Labor & Delivery




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Pregnancy Weeks


What Your Baby and Body Look Like at 40 Weeks Pregnant

What Your Baby and Body Look Like at 40 Weeks Pregnant

You've made it! You are officially 40 weeks pregnant and ready to welcome your little one into the world. At this point, it's normal to feel a mix of anticipation and nervousness at this stage. Just remember, your body has been preparing for this throughout your pregnancy journey. It's also important to note that while this is considered the last stage of your pregnancy, about 95% of babies are born two weeks before or after the expected due date. To ensure a smooth experience, be sure to communicate with your healthcare provider as they will have specific instructions on when to call or arrive at the hospital, and what you can eat or drink during early labor. Read on to learn more about what you can expect at this exciting phase of pregnancy.

Key Points of Pregnancy at 39 Weeks

  • While you've reached the final stage of your pregnancy, around 95% of babies are born within two weeks before or after the due date.
  • Stay in touch with your healthcare provider, who will provide specific instructions on when to contact or visit the hospital and guide you on appropriate food and drink choices during early labor.
  • Your baby's growth includes building fat stores, growing hair, and maturing lungs.
  • Be sure to have your hospital bag ready to go well in advance, as labor can come now at any time.
  • Your doctor may order testing after the 42nd week to ensure good uteroplacental circulation.

Pregnancy Body Changes at 40 Weeks Pregnant

Now that you're 40 weeks pregnant, you've made it to your due date. Around 95 percent of babies are born either in the two-week period before or after their due date.

Each care provider has specific instructions about when to call and when to come into the birthing center or hospital, as well as what to eat or drink in early labor. If no instructions have been provided, now is the time to ask for them.

Usually, care providers want to see you when your contractions are regular and less than four to five minutes apart.

At the end of your 42nd week, your pregnancy is considered post-term. Your doctor will probably order testing, just to be certain that there is still good uteroplacental circulation.

This testing can involve a non-stress test and/or a contraction stress test or a biophysical profile.

After nine months of doctor's visits, large clothing, physical discomfort, and joyous expectation you are finally reaching the last stages of pregnancy — labor and delivery. Click below for information from the medical panel of specialists as they take you step by step through the process of labor and birth.

Your Baby's Growth at 40 Weeks

By the beginning of this trimester, your baby will be building fat stores and muscle mass. Your baby's hair will be growing, replacing the lanugo that protected her skin in the womb.

By the end of this trimester, your baby will be approximately 7 pounds in weight and about 20 inches long. Your baby's lungs mature right up to birth.

If you haven't packed your hospital bag, now is the time to do it. Our Child Birth Checklist is a complete printable hospital bag checklist of everything you'll need to have on hand for your labor and hospital stay. Remember to take advantage of freebies and coupons for hospital essentials that manufacturers give away.

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