesn’t stop. You might confuse it with pee but you will realize it’s your water breaking.  

Inducing labor at 40-week

You are already getting anxious probably because this is your last week and you haven’t gone into labor yet. You might just look around for natural methods to induce labor. Two very light things you can consider are – walking or having sex. You might have heard about some herbal supplements or even castor oil but it’s advised not to take any of them. 

Stimulating your nipples releases oxytocin, and it may help start labor, but more research is needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of this method. Because it may overstimulate your uterus, your contractions and your baby’s response to the need to be monitored. It is better to not try this at all. 

The doctor will have to check how the baby is doing in there to see if you need any medical intervention for inducing labor. If your baby is healthy, it is normal to wait and let the baby take its time for coming out. 

40 Weeks Ultrasound

Once you’ve completed a full-term pregnancy and reached 40 weeks, your doctor will likely want to do a biophysical profile. ICYMI, this is a two-fold test. You’ll have a non-stress test, where the baby’s movement and your contractions are monitored to see how baby’s heart rate reacts. You’ll also have a 40 weeks pregnant ultrasound to see what the amniotic fluid levels look like.

Your 40-week fetus is continuing to grow hair and nails. And baby at 40 weeks is keeping up that lung development too.

The ultrasound may result in the fact that your baby will be better outside than your doctor will have to induce labor to avoid any complications for you or your baby. 

 

PREGNANCY CHECKLIST AT 40-WEEKS PREGNANCY

  • Talk to your doctor about induction options.
  • Try to relax your mind and do not worry about the arrival of the baby.
  • Listen to music, go for light walks but have someone to accompany you if possible as you may need help if you into labor anytime.

Also Read: 39 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect?