Our Pregnancy Calendar will help you find out how your baby grows and changes from a small group of cells to a fully developed baby ready to begin life.
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40 Weeks Pregnant
While expecting your baby try to remain calm. During Braxton Hicks or false contractions work on your relaxation and breathing techniques. When the real contractions begin, make sure those around you have been informed about your plans regarding where and how to give birth. However, do not expect everything to go precisely according to your plans. Expect also that it might be painful for you. You have probably at first decided to not use anesthesia, but you have the right to change your mind at any moment.
Your body has been preparing for birth during the last several weeks now, but it does not mean, that you will deliver precisely put-in-day on the term put to you. Only 4 % of pregnant women give birth on time. And that’s normal, when 98 % of women, including those who give birth on time, deliver their babies 2 weeks later or earlier from the specified time. But sometimes the doctors for medical purposes might want to stimulate yours birth, if it does not start on the 40th week; they use pitocin, oxitocin or bubble puncture (amniotomy), gel for softening of the uterus, synestrol for preparation of the cervix, etc.)
You notice that during this period, due to bulky stomach it has become difficult for you to turn and you constantly running into things. You can’t wait to give birth but you know the long-awaited relief is not that far off.
|Possible tingling and pains in the legs|
|Stomach grows and it’s not easy for you to find a suitable position in bed|
|Skin contraction over stomach may cause itchiness|
|Any move requires a lot of efforts.|
|Possible feelings of heaviness in the abdominal part of the stomach. Cervix is softening, being prepared for birth|
|False contractions become frequent and you might think sometimes that birth has already begun. However contractions are still irregular.|
What to do
|Last days should be used for the maximal rest.|
|If the child moves fewer than 10 times a day, ask a doctor to hear the frequency of his heart beats, possibly he might have a disorder|
|You should start breathing exercises if false contractions are too frequent|
|No need to worry, if birth is delayed. Plus-minus 2 weeks of the set date is normal.|
The newborn frequently surprises his parents. Firstly, he might look a little strange. The shape of head can look improperly, although it gets corrected very quickly, in a day or two. The baby’s skin might be blue, grayish brown or even pale yellow. And he could be covered with firstborn oiling, your blood, remains of lanugos and even mekonium if he has taken in head to empty intestines still being in the uterus. Secondly, increasing hormone levels will lead to swelling of genitals and releasing of milk from the breast nipples. Finally, the spots, dots and pigmented lesions and skin crusts that could be on the skin will eventually disappear without leaving a trace.
Your child possibly is one of 96 % of babies who lies with the head down and is deeply pressed in the pelvis area. The immune system is not fully developed, and he receives antibodies from the placenta and from your breast milk after birth. The amount of lanugo has decreased on the baby’s body though you can still find some places covered with lanugo, especially skin creases and folds, and around the shoulders or ears. The average baby weighs approximately 7.05 pounds and 20.87 inches at birth. Placenta’s weight will be 1/8 of the baby’ size and the umbilical cord will be approximately the same length as the baby. Your child will be evaluated, at birth and 5 minutes later according to the Apgar score. After all these long, heavy or easy, tiresome or pleasant months of expectation, enjoy your baby. Now you could say “Happy birthday” to the baby.
Soon after birth, baby is measured and weighed. Possibly he might peek loudly. But it should not worry you, in the same way as his frowned silence because after all the birth’s pains and sufferings the baby’s nervous system is affected by various hormones like endorphins.
|Initial lanugo have disappeared remaining slightly on the shoulders, hands and legs|
|Firstborn oiling or lubricant either covers all body either remains only on skin lines.|
|A dark substance, the initial stool or feces also referred to as meconium accumulates in the intestine.|
|If that’s not the first birth the head might have already lowered to the pelvis area.|
Baby length and weight
Usual length of a newborn - 18-20 inches, average weight 6.6-6.8 lbs although it might fluctuate.
By the 40th week of pregnancy
You may lose some weight on the 40th week. That means that you may be expecting the birth to come within the next 10 days. Optimal addition: on the 36th week.
Total weight gain
Average weight gain for the whole pregnancy period varies between 22 and 26 lbs, but it’s different for each individual woman. The total weight gain consists of:
|Placenta - 9%|
|fetus - 38%|
|amniotic fluids - 11%|
|uterus, breasts, buttocks - 20%|
|blood, surplus fluids - 22%|