Your baby’s growth has stalled at 40 weeks pregnant, and you may be contemplating natural induction options.
At 40 weeks, how big is your baby?
This week, your baby is 20.4 inches long and weighs 7.6 pounds. This is around the size of a mylar balloon.
Here’s what more you should know if you’re 40 weeks pregnant:
- Your Child, Your Body
- Your Existence
- Ultrasound at 40 Weeks
- Real Mom Pregnancy Bumps at 40 Weeks
Your Baby’s Development at 40 Weeks
Your kid is almost ready to be born in terms of development, but they may not be ready to come out just yet. Here’s what your baby could be up to at 40 weeks.
- Slower growth: After 40 weeks of pregnancy, your baby’s size plateaus because they have outgrown their dwelling space.
- The Baby’s bones have hardened except for the skull, which stays floppy so the head may squish together as it moves through the birth canal. This is why, in the early stages, some newborns have cone-shaped skulls. However, the head should ultimately round out well.
- Nail growth: While the rest of your infant may not be developing much, their fingernails and toes are. After delivery, you should definitely cut their little talons.
Ultrasound at 40 Weeks Pregnancy
Pregnancy Symptoms at 40 Weeks: Your Body
Your body is preparing for the birth of your kid. You may be feeling uneasy in this last week (or weeks), so make an effort to take care of yourself. Here’s what to anticipate at 40 weeks pregnant.
- Braxton Hicks contractions: Your body may still be preparing for birth by tightening your tummy from time to time. Those contractions should ultimately evolve into the genuine thing, preparing your cervix for the baby’s journey through the delivery canal.
- Leaking boobs: You may discover that you need to use nursing pads before your baby comes. Technically, the leaking isn’t breast milk yet; it’s colostrum, a thick, yellowish liquid that will be a breastfed baby’s sustenance for the first several days before all that sucking heralds the arrival of breast milk.
- Overall discomfort: At 40 weeks pregnant, you may feel as if everything hurts just a little: backaches, hip pain, and pelvic pressure may all be bothering you. Continue stretching, attempting to feel comfortable when lying down, and taking breaks to raise your feet when possible. Hold on—you won’t be pregnant for much longer!
You’re more than 40 weeks pregnant. So, what now?
You’ve probably been counting down to your due date for so long that you haven’t given much attention to what happens if you miss it. Here are a few examples of what may happen:
Natural techniques to induce labor: Since your due date has passed, you may be contemplating a few approaches to assist things to get started. Among the most prevalent strategies for naturally inducing labor are:
- Walking. Although exercise has not been proved to trigger labor, many parents claim that their contractions began after a quick stroll around the neighborhood. It can’t harm!
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture’s potential to induce labor has received mixed evaluations in scientific investigations. If needles are your thing and your doctor thinks it’s acceptable, go ahead and try it.
- Sex. Although there is no conclusive proof that sperm or orgasms cause labor, one research found that pregnant women who had sex after 36 weeks were less likely to go over their due date or require induction. Is it worth a shot?
However, use these procedures with caution:
- Nipple energization. Nipple stimulation can be useful, but you shouldn’t do it at home since the contractions may be too intense. If you do this, make sure you are in the hospital (perhaps for a medical induction) and supplement with nipple stimulation with your doctor’s clearance, rather than trying it unsupervised before going into labor spontaneously.
- Castor oil Drinking castor oil is more likely to cause stomach pain and diarrhea than to induce labor.
Other things to think about once your due date has passed:
- Testing: If your baby isn’t breaking out soon, your doctor may request a biophysical profile, which consists of two tests: an ultrasound and a non-stress test.
- The ultrasound will be similar to the ones you’ve had so far in that they will measure the baby and your amniotic fluid levels.
- A nonstress test involves a medical technician placing a heart rate monitor on your tummy and measuring your baby’s movement and heart rate for around 20 minutes. Bring a soothing book or simply chill out and wonder what your baby will be like when they come.
Medical initiation: If the doctor notices anything on the tests that indicates “it’s time to deliver!” or if you go over 41 weeks, you and your healthcare provider may opt to use medication to induce labor. This can
be done with one or both of the following medications:
- Prostaglandin: This drug is put overnight like a tampon to help ripen the cervix (which means softening and opening up to get ready for baby to pass through).
- Pitocin: This medicine is administered via IV to stimulate contractions.
A little additional assistance: Don’t be too impatient; infants usually arrive when they’re actually ready. However, if you and your doctor agree that your baby is healthy and that your body simply needs a little additional aid to start the labor process, you may choose to have one of the following significantly gentler induction procedures performed:
- Stripping membranes: The doctor can use a finger to remove membranes around the amniotic sac, which might cause hormones to be released and may cause labor to begin.
- Breaking your water: A specific instrument can be used to breach the amniotic sac and start contractions within a few hours.
Keeping oneself occupied: The game of waiting is genuine. Some expecting parents go overboard with last-minute nesting activities, such as preparing a large number of freezer meals and cleaning the filthy space behind the refrigerator. But don’t get too worked up over it—you don’t have to do all of that. You’re ready as long as you have a secure location for your kid to sleep, a car seat, and some diapers. It’s fine to relax with some Netflix if it makes you feel better.
Your Life When You’re 40 Weeks Pregnant
You did it! (Insert all of the happy emojis here!) It’s time for a joyous dance and a lot of patience—the last few days of a 40-week pregnancy are notoriously sluggish.
- Top tip: Get some audiobooks and go for a stroll. Even if the increased movement doesn’t speed up labor, it will keep you busy and amused while you wait. Check out Michelle Obama’s Becoming, narrated by the former first lady, or Tara Westover’s Educated, read by actress Julia Whelan.
- Words of wisdom: Eat, sleep, and feed This three-word motto is all you need throughout the first month of motherhood. Write it down, attach it to your bathroom mirror, place it on your fridge, and save it in your memory bank for when you need to do something insane after your baby comes, like vacuum or entertain visitors with crumpets and tea.
- Try these recipes: Is it true that eating pineapple causes contractions? The verdict is still out, but it can’t hurt, and it tastes wonderful. Here are some interesting ways to eat this sweet-tart tropical fruit: Pineapple Salsa, Pineapple Mojito (non-alcoholic), and Pineapple and Avocado Salad
- Take care of yourself: You’re probably feeling a mix of inpatient, enthusiastic, worried, and uneasy. It’s all very natural. Make as much room as possible to feel everything that is coming up to you right now by writing it down, taking it out, and making as much space as possible to feel everything that is coming up for you right now.
Your Pregnant Belly at 40 Weeks
You’ve probably gained 25 to 35 pounds altogether during your pregnancy, so you’re virtually at capacity. Your kid is still moving around in there, but not as forcefully as before due to the reduced room. Continue to count kicks and notify your doctor if you notice any changes in how frequently your baby moves.
You may be feeling itchy at this stage, but rest assured that virtually all infants arrive by 42 weeks. In fact, depending on how you and your baby are doing, many healthcare professionals advocate a medical induction at 41 weeks pregnant this is something you’ll discuss at your next appointment. It may seem like an eternity away right now, but it’ll only be a matter of days before you meet your babe.
Real Moms’ 40-Week-Old Baby Bump