You are 40 Weeks Exactly 0 days to go…
You’ve reached 40 weeks exactly! It may have seemed like a long wait, but it will be worth it once you’re holding your baby.
Your baby is now ready for the outside world. Sudden changes
will take place with that first breath after delivery, as she
immediately adapts from her time within the fluid-filled environment of
the uterus to life in the air outside.
Your baby today
Congratulations! If you don’t yet have your newborn baby in your arms,
you soon will, and your life will be changed forever. Even the longest
pregnancy seems unaccountably short when your labor begins, and the
reality begins to hit that you’ll soon be holding your newborn.
You’ll get through
the labor; and you’ll forget about the discomfort after a few good
sessions detailing it to family and close friends. In fact, everything
that precedes that moment when you hold your newborn baby for the first
time becomes inconsequential when you realize that you have created the
most wondrous thing of all: a new life. So good luck and well done! This
is only just the beginning of the most amazing years of your life.
Your pregnancy is coming to an end so rather than nurturing your belly, you’ll soon be nurturing your amazing newborn baby.
58 percent of parents questioned in a recent survey believed that the name they gave their baby would contribute to his or her success in life.
More found it easier to
name a boy than a girl, and just 3 percent said they would change the
name they’d given their baby if they could.
Your baby is described
as being overdue if you have not gone into labor by the time you are 40
weeks’ pregnant. This is not unusual since most women do not go into
labor at exactly 40 weeks, and anything between 37 and 42 weeks is
considered to be normal.
Why labor is late
As the exact trigger
that sets off labor is unknown, it’s not clear why some women are
overdue. You are more likely to be overdue if this is your first baby,
if you’ve had an overdue baby before, or if the condition runs in your
family. Some think it’s more common in well nourished women, and there
is even evidence that pregnancies are longer in the summer than in the
winter. If your due date was figured out from an early ultrasound, this
gives a more accurate dating of pregnancy than the date of your last
menstrual period, and you’ll be less likely to be classified as overdue.
What will be done
weeks, there is a slightly increased risk to your baby’s health that may
be due to the reduced efficiency of the placenta. After 42 weeks the
risk increases, but is still small. Depending on hospital policy, you
will be offered an induction around 41 weeks . The following may also be done.
Stripping the membranes
After 40 weeks,
your doctor may do an internal examination to “strip the membranes.”
She’ll insert a gloved finger into the cervix and pull the membranes in a
circular pattern. This can soften the cervix and increase the chance of
you going into labor by 30 percent in the next 48 hours. It’s safe for
you and your baby, but can cause cramps and slight bleeding.
Assessments after 42 weeks
Many doctors induce
labor by 41 or 42 weeks. If your pregnancy goes beyond 42 weeks and you
don’t want to be induced, your doctor may offer monitoring with scans
to measure the baby’s pulse and volume of fluid around the baby; or you
may have a NST
once or twice a week until labor to pick up any signs that the placenta
is failing. If a problem is found, you’ll be advised to have a cesarean
or an induction of labor.
Going over your due date can be stressful, but it may help to remind yourself that it’s also extremely common and quite normal.
How you’re feeling
You might find the
physical and mental stress of being pregnant beyond your due date
considerable but it can help to know that unless you have a medical
condition, being overdue does not significantly increase your health
risks. You may worry that your baby will grow too large, causing
difficulty in labor, but your baby isn’t likely to put on enough weight
in the last week or so to make a big difference and most overdue babies
have a normal birthweight.
Bringing on labor
Although no “home” or
alternative remedy has been proven to bring on labor, there are several
harmless techniques that are thought to assist the body’s natural
Probably the most enjoyable way to try to bring on labor is to make love
with your partner. Sperm contains prostaglandins that may act as a
natural uterine stimulant, although the evidence that this works is
inconclusive. Making love is not dangerous to your baby, unless your
doctor has specifically told you to refrain from intercourse for a
medical reason, such as fetal growth restriction or placental bleeding.
Nipple stimulation during sex
or by itself can cause the release of oxytocin from your pituitary
gland, which is linked to contractions and cervical ripening.
Walking and exercise may cause a mild increase in uterine contractions by helping the baby move down the pelvis, putting pressure on the cervix.
has been associated with increased uterine activity. Very little
research has been done studying the use of raspberry leaf in pregnant
women, so it’s best to avoid this herbal remedy unless your doctor gives
you the go-ahead and your pregnancy is already full-term.