Pregnancy Week 40

Your baby this week 

Congratulations! This week marks the official end of your pregnancy.

For some of you, your due date has come and gone, and you are still pregnant. Don't get frustrated, you have come a long way. Start getting yourself ready for labour.

The average baby weighs about 3.4kg at birth but if your child weighs anywhere from 2.5kg and 3.8kg thats perfectly normal (some babies are heavier). The average baby also measures about 51cm long from head to toe.

The bones in your baby's skull haven’t fused yet. This is simply mother nature’s way of making it easier for your child to get through the birth canal during labour and delivery. Your baby now has enough fat under the skin to maintain his/her body temperature outside the womb.

 

Your body this week

It's the official end of your pregnancy and i'm sure you are excited about the arrival of your newborn. You still have a couple of weeks before you will be considered "post-term."

But to be sure your baby is still thriving, your doctor will schedule you for testing to keep an eye on your baby if your pregnancy continues.

Please try to stay calm if your waters break or if you start to feel contractions and call your doctor or hospital straight away. You may be advised to wait at home until contractions are really under way. Find out how to tell when you're in labour.

During pushing and delivery, your baby’s head will begin to make an appearance through your vaginal opening with each contraction. Crowning is when your baby’s head remains visible and does not slip back in. As your baby’s head crowns, you will experience a burning or stinging sensation, as your baby stretches the vaginal opening. This is referred to as the ring of fire. 

The burning or stinging sensation only lasts for a short time and is followed by a numb feeling. As soon as you feel this, you will be advised stop pushing. If you continue to push and bear down, you increase your risk of tearing or needing an episiotomy.

During your last ante-natal visits your doctor will discuss the following possibilities:

  • The possibility of going past your due date
  • Induction (at the doctor’s discretion)
  • Caesarean Birth

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