As you begin your pregnancy week 40, expect labor to happen at any time. But try not to get too hung up on your due date, as only about 5% of births are on time. Most babies are born a week or two before or after.
Your pregnancy is almost over and your baby is at the end of his growth. He is around 50 cm long and weighs an average of 3.3 kg!
Symptoms Of Pregnancy Week 40
Your due date is here and you can now lose the mucus plug, which most often marks the imminent onset of labor. This has protected the cervix against the outside world for the past 9 months and will disappear close to birth so that the cervix can dilate successfully.
You may experience painful contractions, which differ from those of labor as they are not regular and disappear very quickly. If your contractions last one minute or more and are less than 10 minutes apart, your body is preparing to give birth.
On the other hand, if analgesics don’t help, and you feel pain radiating from your lower back forward and spreading to your groin, labor has probably started.
With functioning lungs, a healthy digestive system, and a weight of about 3.15 to 3.6 kg, your baby is ready to make his appearance. Despite his growing head, his brain is far from being fully developed. It will even be the less mature organ at birth as its growth will continue until its adolescence.
Into his intestines, a dark green substance has accumulated. This is Meconium – the first stool of a baby that will be eliminated after birth, usually as early as 12 hours after birth.
After birth, the umbilical cord will be cut off and the blood circulation will change. A new cycle will be set up between his heart and lungs, which will remove carbon dioxide and supply him with oxygen (no longer from you but from the air that he can breathe).
Pregnancy Week 40: What To Do?
If your water breaks before labor starts note the time, color, and amount of liquid. Then, go to the maternity hospital without delay, because the baby could be at risk. Indeed, once the amniotic sac is broken, the baby is no longer protected and may find himself in contact with germs coming from the vagina.
Hopefully, this week you will welcome your baby. If not, try to relax and enjoy the last days of your pregnancy.