You have officially reached the deadline, having successfully walked through the home-stretch! At 40 weeks pregnant, all you need to do is to wait for the sac to break and go into labour. However, even though this can get you a bit tensed, there are positives to focus on! The baby is now the size of a watermelon, weighing about 7.6 pounds and a little more than 20 inches from its crown to heel.
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40 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Leg cramps: At 40 weeks pregnant, the baby is putting more pressure on your lower limbs as it lies low inside your pelvis. You are likely to experience leg cramps, and also tingling sensations as times.
Sleepless nights: Due to the increased anxiety and raging hormones, you are likely to face trouble in falling asleep at night. To calm yourself, try to read or write a journal before going to bed. A glass of warm milk might also prove to be useful in such situations. Lastly, do not give up your daily exercises.
Excess fatigue: At 40 weeks pregnant, as you are rapidly nearing the delivery date, you tend to get anxious, and your body undergoes further changes. All these make you feel extremely tired. All you want now is that baby to pop out its head!
Increased Braxton Hicks contractions
As the baby is moving nearer to the delivery point, your body practises the delivery mechanics even more. Due to this, you experience an increased rate of Braxton Hicks contractions and abdominal cramps. Try to practise stretching and asanas to help reduce these cramps.
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As the baby puts pressure on your pelvic region, the organs of your excretory system get jammed and cannot pass stool smoothly. This condition will last till the time of your delivery.
Dry and itchy body
While 40 weeks pregnant, every part of your body seems to keep stretching. Your belly and your eyes become especially dry due to the changes in their shapes and sizes. You have to keep drinking water to keep yourself hydrated. Apply moisturisers on your skin, to avoid freckled and broken skin. However, there’s not much that you can do about your itchy eyes. Consult your doctor in case of major and prolonged irritation.
At 40 weeks pregnant, you will have to watch out for the signs of labour. Many women don’t show any sign of labour while pregnant at 40 weeks. However, there’s no need to panic.
However, these symptoms; apart from labour; are common during this week:
- Severe back ache
- Tighter belly
- Broader stretch marks
- Regular Braxton Hicks contractions
- Lower belly or abdominal cramps
There is no particular change in the size and shape of your 40 weeks pregnant belly because you are in the final stage of the journey. All the development has already occurred and been done with!
If you see that there’s a flow of mucus or sticky and watery substance, you must call the doctor immediately. You are probably going into labour. The doctor will recommend the immediate next action, which is probably rushing you to the hospital’s labour room.
40 Weeks Pregnancy Ultrasound
At 40 weeks pregnant, provided you’ve not already gone into labour, the doctor will recommend a biophysical profile, ICYMI, which is a two-fold test. A non-stress test will be done to check the baby’s movements, your contractions due to them, and the baby’s heartbeat. The doctor will also have a look at the amniotic fluid level, as your baby is still inside while the fluid is gradually decreasing. Your little one is now growing fine hair and nails!
Dos and Don’ts During Week 40 of Pregnancy
Practise Lamaze: Even though you are not feeling the physical tension of going into labour, keep practising Lamaze. This will help you cope with the tension during labour and help reduce the pain you will feel while delivering.
Stick to liquid-based diet: At 40 weeks pregnant, you are likely to experience tremendous heartburn and occasional indigestion. Liquid foods are best suited for for fragile constitution now. Soups, stews, and juices are the best go-to foods for this period.
Sleep on water-proof mattresses: Your sac might break any moment and lead you into labour. Surveys show that more than half the pregnant women start experiencing labour pains in the middle of the night, in their sleep. Should you water break in the middle of the night, you can save your bed from getting wet, and avoid the extra work, by using waterproof mattresses or sheets.
Walk too much: Try to rest as much as possible during this week. However, walk short distances to avoid cramps in the legs from long hours of sitting. Walking too much will make the amniotic fluid move and hence the baby will hit on your interiors, making you feel uncomfortable.
Stay alone for long hours: You can go into labour any moment. At 40 weeks pregnant, you must be extra careful to take into account all the risk factors. Staying alone is definitely not a good idea when you’re almost completing the pregnancy journey and just waiting for the labour cramps to hit.
Stress too much: It is useless to say “don’t worry”. You will definitely have fluctuating moods due to a wide array of thoughts and physical discomfort. Excess stress might also lead to high pressure and nose bleeds. You definitely don’t want extra problems now!
At 40 weeks pregnant, you are practically just one step away from holding your child. Stay focussed and alert. Leave the rest to nature’s calling.