10th month of pregnancyPregnancy

40 weeks of pregnancy – the finish line

If you feel a kind of emotional cocktail of joy, excitement and anticipation of feeling a small miracle in your hands, then you have already reached the 40th week of pregnancy. You have already reached the finish line, and literally one of these days the miracle of birth will happen.

So you can consider yourself 100% ready, it is worth to study all the interesting, and most importantly useful information. Your doctor and your relatives, especially women who have already given birth, will be able to tell you a lot of information. And some information we are ready to provide and will do right now.

What happens in the 40th week of pregnancy?

40 weeks of pregnancy - the finish line

During this period, the woman’s body is already ready to give birth, and this is quite normal. However, some women may note excitement, especially if there is a 40 week pregnancy on the calendar, and no signs of labor are observed.

However, in most cases, the preparation of the woman’s body for childbirth takes its course. In the body, the amount of estrogen increases, and progesterone decreases. Because of hormonal shifts a woman may experience some emotional discomfort.

It is worth noting that childbirth does not come unexpectedly – the harbingers are usually manifested well in advance and not at all by chance. Beautifully prepare for labor and actually go to the maternity hospital is possible only in the movies.

40 weeks of pregnancy - the finish line

At this term, or even a couple of weeks earlier, the very real birth is possible. This period, experts believe the most favorable moment for the baby to come into the world. At this term, the woman’s body is ready for such a load. However, we emphasize that the birth should be under the supervision of doctors in a specialized center.

You should understand that 40 weeks is not considered an extreme, obligatory or right time to give birth. Statistics confirm that only 5% of births occur specifically at the 40th week. More often, the birth occurs earlier or a little later, which is quite normal.

Fetal size at 40 weeks of pregnancy

40 weeks of pregnancy - the finish line

At 40 weeks’ gestation, the baby has already acquired the height and weight that characterize newborns. However, it is fair to note that the height and weight of each pregnancy will be different for the baby.

More specifically, the height may be 50-53 centimeters. As for weight, the indicator should be at least 2500 grams.

As for the baby’s activity, then here, too, different options are possible. Most often, the baby is somewhat silent, because it is quite cramped in the mother’s womb, which does not allow freedom of movement. However, before the birth the baby can push and be active, moving towards the world. By the way, these jerks and movements cause a lot of discomfort, and even sometimes pain.

40 weeks of pregnancy: feelings

40 weeks of pregnancy - the finish line

Even if labor does not start in the 40th week of pregnancy, a woman has quite specific sensations. Surely you have time to concentrate and highlight all your sensations, and they can be such:

  • Insomnia – this “bonus” has probably been known to you for quite some time. Poor sleep is largely associated with unstable physical sensations, a large stomach, frequent urination and other symptoms. It is not worth risking your health by deciding to take any medications. Sometimes a light massage, a warm drink before bedtime or breathing exercises can help;
  • Weakness in the body – this is largely due to tension throughout the body, stretching muscles and shifting bones as preparation for childbirth. You should not overexert yourself or make up any tasks for yourself, on the contrary, try to rest more;
  • The fatigue that spreads throughout your body is not surprising, since you are 40 weeks carrying your treasure under your heart. In addition, your body is under considerable strain all this time;
  • Increased pressure in your abdomen – you are probably familiar with this symptom. In particular you may experience significant pressure in the pelvis as the baby prepares to come into the world.

You should not forget about the excitement that is caused by training contractions. It is useful to do a kind of checkup. For example, if you have contractions or spasms like these, you should go to the shower – if these are training contractions, they will be over. It may also help to take the most comfortable position, sometimes it helps to lie half-lying or on your side with a pillow sandwiched between your knees.

What happens to a mom’s body during her 40th week of pregnancy?

40 weeks of pregnancy - the finish line

Surely some of the metamorphosis of your body is obvious to you:

  • Your big belly is your precious burden, where your baby is still staying for now;
  • Swelling that shows up not just in your legs, but all over your body;
  • Stretch marks on your skin – they worry you, but the baby is worth it.

But at this term, you may notice that the weight decreases slightly. The decrease in body weight indicates that the body is gradually eliminated in a natural way. Also, this process contributes to a feeling of lightness in the body.

40th week of pregnancy: tips

40 weeks of pregnancy - the finish line

At this stage, not only the mommy, but also everyone around is waiting for the appearance of a small miracle. This event is not far off, although it is quite normal if it has already happened. Surely you want to prepare your home and the place for the baby as well as possible. We advise you not to do the rearrangements and cleaning by yourself – leave these tasks to your loved ones.

Top tips for women who are going to give birth in the very near future, are as follows:

  • Use every free minute for rest – have a minute, then lie down or pay attention to relaxation with your favorite music;
  • Once again, double-check that everything is in your birth bag – this will give you some reassurance and peace of mind;
  • Try to be outdoors regularly – walking slowly and not too far away;
  • Categorically refuse long hikes and trips, the only exception is a trip to the maternity hospital;
  • Continue to eat right and light food – this will help get rid of a heavy stomach, aggressive heartburn, and similar “bonuses.

You should not refuse a scheduled checkup at 40 weeks of pregnancy – it may tire you out, but it is a very necessary event. Your doctor will have to monitor a number of indicators. The specialist will be able to implement the necessary manipulations to induce labor activity.

Naturally, sex at 40 weeks of pregnancy is out of the question. As a rule, the entrance to the cervix is no longer protected by this term, so intimacy is dangerous for infection, which threatens the health of the baby. Among the folk recipes for inducing labor you can notice the practice of sex, but the methodology is very questionable and you should reject the idea.

40 weeks of pregnancy - the finish line

However, although you may not need intimacy, but the intimacy of a partner is very necessary. In view of the proximity of childbirth you should not be alone, it is better and much safer to be in the company of the father, a relative or just a close friend. You need support now, not only moral support, but real support.

If you have planned a partner delivery, it’s time to prepare your partner morally, and partly the father of the child. By the way, the happy father is also not unreasonable to ask how the birth and what he needs to know exactly.

It will be much easier for you to go through the moments of waiting for the birth, if you do not dwell on this topic. Try not to think about the problems, but if you have recommendations from your doctor, do not forget to perform all procedures and manipulations.

40th week of pregnancy: symptoms

40 weeks of pregnancy - the finish line

At such a significant term, it is no longer said about the symptoms of pregnancy, all the symptoms are related to the impending birth. You may experience a whole “bouquet” of sensations, for example:

  • Abdominal aching – at 40 weeks of pregnancy, this sensation will accompany you almost constantly. You may have difficulty moving, sitting or even lying down. Pulling pain in the lower back, lower abdomen and pelvis will not be uncommon for you;
  • General weakness, which sometimes gives way to a complete optimism of life – it is quite normal. Many women note that before childbirth they are overflowing with strength, vigor and good spirits;
  • Heartburn in 40 weeks of pregnancy and some heaviness in the abdomen are also not uncommon. Feelings in the abdomen and in particular in the stomach largely depends on what you eat, how you sit, and so on.

Naturally with you will be regular and very intense training contractions. Your doctor will have told you which contractions should be considered as training contractions, and which are very real and should be a good reason for you to go to the maternity hospital. Many experts recommend counting their frequency of occurrence, as well as their strength.

Part of the symptoms of prenatal preparation can be considered sudden mood swings. You may notice that the rise in mood can be abruptly replaced by a complete decline. This may be due to excitement and at the same time anticipation of a future miracle in the form of a little man. Most of the excitement may be due to anticipation, especially if there are precursors of labor, but in their actual absence.

40 weeks of pregnancy: Questions and answers

40 weeks of pregnancy - the finish line

How do I know if I’m about to give birth?

If your baby is very active at 40 weeks of pregnancy, and all the harbingers of labor are present (changes in stool, training contractions, etc.), labor is on the doorstep. At one of your last visits to your doctor, you may have been told the approximate date when you should go to the maternity hospital.

Can I take a bath at 40 weeks of pregnancy?

There is no prohibition to take a bath at any stage of pregnancy, but with some modifications and compliance with certain rules. First, you should take a bath in mildly hot water (optimally up to 37 degrees). Secondly, you should move very carefully and try not to slip. It is wise to ask someone close to you (e.g. the father of the baby or your partner) to help with the bath.

40th week of pregnancy – how to induce labor?

There are a lot of opinions and folk advice (by the way, very questionable), how to induce labor at this term. However, you should not do that, because it is dangerous. Stimulation of labor should be practiced by specialists, in particular by the doctor who is in charge of the pregnancy.

How do you know what position the baby is in at 40 weeks?

The normal position before labor is considered to be head down, and as a rule, by this term this is the case. However, the position of the baby can be different, and there are many reasons for this. To know in what position the fetus is with maximum accuracy possible only with a diagnosis of the doctor. There are many opinions that say you can tell the position of the baby by the heartbeat, the protrusion of body parts on the abdomen, and tremors.

What happens to the baby at 40 weeks of pregnancy?

By this date, the fetus is already physiologically formed – the body has gained the necessary mass and density, the organs are developed and functioning normally. The baby is ready to take its first breath, and then to cover the world with its cry. It is difficult for the fetus to move, but the movements are coordinated and fully controlled by the baby.

Why no contractions at 40 weeks of pregnancy?

If you are worried about the fact that 40 weeks of pregnancy there are no contractions and perhaps other signs of an imminent birth, it is worth seeing a doctor. Such situations are possible, but are relatively rare. Fetal transfer is a significant precondition for hospitalization of a pregnant woman, where specialists will have to perform manipulations to induce labor.

What do brown discharge at 40 weeks of pregnancy mean?

Normal vaginal discharge in pregnant women should be mucous, odorless and brightly colored. However, some impurities may be observed, including a brown color – at a late term, this indicates a rapid delivery. If this sign is present, it is time to see a doctor, especially if there are other contributing factors.

Manjula Yulia Vladimirovna - obstetrician, 17 years of experience.
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