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A Complete Information Guide on Pregnancy Week 40
By Pregnancy week 40, you may welcome a new life!
Congratulations! You are nine months pregnant. This can be your last week of pregnancy as 40 weeks pregnant is baby’s official deadline. So, now you may be very eager to meet your baby and don’t want to be pregnant anymore. But don’t stress yourself. When your baby will be ready to come out of your womb, he/she will give you the right signals that it’s time. Just stay cool and positive.
Read this article to know more about your 40th week of pregnancy.
Fetal Development in Pregnancy Week 40:
In Pregnancy week 40:
- Size of baby – 20.16 inches (51.2 cm) – from crown to heel.
- Weight of baby – around 7.6 pounds (3.44 kg)
- Baby is as big as Watermelon.
Your baby has gained enough fat underneath his skin. The internal organs and body parts are fully developed and matured. The reflux system is also developed and functioning well. The baby can now respond to the light when it is shown near to her. Her kicks and movements inside your tummy will be less now. But if you notice any sudden decrease, contact your doctor immediately. So, make sure to pay attention for each little stretch and push. She has already taken the birthing position i.e. head-down position by now.
When you will hold your baby for the first time, talk to her a lot so that she can recognize your voice. Remember Moms, she is unfamiliar with the outside environment but familiar with yours and your better half’s voice. And also, at birth she can only focus about an inch away. You will appear little blurry for her. So, she can just get a comfort after listening the known voices.
When your baby will come out from your womb, she will still be curled up in the fetal position as this is the most comfortable and the only known pose since so long for her. Isn’t it will be such a cute thing to notice this? Hold up your patience, Moms! Just few days or hours left for meeting your baby. You can expect your delivery anytime soon.
Image courtesy: www.whattoexpect.com
Moods & Symptoms in Pregnancy Week 40:
You may experience the following changes and symptoms during your 40th week of pregnancy:
- Diarrhea & Constipation – Having these symptom means an impending labor and thus, anytime you can deliver your bundle of joy.
- Anxiety and Restlessness – You may be very anxious about your delivery and baby. By this time, you may have lost patience and just eagerly waiting for the D-day. No matter what it takes! Don’t stress yourself. Spend quality time with your husband and near ones.
- Discomfort while sleeping/Insomnia – Hormonal changes and your large belly creates the discomfort in your body which results in sleepless nights. Your anxiety is also not letting you sleep.
- Fatigue – As you are not able to sleep properly, so you may feel exhausted like never before. Take rest as much as you can and take small nap in afternoon.
- Pelvic pain and discomfort – When the baby moves more deeply into the pelvis, it gives sharp pain and discomfort. You may experience leg cramps as well.
- Mucus Plug – You may release the mucus plug which has been protecting your cervix all along. It is a stingy mucus with blood either in red, brown or pink in color. As your cervix dilates (opens), the mucus plug is released to make way for baby. Losing mucus plug can happen at a different time for every woman and is a sign that labor is very near. But still how much near you are to labor can’t be defined as losing of mucus plug can happen weeks, days or hours before labor begins.
- Lightning – As the baby moves down, the pressure on your lungs get decreased. It will make you feel lighter.
This week you will visit your doctor for check up and internal examination to check the position of cervix, its dilation, softness and effacement. By now you may have dilated to few centimetres, even if you haven’t had any contractions. Surprised? This is because your baby’s weight is putting pressure on the tissues which is making your cervix ripen or thin. You will be asked to go for the ultrasound for checking breathing and overall movements of baby.
Signs of labor in Pregnancy Week 40:
Below are the signs which indicates you are going through real labor and not Braxton Hicks. Yes! No more waiting now for your baby. Rush to the hospital immediately.
- Breaking of water – Oftentimes after the contraction, water break occurs and you may feel a leakage from your vagina. This water is an amniotic sac. The moment you feel this situation, contact your doctor immediately as you will go into labor within hours.
- Strong and Regular Contractions – If the contractions are stronger, frequent and longer in duration, and the time between them keeps getting shorter, then you are in real labor. You will feel pain also. Start noting down the timings of contractions. As your uterus contracts, it’s dilating your cervix so baby can pass into the birth canal at delivery. So, therefore, if you feel this type of contraction, immediately contact your doctor. Your doctor will check if your cervix is dilated and its effacement (thinning). Established labor is when your cervix is dilated by more than three centimetres. The cervix becomes very thin before the delivery. If it is dilated and thin then you are very close to meet your baby. He will also examine the position of your cervix and baby in relation to your pelvis. If the position of your baby is very low then delivery may happen anytime now.
|[icon type=”icon-lamp”] Your cervix should be dilated to 10 centimetres, so baby can pass into the birth canal at delivery.|
If you are dilated a bit, your doctor may strip your membranes. This stripping off membranes may trigger labor within hours or days in some women. But in some cases, it is ineffective.
- Constant Back pain – If you are experiencing severe back pain along with strong and regular contractions, then you are going through real labor. Rush to the hospital immediately.
Note: Though your baby has reached her due date but delivery never happens on exact due date. Only 4% babies arrive on their due date while other babies always pass their due date or born earlier (between weeks 37 and 42). For a first time mom, normally 41 weeks is the final due date i.e. going into labor naturally. Whereas for a second time mom, she may tends to go into labor naturally at 40 weeks.
But if you don’t go into labor naturally, then it will usually be induced between one and two weeks overdue, or even sooner if the doctor deem the risk of waiting greater than the risk of delivering your baby immediately. And if you are so eager to meet your baby, then there are some natural ways too for inducing the labor.
Here are 10 Natural ways for inducing labor in Pregnancy week 40:
- Sex – Have sexual intercourse with your husband as orgasm can trigger contractions which will dilate your cervix. But don’t do sex if your water has ruptured as it can put you in the risk of infection.
- Climbing stairs – In climbing the stairs you will take longer steps and your legs will be lifted higher, thus putting pressure on your cervix leading to its dilation.
- Walking – Even long walks can induce the labor. So walk, walk, walk, walk and walk…!! If this walking exercise doesn’t work in inducing labor but this will surely assist you in busting off the stress level and keeping the body strong for the upcoming labor.
- Stimulating Nipples – You or your partner can manually stimulate your nipples. Rubbing or rolling nipples gently can release hormone called oxytocin that causes the uterus to contract and milk to be ejected from the breast. You can also take the help of breast pump. But using breast pump can overstimulate your uterus, so its better to avoid doing with this at home.
- Spicy Foods – It is said that having spicy foods can trigger contractions. Although it’s not recommended in your pregnancy diet. Even Chinese food can help ripen the cervix.
- Eating Pineapple, Basil – Having pineapple can put you into labor as it contains an enzyme called bromelain, which can soften your cervix. Add basil in your food for inducing labor naturally as it stimulates blood flow to the uterus.
- Acupuncture – This is an ancient remedy for inducing labor in which thin needles are inserted into the specific points of the body that triggers the contractions. This method has high labor induction so follow this when your due date is close or has passed.
- Acupressure – Quite similar to acupuncture, this method uses fingers instead of needles into the specific points of your body which can ripen the cervix.
- Warm Bath – Take a warm bath which will help in not only inducing the labor but will also give calm and relax feeling. Make sure the water is not so warm.
- Massage – Get a relaxing massage from massage therapist qualified to work with pregnant women. They may know various points to massage to induce labor. Kindly note that massage is not recommended in early stages of pregnancy.
Note: Before using any of the above mentioned methods/ways, kindly consult your doctor. Some of the methods mentioned above have high labor induction, so it shouldn’t be done at home or without proper supervision.
However at this stage, your doctor may recommend a medical induction. But if in your internal check up, the doctor finds no complications and your baby is healthy too, then he may suggest you to wait for another week for going into labor naturally. Although there are chances of you going into labor naturally by the end of this week. But still if you don’t go please don’t panic at all. Your baby won’t be staying in the womb forever. Relax!
Do’s and Don’ts in Pregnancy Week 40:
- Take proper rest and continue having a healthy and nutritious diet.
- Stay calm and stress-free.
- Do not think much about your delivery.
- Practice prenatal yoga. It will help during the labour.
- Spend time with your family and loved ones.
- Prepare the bag for your stay in the hospital. Carry the basic necessities and baby essential products in your bag.
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Have faith in yourself. If all other women on this earth can do this, why can’t you? Trust us, when you will see your baby all your pains will fade away.
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