40th Week of Pregnancy

Congratulations! Your Baby is now fully grown, ready to send you into labor at any moment! 

Your Baby ’s development
Even though Your Baby is now ready to be born, the little one continues to grow hair and nails, develop the lungs, and add more fat.

The head shape: Your Baby ’s head is still the largest thing that needs to go through your birth canal. To make this possible, the skull bones aren’t yet fused and will squeeze as the little one passes through the birth canal during labor. So after birth, Your Baby ’s head may have the shape of a cone, but it will get back to normal after a while. 

Your familiar voice: No sound will appeal to Your Baby like your voice, and interestingly, the little one has been learning your voice all this while. So, be sure to always talk to Your Baby after birth; it will calm the little one down.

Fat keeps coming: The amount of white fat is now approximately 16% of the body weight, and Your Baby adds approximately 14 grams of fat per day during these final weeks.

Your Baby weighs about 3-3.5 kg and measures about 50cm — the size of a jackfruit.

Your development
Your cervix keeps dilating and thinning out, and you will continue to have contractions until you deliver. Keep monitoring your progress though. Your back may continue to hurt, so make sure you get adequate rest. Very soon, it will be over.

But if, by the end of this week, labor hasn’t started, your doctor may discuss with you about the possibility of inducing labor.

However, doctors don’t usually suggest induction unless you or Your Baby are at risk of infection from prolonged gestation or the little one gets too large.

What to do now
It’s good to discuss with your doctor about what will be done immediately after delivery. 

Undisturbed first hour: Many hospitals in the UK, US, and Germany have started placing the baby on the mother’s breast immediately after delivery for bonding and breastfeeding — a method that is called the undisturbed first hour.

It’s only after about 1-2 hours will the baby be taken away for bathing and routine checkup. Although this practice is not yet common in most Asian countries, you can discuss with your doctor if it is possible to have this special time with Your Baby before being taken for cleaning and checkups.


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