40 Weeks Pregnant
Your Pregnancy Week by Week
Your Baby at 40 WeeksSize: 20.16 inches (51.2 cm) - crown to heel
Weight: 7.63 pounds (3462 grams)
Success! Your baby has reached his due date - signifying the official finish line for this pregnancy. Even though your baby can still hang out with you until 42 weeks (and about half of all pregnancies do), he will be making his arrival within two weeks at the very latest.
Weighing in around the size of a small pumpkin, your baby is ready for his or her entrance into the world. With skull bones that haven't fused, your baby is coming equipped with the skills to make it through labor. In order to fit through the pelvic bones, these flexible plates of the head must remain mobile - it's also what's responsible for the "cone head" look that scares many parents at birth. But don't worry - this will fade and your baby's head will look nearly normal within just a day or two after birth.
Your baby has put on enough weight now (boys tending to weigh a bit more than girls), to be able to adjust to their outside world with ease. All systems are in place and developed, lung maturity has hit its peak, and he or she has positioned themselves for the trip out by turning into a head-down position.
Mom at 40 Weeks PregnantThere is no doubt that if you have seen your due date come and go, you're probably frustrated. This is perhaps one of the most common problems for women who go past their EDC. By now, you may have started making a plan - a plan to set yourself into labor. Maybe you have run lots of scenarios through your head - ride the lawnmower? Have sex? Walk a mile or two? It can be very difficult to wait, and every option may be rolling through your head to get this party started.
Your doctor may begin watching your baby more closely this week to make sure that they are still thriving. Because the environment inside the uterus can begin to deteriorate toward the very end of your pregnancy, you may expect your doctor to perform an ultrasound or send you for a Nonstress test to evaluate your baby's oxygenation and tolerance to his or her environment.
Your body may be showing a range of different symptoms right now including everything from diarrhea to constipation, fatigue, and sleeplessness. Your nerves may begin to get the best of you as you know you are preparing to face delivery - but if you have armed yourself with knowledge from trusted professionals and child birth educators, you will be prepared. Most women report a sense of duty by now - they are nervous, but feeling more mentally prepared to do what needs to be done to have their baby here safe and sound.
Labor or cervical checks may have been going on for several weeks now, and you can be certain that your doctor will begin evaluating the favorability of your cervix this week. A favorable cervix is one that is slightly softer, more forward in the vagina and perhaps only open a bit - but this type is more likely to respond to drugs and methods for induction than one that is tightly closed, very firm and hiding behind your pelvic bones. Determining favorability helps your doctor evaluate if your body is even thinking about delivering, or if you may need a bit more help to get going.
Your baby's movements will be slowing down now, but shouldn't decrease all together. Make sure to pay attention for each little stretch and push - and contact your doctor if you aren't feeling movement.
Your weight may be tipping the range of normal now. Because of extra fluid, and not to mention that you are packing a baby that gains a ½ pound per week, you may have passed your ideal weight by a pound or two, but hopefully not much more.
Take a picture. Even if you haven't been photographing your growing belly over the last few months, a pre-delivery shot of your bump makes a great scrapbook memory. It can be amazing to look back on it later and see the changes that you may not have noticed before. In some cases, if you have taken a series of monthly pictures, you can even see when your baby drops, or a certain month when you grew more than others. Keep your pictures in a book labeled with how far along you are (or hold a sign for the camera) so you can look back and remember later.