40 Weeks Pregnant
How Big Is My Baby At 40 Weeks Pregnant?
Your baby is fully developed and is ready to born anytime. The baby is about the size of a small pumpkin, is about 20.16 inches long and weighs about 7.63 pounds.
Baby Development At 40 Weeks Pregnant:
- Your baby’s internal organs are fully developed except for brain and lungs.
- Your baby’s brain and lungs continue to grow and develop.
- All the five senses are fully developed and are functional.
- Your baby has fully developed skills like sucking and grasping.
- Your baby continues to grow hair and nails.
- Lungs continue to produce surfactant that helps prevent sticking together of airsacks.
40 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Lightening: Lightening happens when your baby's head "drops" down into your pelvis. Your belly will look lower. It will be easier for you to breathe because the baby is not putting pressure on your lungs. You may need to urinate more often because the baby is pressing on your bladder. For first-time mothers, lightening often happens a few weeks before birth. For women who have had babies before, it may not happen until labor has begun.
Water Breaking: When the amniotic sac (bag of fluid around the baby) breaks, you will experience fluid leakage from your vagina. The leakage may be a trickle or a gush. Contractions come within 24 hours after the bag of water breaks in most women. Inform your doctor as soon as you think your water has broken.
Vaginal Discharge: You may notice a mucus-like thick vaginal discharge. This indicates dilation of your cervix in preparation for birth. This discharged substance is called a mucus plug. This substance gets released as your cervix dilates in preparation for labor.
Contractions: You may feel more Braxton Hicks contractions with increased frequency in the 40th week of your pregnancy. If these contractions occur more frequently, call your doctor to check, as they may indicate the beginning of true labor.
Pelvic Pressure: You may feel pain and heavy pressure in your lower abdomen or pelvis when the baby drops down lower in preparation for birth.
Insomnia: Your sleep may be disrupted by body aches, leg cramps, anxiety, and frequent urination.
Blood Show: You may notice mucus-like vaginal discharge tinged with pink, brown or red blood. This blood discharge occurs as a result of ruptured blood vessels in the cervix during dilation. Blood discharge indicates that you are getting closer to labor.
Nesting Instinct: Nesting is a strong desire to clean, organizes, and get your home ready for your baby. You may find yourself cleaning and organizing things in the middle of the night. The nesting instinct is common and normal during the third semester and is strongest in the later weeks coming up on delivery.
Backache: Backache is mostly an ongoing symptom of pregnancy, which you have to live with. The back pain may increase as you approach the labor. This happens because your growing baby puts a lot of pressure on your inner muscles.
Leg Cramps: Cramping occurs in legs when you are lying in bed during the night. They can deprive you of your sleep. Straightening your legs and gently stretching your ankles and toes will help.
Decreased Baby Movements: You may notice that your baby’s movements are less and feel different. This happens in late pregnancy as your baby has less room to move. If you feel abnormally less movement, call your doctor, as sometimes decreased movement can mean that the baby is in trouble.
40 Weeks Pregnant: Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy
- Don't worry if your due date comes and goes, as only 5% of all babies are born exactly on the expected due date.
- Learn more about the basics of breastfeeding and fundamentals of formula feeding.
- Make arrangements to look after your other children, pets, and garden while you are away in the hospital.
- Pack your hospital bag with all the essential things needed for you and your newborn.
- Pre-register at your chosen hospital or birthing center so that your admission will be quick and easy when you arrive at the hospital.
- Keep yourself adequately hydrated by drinking a lot of water.
- Don’t sleep on your back, instead sleep on your left side. Sleeping this way will help increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach your baby.
- Take plenty of rest and sleep at least 8 hours a day.
- Learn about the stages of labor to help you recognize when the real labor begins.
- Spend quality time with your partner, family, friends, and other loved ones and share your feelings. This will help you to cope with stress and anxiety and stay calm and relaxed.