Updated: 2019, Jul 26

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

Here's an article for you, when you may be expecting a new family member during your 40th week of pregnancy, resting in the comfort zone of your belly. 40 weeks pregnant is nine months. You made it!
40 Weeks Pregnant: Your Baby is Finally Ready to Meet You!
In the 40th week, your baby has developed plenty to enable it to survive in the outside world with your guidance. Shutterstock Images

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 a 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. The 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 a 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[1].

Info 40 weeks Pregnant

what you really need to know about your baby’s health, some suggestions, and tips. Shutterstock Images

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 the mother’s body, they look for their breast. Mothers should know how to feed their newborn right and be prepared.

Mothers should touch the baby’s lips with their nipple, to lead the baby to open their 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 the 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 the 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 a syringe (vacuum system that extracts milk from the 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.


Peony C Echavez

Peony is a registered nurse and former Director of Nursing services for a large nursing facility. She has written web content for a lar

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