40 Weeks Pregnant

40 Weeks Pregnant what to expect. Signs of labor, and symptoms like cramps do occur but is the week of absolute joy and expectancy for the mother.

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This is it! Labor and delivery could begin anytime when a woman is already 40 weeks pregnant. By this time, expectant moms are beset by mixed feelings of restlessness and irritableness and have become overly sensitive and impatient. All of the vague feelings she feels during this stage of her pregnancy are pretty normal and will disappear once the baby arrives.

It would be best for a 40-week pregnant woman to inform her doctor about her concerns. She will receive advice from her doctor to put all her concerns in the proper perspective. She will also receive instructions on when to go to the hospital.

What to Expect at 40 Weeks Pregnant

  • Weight gain

A 40-week pregnant woman has a very huge baby bump and may have gained anywhere between 25 and 35 pounds or even more.

  • Labor induction

It is a fairly common practice to induce labor on week 40 if labor has not commenced naturally. Doctors fear about prolonged pregnancy which can bring about different kinds of serious complications.

  • Post-term pregnancy

This is something expectant moms are concerned of by this time. However, they should not be overly worried about it as the likelihood of post-term pregnancy is low because majority of childbirth occurs between week 37 and 42.

Different Ways of Inducing Labor

Although pregnancy is considered safe until week 42, most doctors do not feel good about it and recommend labor induction to avoid any sort of complications that may arise due to prolonged pregnancy.

  • Rupturing of the bag of water

This process is referred to as amniotomy in which the amniotic sac is ripped apart using a plastic hook.

  • Oxytoxin administration

Synthetic oxytoxin hormone causes the contractions to become stronger. It is administered intravenously.

  • Medications or devices

Certain devices or medications may either be used to soften and dilate the cervix.

  • Stripping the amniotic membrane

This procedure is done to stimulate the production of prostaglandins to soften the cervix and cause contractions.

Fetal Development on the 40th Week of Pregnancy

The baby on the 40th week of pregnancy weighs around 7 to 9 pounds and stretches up to 21 inches long. As all of the internal systems are fully developed, he/she is prepared for the outside world. He/she is positioning near the birth canal with legs folded to the chest. The skull is still soft to facilitate easy access to the birth canal. Even if the space inside the womb is cramped, the baby still manages to move.

Symptoms of 40 Weeks Pregnant

The pregnancy symptoms on week 40 are at their peak.

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  • Diarrhea

Diarrhea is normal on week 40 of pregnancy and indicates impending labor.

  • Leg cramps

This is primarily due to the added weight which puts too much strain on the legs.

  • Indigestion and heartburn

Gastrointestinal problems are rampant this week, but the expectant mom will break free from their effects soon.

  • Lightening

For some women, lightening occurs on the final weeks of pregnancy. This makes breathing a lot easier because the lungs are no longer compressed due to dropping of the baby to the pelvis.

Being 40 weeks pregnant means the long wait is over and labor and delivery is at hand.  The mother will finally meet the precious being she’s been nurturing in her womb for 40 weeks.

40 weeks pregnant pictures

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