Your little one is at their fully cooked, bun-in-the-oven birth weight and ready to go. Most babies weigh somewhere between six to eight pounds when they are born, with boys usually being longer and heavier than girls.
Your baby hasn't changed much since last week. They've developed a little more baby fat over the past week; and though all of their internal organs are ready to support them in the outside world, their immune system will continue developing after birth.
Congratulations! You've reached what is likely your final week of this pregnancy. If you haven't delivered already, it's almost time to meet your little one! Your hospital bag is packed (if it isn't, it should be!), or the baby pool is set up in its birthing place, and you are ready to go. The nursery is ready, or very nearly ready, and you have the car seat installed. You even have your baby's first outfit selected and placed out.
You've been patient for nine whole months, and the time is finally here! Just remember, when you finally do go into labor, it's important to stay calm. There usually is no need to rush to the hospital. For most women, labor typically lasts about 13 hours. If your water suddenly breaks, don’t immediately rush out the door! Take a little time to make sure you have everything you need. If you have older children, make sure they have adult supervision and are taken care of. And then drive safely. You may even prefer to stay home until your contractions are closer together. When you first contact your midwife or doctor, they should be able to tell you how long to wait before you should head to the hospital, or before they head to your home.
Labor is typically broken down into three stages, beginning when your contractions become regular and ending after you deliver the placenta. When your contractions start to pick up, you are in the active phase of the first stage. Between this active phase and the next, known as the transition phase, you need to get to the hospital or to wherever you’ve planned to give birth. During the transition phase, your contractions grow closer together.
The second stage of labor is when you give birth to your baby! Your contractions will become more regular, with less and less time passing between them, and they will feel much stronger. You will either feel the need to push, or like you need to pass a stool. If you have received pain medication, you may not feel this urge to push and you'll be directed on what to do. The end of the second stage of labor is signaled by the birth of your baby.
Within an hour of giving birth, usually within five to ten minutes of delivery your baby, you will be told to push again. You will then deliver the placenta. However, you will probably be preoccupied by the new baby in your arms, and it is much smaller than the little newborn you’ve just pushed out.
Even though 40 weeks seems like a long time, you may still have another week or two to go. A baby's due date is merely an estimate, and your baby will arrive when he or she is fully ready! All that you can do in the meantime is relax, enjoy this these final pregnant moments, and rest. This is happening!
Hi, my name is Louise, I am a Registered Midwife, founder of Let's Talk Birth and Baby and the face behind Instagram's The Honest Midwife. I have worked in health settings for the past 30 years, the majority of which have been working in children and family settings.
Forty weeks have come and gone. You are ready. So... where is baby?
If one more person says you that you look like you are going to pop, you just might. Right? Just to shut them up! Your walk is a waddle, you probably haven't been able to give your legs a good shave in a while, and turning over in bed feels like an Olympic event.
Gathering patience may seem challenging due to phone calls and questions from friends and family members, who are anxiously awaiting your little one's arrival.
Unfortunately, there is little that you can do to convince your baby to greet life on the outside. Your womb is a cozy little space with plenty of food and bouts of gentle rocking. It's the ideal place to be! There are, however, a few methods rumored to naturally induce labor with varying degrees of success. Please speak with your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements claiming to kick-start labor. If you have any concerns, speak with your doctor or midwife before trying any natural methods of induction.
Some experts say sex can help to induce labor! Sperm contains hormones that can help to soften the cervix, and an orgasm can cause uterine contractions. However, you should avoid sex if you have been advised to do so by your doctor or midwife, or if you believe your water has broken.
Going for a walk, or other any other gentle exercise that increases in your overall activity level, may help to induce labor as well. Just make sure you don't overdo it; and don't push beyond your comfort level. Now is not the time to start training for a road marathon! While the logistics surrounding how this works are unclear, many women claim their labor started after eating a spicy meal. Feel free to try it. But if you spend the evening with horrible heartburn and an upset stomach, it's on you.
Once you pass the 40-week mark, your doctor or midwife may speak about medical interventions for inducing labor. There are several options, from medications to breaking your water. Your doctor will inform you of the risks and benefits, and help you decide if induction is the right course for you.
It won't be long now, so hang in there! And don’t forget to write in your pregnancy journal.
Here is a list of entirely worth it symptoms commonly experienced during week 40.
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