40 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby is Finally Ready to Meet You!

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

The most important for mothers during this week is to relax, don’t panic and let everything run its course. It is important to note that according to all statistics; only 6% of children are born in the projected time while others are born two weeks after or before. This article provides* an overview on the fetal development, maternal changes, signs and symptoms and some interesting facts about the 40th week of pregnancy.

Did you know that babies are born with very sophisticated hearing, and can tell where a sound is coming just 10 minutes after they are born?

Height: 20.16 inches 51.2 cm
Weight: 7.63 pounds 3462 grams

What Happens to The Baby?

Babies are still waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Bones on the skull have yet not merged. This is the sole reason baby’s head can look a bit like cone when they come to this world. This is normal and will pass. Babies now have their reflexes ready (around 70), and are just waiting the day to come. Umbilical cord will stop* functioning the moment babies breathe in with their own lungs.

What Happens to The Mother?

Lots of mothers feel like this week lasts forever, but there is no place for panic. The baby is in safe place. First time mothers usually go to labor at last, 42nd week of pregnancy. There is just little time left, and the end is near. Regular visits to the gynecologist are essential (twice a week, sometimes even every second day). Tests for blood pressure, protein control*, weight, pulse and lots of others will seem like everyday tasks. However, everything will come to an end. Other tests include ultrasound (to see the baby’s movements, positioning, breathing as well level of amniotic fluid). These tests will tell if everything will be according to plan, or there might be a need for caesarean section.

40 week pregnant info

Tips For 40th Week of Pregnancy

These are some of the last moments between the mother and the father alone, and they need to be cherished. Going for a walk, lunch or dinner in a restaurant, or doing anything they like after the visit to the gynecologist is a nice idea to stay connected. Whatever makes them happy, parents should do it. Some choose to start buying baby clothes and browse shops at 40th week of pregnancy.

Additional Information – When to Start Breastfeeding

Mothers face a dilemma when and how to start to milk out or breastfeed their babies. Milking out is essential in the first weeks in order to establish breastfeeding habit. The first time mothers hold their baby in the delivery room is an excellent time to start breastfeeding. Every baby is born with the instinct for breastfeeding. The second babies touch mother’s body, they look for their breast. Mothers should know how to feed their newborn right, and be prepared. Mothers should touch baby’s lips with their nipple, to lead the baby to open its mouth and start receiving milk. The perfect spot is between the upper lip and the nose, as the baby will open its mouth wider in that case. Babies should touch the breast, not the other way (putting the breast in baby’s mouth). Baby’s mouth should cover as much of the areola as possible. It is recommended to keep the nipple as far as possible from the lower lip. Mothers can also ask nurse to help them or assist them. In most cases, breastfeeding is recommended every hour, but this should be in consultation with a physician.

Milking out is essential for stimulating the breast to produce* more milk. Before milking, mothers should relax and sit or lie down comfortably. Breast massage with warm pad helps milk flow. Milking out can be done manually, or with syringe (vacuum system that extracts milk from breast). Before milking out, the thumb and the index finger are positioned above the areola, and they push. Other fingers serve as support* for the breast. Light pressure is needed. Milking out lasts 8 to 10 minutes for each breast. Milked out milk can be used in the next 24 hours (maximum of 8 days). If frozen, it can be kept in fridge between 3 and 4 months. Thawing should be step by step, and after milk can be used in the next one hour. Babies usually suck more milk than what the mother can milk out.

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Author

Expert Author : Peony C Echavez (Consumer Health Digest)

Peony is a registered nurse, and former Director of Nursing services for a large nursing facility. She has written web content for a large health education website, and currently creates content for a number of health practisioners.