Now that you’re in your 40th week of pregnancy, you’re right near the finish line. However, you need to remember that babies can arrive any time till the 42nd week and still be considered full term and not overdue. Hang in there – your baby probably knows the best time to make an appearance. Meanwhile consult with the doctor if you’re in doubt.
During the last week or so, it may be a good idea to wear a sanitary towel since your water could break any time. When your water breaks, examine the fluid that you pass. If you find that the fluid is not clear as it should be – if it is brownish or yellowish – this could mean that baby is in distress, and you should reach the hospital immediately. Also if there is bleeding, you should go to the hospital immediately.
Changes in the baby
Baby is now fully ready in the fetal position – arms and legs curled up and ready to emerge into this fascinating big world.
- Baby has had time to lay down fat stores by now and will likely emerge quite well rounded with little chubby cheeks.
- Your baby is now between 7 to 8 pounds and may measure anywhere between 17 and 22 inches (babies can be very variable indeed).
Changes in the mom to be
If you’ve been having a lot of practice contractions, you may well wonder how you will be able to tell the real thing when labor actually starts. Signs of real labor could be:
- The lightening or dropping of the baby into the pelvis.
- A bloody show, dislodging of the mucus plug or the breaking of water.
- The contractions will be strong, predictable and will come at regular intervals. A persistent lower back pain, rather like you feel during your periods could also occur.
- Diarrhea or the feeling that you want to go to the bathroom.
Tips for the 40th Week
Here are some tips for labor that you may find useful:
- Try different positions to see what is more comfortable – lying down, squatting, on all fours or walking about.
- Keep as active as possible and for as long as you can.
- Ask for pain relief if you find it tough.
- Have your partner or a close friend or mother there to support you – physically and emotionally.
- As soon as the baby arrives, put her to the breast; this helps to speed up the delivery of the placenta.