40 Weeks Pregnant
— A time for a new beginning in your life!
When you are 40 weeks pregnant, this might be the last week of the journey of pregnancy. But some pregnant women may even carry the baby additionally for one or two weeks. This is the period for every 40 weeks pregnant woman to have real expectations. A positive mind state can make you tell yourself that everything will be good and trust it will.
Human minds are the most powerful tools and it will be definitely true in case of pregnant women because of the bond between mother and the baby.
For women who carry baby girls, this week is the last week of the pregnancy journey and for women who carry baby boys, the pregnancy may go on additionally a week or two. It is a proven fact that baby boys are little lazy than baby girls when it is the time to leave the mother’s womb. So, women can also plan for their delivery based on the baby’s sex.
95 percent of the babies are born either in the two week period before or after their due date. Each healthcare provider has precise instructions about when to contact and when to visit to the maternity center and also what to drink or eat in the early labor. If you are not provided with any instructions, then it is the time to call now.
Symptoms experienced by a 40 weeks pregnant woman:
If you notice regular contractions and they are less than four to five minutes apart, then you should be checked by your care provider.
If you don’t notice any contractions or pain during this week, there might be a chance to continue your pregnancy for one or two more weeks. When you reach the end of pregnancy week 42, then you are considered as post-term. During this case, your obstetrician will perform a test to ensure that there is good utero-placental circulation. The tests may involve a contraction test, a biophysical profile or a non-stress test.
Even if the labor has not yet begun when you reach at the end of 40th week of pregnancy, there are some methods to induce labor naturally that you can try but only with the doctor’s approval. Some women may fear to try these procedures, while some others have fun trying. Here is the list of natural labor inducers:
- Walking: Really it is a great form of exercise to stimulate labor especially if you have irregular contractions. Walking makes your baby to move even down into the pelvis and induce the labor. Also, walking aids to decrease the discomfort associated with contractions.
- Membrane stripping: During some events, the doctor may strip the membranes to start the labor process. During the vaginal examination, your obstetrician may put a finger through cervix and sweeps the membranes to help release the amniotic membranes from the uterine cavity. Membrane sweeping produce a hormone called prostaglandin that can push your body into the labor.
- Spicy foods: Most people think that eating spicy foods or foods that contain garlic or cumin can help start the labor. Though there is no scientific evidence for this, there will be nothing wrong to try this.
- Intercourse: Sex is very much beneficial to induce the labor process. Semen contains prostaglandins that help to stimulate the contractions and start the labor. Your partner may also be interested because the intercourse will be avoided six weeks postpartum. So why not give it a try? There is no harm and it may ripen the cervix and trigger contractions in women.
- Nipple stimulation: This procedure can cause the release of oxytocin that can trigger contractions. This can produce very long and very strong uterine contractions. The procedure can be dangerous for the baby as it can slow down the baby’s heart rate. So, perform the procedure only with the doctor’s approval.
Physical changes that occur in a 40 weeks pregnant woman:
Isn’t it amazing how much weight you’ve gained? You have gone from less than five pounds in the earlier pregnancy weeks to over 25 pounds. For an average-sized woman, the weight gain during pregnancy week 40 is approximately 25 to 35 pounds. It is the most recommended weight gain.
Weight gain for overweight women is roughly around 15-25 pounds, whereas for underweight women, it is anywhere between 28-40 pounds.
Fetal changes that occur in a 40 weeks pregnant women:
When you are 40 weeks pregnant, the baby is 22 inches long and up to 7.5 pounds weight. Generally full-term babies can greatly vary in theirs weights. They can weigh 6 pounds or as much as 10 pounds. Generally the baby is of the size of a watermelon.
Now the baby has gained enough fat under the skin. Enough fat deposition can help keep the baby warm after the birth.
Placenta continues to provide antibodies that will protect the 40 weeks fetus from illnesses and infections.
By this week, your baby has very well developed reflexes and he/she can open and close the eyes according to the things happening around. The baby can respond clearly with the light, sound, touch, etc.
Baby’s bones are still not fused, which will allow him/her to get easier from the birth canal.
What care should be taken by a 40 weeks pregnant woman?
Remember that being active during the pregnancy controls the flexibility of the articulations at the time of birth. It is very important to be conscious about each and every thing happening with you during pregnancy week 40. At the same time, feeling relaxed and calm can ease your labor process. Yoga and breathing exercises can help the delivery go smoothly.
Want to know what happens immediately after the birth? The placenta will drive out around 20-30 minutes after childbirth. This organ should expel completely, if not you will be at higher risk of hemorrhage. Your doctor will perform a complete examination after the placental expulsion and make sure that there are no fragments remain.