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40 weeks pregnant

Katie de Klee
All you need to know at this pregnancy stage, what changes to expect, and some great tips for the week ahead.
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5 things to look forward to at 40 weeks pregnant:
1.     You have reached your due date!
2.     Braxton Hicks contractions get more frequent.
3.     Making sure all your baby’s clothes are washed and ready for them.
4.     Either fatigue or a rush of energy.
5.     Counting the days, hours and minutes until you are a Mom.
How your life will change this week:
Congratulations! You have reached your due date. Don’t worry if that date passes, you could be waiting for a few days yet, or even for a week or two. Your baby is just fine inside you and will decide when the right time is to meet the world.

You may feel tightening in your womb this week – many of these will just be Braxton Hicks contractions, but if they start to increase in frequency and don’t subside when you move around, they could be the real thing. As the joints in your pelvis loosen to make space for your baby to be born, you might find that it is difficult to move around comfortably, but this won’t last long – you are nearly there, and you’ve managed all the discomfort so well. You may still have trouble sleeping, but this time it’s because of excitement and anticipation… After the long wait, your baby is nearly here!

Your baby’s development this week:
It is hard to say what size your baby will be when they are born, as after the 12th week babies develop at their own rate. The average baby at nine months is about 3.3 to 3.5kg. Your baby is still happily growing inside you, even after your due date passes and you have reached full term. Your baby’s nails and hair will be growing longer and their lungs are still developing.  The bones in your baby’s skull won’t fuse together until after birth. This is to help your baby fit through your narrow birth canal. Lots of babies have soft spots on their heads until they are a year old.

This week’s To Do list:
  • Make sure that you have everything ready for the hospital: your bag is packed, your cell phone is charged, and your car is full of petrol. Practise the route to the hospital a few times, and have the car seat fitted in your car so that your baby can come home with you safely.
  • Take a walk or climb a flight of stairs – sometimes it helps the contractions get started.
  • Rest up: watch a movie, read a book or just hang out with your partner or your girlfriends. You’re about to be on 24-hour call, so take advantage of the calm before the storm.
If you have 5 minutes… Pregnancy top tip.
It’s a good idea to wash and dry any new baby clothes you’ve bought or been given. Your newborn will have very sensitive skin, and there might be chemicals in the clothing that you aren’t aware of. Wash them in a gentle detergent and the clothes will be ready for your baby when they decide to make an appearance.

Curious about next week?  
Click here to find out what happens next week… And the week after. You are so close to your due date you might want to take a peek at the first week as well!

Share your thoughts and concerns
Chat with other Moms-to-be in your area or at the same developmental stage as you in BabyGroup Forums.

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