-A New Beginning!
Now that you are 40 weeks pregnant and this is almost your last week of pregnancy; we say almost because some pregnant women give birth in 41 or 42 weeks of pregnancy.
It is the time for you to have real expectations of yourself. You can tell yourself everything will be fine and believe it will. The human mind is a powerful tool and in the case of pregnant women this tool becomes even more powerful because of the mother-baby bond.
Baby’s sex conditions and delivery time
Be aware that if you carry a baby girl, this is the last week of pregnancy, while if you have a baby boy, the pregnancy may continue further a week or two. It is a known fact that boys are a bit more “lazy” than girls when it comes to leaving the mother’s womb; so be prepared for the delivery according to your baby’s sex, if you were curious enough to find it after the ultrasound.
Once these few days are over, then you can return to the normal pre-pregnancy regimen. You won’t observe any major changes during this week.
40th week of pregnancy symptoms and physical changes that occur in your body
At this point of time you are very anxious to hold your new baby in your arms. Your baby not only occupies your thoughts, but also completely occupies your uterus, and your belly looks as big as it can in 40 weeks pregnancy.
How should you handle the expectations?
The feet will be very tired and nobody would be surprised if you would prefer to sleep in a rocking chair instead of your bed since the position will ease your breathing and help you take some rest.
Hydration remains crucial on this last proverbial “100 meters”. Make sure you urinate often to prevent urinary or bacterial infection.
Be very careful when you go to the bathroom. If you notice the mucus plug on your panties or pregnancy absorbent it means that the moment has arrived.
Practice your breathing and maintain a positive attitude. Share your feelings with the loved ones and believe in yourself. You will be holding your baby in your arms very soon.
Do you know about the phases of labor?
Phase I: This phase is also called as early labor. If you are a first time mother, finally you will understand just how fake Braxton-Hick contractions are.
Finally, you will get to know that real labor contractions are more painful, more intense and they occur in frequency of 3-4 times for every 10 min and each contraction lasts up to 60 seconds.
When you experience real labor contractions in week 40 pregnancy, then you cannot even walk around your house, watch a movie or even take a warm bath for relaxing to the forthcoming birth.
For first time mother, you will experience the signs of early labor for up to 8 hours. At this point, the amniotic sac naturally breaks down. If this happens with you, immediately go to the birth center even if the contractions have not yet started.
If you are 40 weeks pregnant and if you experience contractions every 5 minutes over an hour and breakage of water does not take place, then too immediately head to the birth center.
Phase II: This phase is also called as active labor. The dilation of cervix up to 10 cm leads descending of your baby into the pelvic region and this is accompanied with the feelings of rectal pressure just like the feelings that you experience before a bowel movement. In most of the cases, even when the mother is completely dilated, the baby won’t move down until much later in the labor process.
When the baby is descended, the contractions push your baby to move through the birth canal. Don’t strain too much, if your uterus slowly pushes the baby downwards. In a first time mother, the baby will be descended more slowly.
Phase III: In this phase, the placenta will expel within half an hour after the delivery. Expelling the entire placenta is most important because any residual parts can cause infection and bleeding later.
If you don’t deliver your baby during the 40th week of pregnancy, then it will happen in 41 or 42 weeks. You won’t be considered as post due until you reach 42 weeks. So, don’t be afraid. Your doctor will recommend induction if he/she feels that the pregnancy has continued long enough.
Changes that occur in the fetus when you are 40 weeks pregnant
At pregnancy 40 weeks, your baby is about the size of 22 inches long and weighs up to 7.5 pounds. The weight of full term babies varies greatly. So, your baby can be 6 pounds or weigh as much as 10 pounds.
Your 40 week fetus may or may not be engaged in your pelvic region. This entirely depends on whether you are a first time mother or a repeater. Usually, at this time, the baby’s head is downwards and the back of the head is facing against your abdomen. This is the ideal position for delivery.
Facts to know about pregnancy week 40
In spite of the impressive progress in medical science, the exact prediction of the delivery date is impossible; no matter how accurate is your prediction of the moment when the baby was conceived. There were cases when accurate estimations were contradicted by a long pregnancy and an induced birth.
The doctors cannot explain why certain births occur on schedule regardless the age of the mother while others are delayed with no real reason. It is statistically demonstrated that breathing exercises and pregnancy yoga help the baby’s delivery go smoothly.
The physical activity of the mother during pregnancy influences the flexibility of the articulations during birth.
Your placenta will expel 20-30 minutes after the birth. This amazing organ must come out completely; otherwise you will be at a risk of hemorrhage. Your doctor will examine your placenta after it has been expelled to make sure that no fragments remain.