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Week 40

Week 40

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Congratulations you've almost made it! This will be your last week of pregnancy, although you could go past your due date. You aren't considered post due until you reach 42 weeks of pregnancy. Your baby is up to 7.5 pounds now, and is around 20 inches long. The protective skin coating vermix is all gone, and the downy hair has also faded from your baby's body. He or she has gained enough fat to regulate body temperature outside of the womb, and is ready for the outside world.

If your doctor feels that you have gone long enough in the pregnancy, he or she may induce labor. This is still your choice, so let your doctor know if you don't want to be induced, and prefer to wait for things to happen naturally. If you choose to be induced, you will schedule a time in the hospital and be given drugs to start labor. Some women swear by natural labor inducing methods: reflexology on specific pressure points, or even driving over bumpy roads. You've been seeing your doctor once a week, and will continue to do so until your baby is born, so you can discuss any concerns about labor you have.

You should have all of your breastfeeding supplies ready now for when you return from the hospital. If you choose to breastfeed, you'll probably need a breast pump to get the milk flowing. You can rent one from your pharmacy, or buy one if you plan on returning to work after your baby is born. You can freeze breast milk and simply heat it up when your baby is hungry. You'll also need special nursing bras, which are much more convenient and provide support for larger breasts.

You may find that you need to sit or lie down for most of the day at this point. Other women may have sudden bursts of energy, but a lot of women at this stage of pregnancy have limited balance and mobility. While your breathing has eased up because the baby is no longer pressing on your diaphragm, your organs are cramped from baby weight. You're probably experiencing urinary incontinence and heartburn from the added weight. Your uterus is about 6 inches above your navel, and you're probably tired of not being able to see your toes! Make sure you put your feet up when you sit down to reduce ankle swelling.


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