40 Weeks Pregnant

40 Weeks Pregnant

Revathi V Gopal
By Revathi V Gopal
During this time, your baby is ready to step into the world. Most of you might be in a position to deliver your little one in the 40th week. However, some of you might take a week or two for the delivery. Nonetheless, remember that it is perfectly alright and you don't have to be worried about any of these things. At this time, you have to be considerate of your health and take good care of your mind and your body. Here, your little one will have received all the nourishment required to stay healthy. Even though you might have received your due date, it can vary at times. Hence, you don't have to be concerned about it a lot. Here, we will look into the changes happening during the 40th week of pregnancy. We will also consider some of the things you have to take care of while you are pregnant.

What Happens When You are 40 Weeks Pregnant?

Many changes happen while you are pregnant, and it continues even in your 40th week. Here, we will look into some of the changes happening during this time to you and your little one.

Hormonal Changes and Pregnancy Symptoms

Similar to the previous week, several changes continue to happen in your body. Here, you might notice that there is an increase in the Braxton Hicks Contractions. It is because your due date is approaching, and these short contractions can last up to two minutes. Since they are common, you have to focus on them to understand the difference. It is because, for your real contractions, their intensity can be higher, and also the frequency would change. You have to stay prepared for this as it can happen anytime from now.

While you are 40 weeks pregnant, you might face effacement or cervical dilation. It is a process through which the cervix becomes smaller to allow your little one to leave your uterus. Even though your cervix will start to open up slowly, it won't be visible or noticeable to you during this time.

Other than that, there will be changes happening in your little one's activities. Your baby will be nudging, rolling, and moving around as it is restless to get out of your belly and meet you. Here, you might notice these instances of movements frequently and even every hour while you are in the 40th week.

During this time, you will notice that there is an increase in your pelvic pain. It is because your baby will be resting near your cervix, and it can result in pressure. Due to this, you might feel discomfort and pain in your pelvic region. Other than that, diarrhea is a concern that you might face while you are 40 weeks pregnant. Some of you might be having issues due to constipation. When there are signs of diarrhea, it means that your bowels are getting loose. It is a sign that shows that you are approaching your labor. These are the main pregnancy symptoms that you can have while you are 40 weeks pregnant.

Bodily Changes

When you compare with the previous week, only a few changes take place while you are 40 weeks pregnant. Here, you might notice some symptoms that would be prevalent while approaching your due date. Here, your uterus will be taking up most of the space. It is a way through which your body prepares yourself to hold your baby and for your delivery.

Sometimes, you might notice stretch marks in your body while you are 40 weeks pregnant. And some of you might face issues like Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. It is also known as PUPP, which is a concern that can affect most women. Here, you might develop rash marks on your skin and your stretch marks. It would be present around your abdominal region and can result in pimples as well. It is an issue that can increase and result in itchiness and irritation as well. Hence, it will be beneficial for you to speak with your doctor if you think it is a concern. Even though the issue might persist, it will recede once you deliver your baby. These are the main bodily changes happening to you while you are on your 40th week of pregnancy.

Fetal Development

During this time of pregnancy, your little one will weigh between 3.2 kg and 4.1 kg. Here, your baby will be around 48 to 56 cm long. Other than that, your little one's umbilical cord will also be 20 inches. Besides, your little one will move around in your uterus in the remaining space available. Here, your baby will have all the organs in place and have its bodily systems functioning properly. Other than that, your little one will be ready to lead a life outside of your belly too. Here, your baby will be in a position to notice and understand the different sounds it hears.

There are different hormones at play, and one of them will request the initiation of labor as well. When it comes to your little one's skin, there would be some dry spots in some parts of their skin. Besides, the waxy coating will add some moist texture too. When you have an ultrasound during this time, it will be part of a non-stress test.

Things to Take Care During Your 40th Week

As several changes happen in you and your little one, you have to take good care of yourself. It is a way to enhance your and your baby's well-being. Here is what you can do during the 40th week.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

As part of your pregnancy, you have to maintain a healthy diet. Here, you have to focus on having food items that won't cause stress or indigestion issues to your digestive system. Here, it will be beneficial if you have light, nutritious meals and snacks as part of your routine. Other than that, it will be helpful to try to eat food items that can provide you with the required amount of energy. Here, you can include food items that provide nutrients such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, etc.

Most importantly, you have to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Here, you can include other fluids such as smoothies, soups, fruit juices, etc. When it comes to water, drink at least eight to ten glasses of water daily.

Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

When you are 40 weeks pregnant, you can indulge in mini workouts that can be helpful when you give birth. Some of them include twisting your waist, walking, squats, and turning from one side to another. Here, you can try out exercises recommended by your doctor or trainer that can help you with delivery. Arm swings and butt clenches are two exercises that you can include in your workout routine while pregnant.

Sometimes, you might face delays with your delivery. Under such circumstances, you don't have to be worried. But, the chances are you might feel anxious and stressed during this time. Therefore, it is better to speak with your doctor or therapist and gain the support you need. One of the reasons why you don't have to worry is that only 5% of deliveries happen at the exact time and date mentioned as the due date.

Speak with Your Doctor

During this time of pregnancy, you may have to speak with your doctor. Your doctor might ask you to keep them posted about any changes that you notice. Through this, your doctor can ensure that there aren't any complications during childbirth. Here are a few things that you can ask your doctor about while you are 40 weeks pregnant.

  • You think that you will find normal birth as stressful and if it is making you anxious, speak with your doctor. Here, you can find out details about C-sections and whether you need them or not.
  • You can ask your doctor to find out information on what you should expect when you have your contractions. It will help you to stay prepared.

Other Tips

Here are a few tips that can be beneficial for you while you are 40 weeks pregnant. Following them and keeping them in your mind can be helpful during this time of pregnancy.

  • You have to relax as much as you can when you feel the contractions. Sometimes it can be fake contractions. Even then, you have to be careful and take good care of yourself.
  • Ensure that you give ample time for yourself and focus on self-care.
  • You have to pack your hospital bag as you would have to go to the hospital any time when you have your contractions.
  • During this time, you can read about pregnancy, childbirth, experiences of other parents, etc. They can keep you motivated and also help you know more about the beauty of your journey as a mother.
  • Another factor you have to consider is ensuring that you have all the postnatal supplies ready with you.
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