Congratulations—you’ve reached the final week of your pregnancy! By this time, you’ve probably taken care of most of the important things such as installing the car seat, make the bassinet and packed your hospital bag.
Now, you probably want to make sure you wrap things up other last minute, easy things including filling the car up with gas and making sure your cell phone is fully charged.
Some moms-to-be in what is generally their last week of pregnancy put a waterproof mattress on the bed in case their water breaks in the middle of the night. You don’t have to, but it’s always a good idea, given that your water can break anytime and this will help you contain the messes.
Getting back to baby, he/she is when you’re 40 weeks pregnant is as big as a watermelon and is ready to step foot into the real world. In terms of numbers, your baby measures 20.16 inches and weighs roughly 7.63 lbs.
Most of the symptoms you experience in week 40 of your pregnancy are similar to the ones you’ve been experiencing in the previous weeks. These include:
– If you’re having trouble sleeping, your best bet is to get up and distract yourself with something else such as reading or watching a movie. This however may not be an ideal time for exercise so you can put your Zumba plans on hold for a bit.
Stretches are the best way to get some relief from cramping in the legs, which as mostly caused owing to pelvic pressure.
Moms-to-be in their 40th week of pregnancy often confuse Braxton Hicks contractions for the real deal. But remember if you’re having contractions generally in the last week of pregnancy, they are probably the real ones, so if they are closer together, you’re mostly probably going into labor.
This may be triggered by the fact that you aren’t getting the right amount of sleep, so again you best bet is to do something that keeps you busy.
Well, you know this was bound to happen, and you also know why, so don’t stress about it as your baby will be in your arms anytime now.
There are often times where you may be 40 weeks pregnant yet show no signs of labor whatsoever. But not to worry, because they will be here very soon! You should call your doctor if:
You experience a leak or flow of amniotic fluid
You have contractions that keep occurring at regular intervals
Or any other symptoms out of the ordinary
At 40 weeks, great chances are that you may not be able to contain your excitement. For this, you or your health care provider can induce or trigger labor using natural methods or with medication.
Induced labor is extremely safe, and you can read more about the statistics from the the Center for Disease Control and Prevention here . The popular natural methods to induce pregnancy include having sex, trying out natural supplements or taking long walks.
Your doctor may use one or more techniques to induce labor, and the best one for you depends on the condition of your cervix at the time. Some of the common methods of inducing labor include:
With an oral dose of misoprostol
Using a cervical ripening balloon
Using a Foley catheter
Rupturing your membranes
Striping or sweeping your membranes
Using oxytocin (Pitocin)
At 40 weeks, your fetus continues to grow hands and nails, and their lungs are developing pretty fast too. Your doctor may want to do a biophysical profile when you’re 40 weeks pregnant. This twofold test includes a non-stress test and ultrasound to check what the amniotic fluid levels look like.
Speak to your doctor about induction options.
Get your non-stress done if your doctor orders it.
Schedule your prenatal visit.