What is Happening at 40 Weeks Pregnant?
What happens in the 40th week of pregnancy? Your baby’s bones have become hard, with the exception of the skull. The bones in the skull need to remain soft and pliable for delivery so they can overlap as they pass through the birth canal.
Your baby in the 40th week of pregnancy:
- During this week you need to relax, don't panic and let everything run its course
- Your baby's height now is 20.16 inches and weight is 7.63 pounds
- Bones on the skull have yet not merged. This is the sole reason baby's head can look a bit like cone when they are born
- Babies now have their reflexes ready and are just waiting the day to come.
- Umbilical cord will stop functioning the moment babies breathe in with their own lungs
- Your little sweetheart is now fully loaded with fully functioning organs, bodily systems, and reflexes, and is ready to start her new life outside your uterus
- Pregnant mothers will now have to regularly visit the gynecologist
- Tests for blood pressure, protein control, weight, pulse and lots of others will seem like everyday tasks
- These are some of the last moments between the mother and the father alone, and they need to be cherished
- Going for a walk, lunch or dinner in a restaurant, or doing anything they like after the visit to the gynecologist is a nice idea to stay connected
- You may now experience labor pains at any moment and your baby will be soon in your arms
Your body in the 40th week of pregnancy:
Your midwife will be keen to get things moving by the time you pass week 40 to prevent any potential problems. If your due date has come and gone, she will be discussing your options with you.
She will most probably initially suggest doing a 'sweep' for you, where she uses her fingers to give you an internal examination and sweep around your cervix to try and loosen the membranes. This will (hopefully) release prostaglandins, which are the hormones which will get your labour started.
If this does not work, she will set a date for you to be induced in hospital – have a read of our overdue babies page for all the information you need on the various methods of induction.