Your Pregnancy

What To Expect When You’re 40 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is the size of a watermelon!
Dyanne Harvey

Congrats! You, mama, are officially full term.

Now, just because you’re 40 weeks deep into this pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean that baby wants to meet the world just yet.

Keep a watch out for early signs of labor and get ready for the big day. Here’s what’s happening this week!

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How Big Is Baby at 40 Weeks?

The size of a watermelon, your baby weighs 7.6 pounds and is 20.2 inches from head-to-feet.

3d rendered medically accurate illustration of a fetus week 40

Tips for A Healthy Pregnancy at 40 Weeks

Know Your Options – While every pregnancy is different, you and your doctor will decide whether induction is the right thing for you or not.

In these situations, it’s essential that you know your options. Medically inducing labor presents a whole new set of risks that don’t often accompany natural labor.

You’ll be under the watchful eye of your doctor, but please make sure you educate yourself on the entire process, especially your options.

Most expecting moms don’t realize they have as many options as they do. The bottom line is that you’re the boss (aside from baby, of course).

Nipple Stimulation – There are some mixed messages when it comes to naturally inducing labor by nipple stimulation.

Some evidence points to nipple stimulation as a successful way to start up labor for healthy pregnancies.

Other reports support the negative aspects of nipple stimulation saying it can bring on intense contractions than what is necessary or even safe for your baby.

Do your research and falter on the side of safety.

Castor Oil – Drinking castor oil is another way that some try to induce labor naturally.

The thing about castor oil is that while it can help to promote the start of labor, it doesn’t come without risks.

For instance, castor oil is a laxative. This means that it makes your intestines contract as well as your uterus.

More than anything, castor oil is well-known for producing irregular (and exhausting) contractions, diarrhea, dehydration, nausea, and a host of other troubles for your belly.

Most doctors recommend skipping over the castor oil cocktail.

How Many Months is 40 Weeks?

You are officially nine months and two weeks pregnant, mama!

Ultrasound at 40 Weeks

Squished – that’s what your baby is at the moment. Then again, he/she might be perfectly satisfied with this feeling.

Your baby might actually just be concerned with growing nails and hair right now rather than making a grand exit from your uterus.

40 weeks pregnant ultrasound #1 40 weeks pregnant ultrasound #2 40 weeks pregnant ultrasound #3 40 weeks pregnant ultrasound #4

40 Weeks Pregnant: Your Belly

With a full baby belly, you have virtually reached the level of fertility goddess.

Although it might seem like you’re ready to give up this goddess title so you can breathe, bend, and poop once again, you might have a little more waiting to do. Hang in there!

40 Weeks Pregnant: Changes in Your Body

Growing Vagina – Aside from your belly, your vagina might actually get larger, too.

During the final weeks of pregnancy, your body is working extra hard to pump enough blood to your mid-section.

This could mean extra blood being pumped to your vagina, as well. You might get swollen down there, feel more sensitive, and even have a hard time walking because of the extra plumpness.

Rectal Pressure – You’ve probably heard other moms talking about the feeling they got when having their baby.

Women liken this pressure to the need to have a bowel movement. This sensation is usually felt either in active labor or right before active labor hits during a labor phase call transition.

But, you might experience it even before. If you do feel the need to poop, but there’s nothing really to get out, then you might be closer to meeting baby than you think.

Carrying Low – No matter how high or low you carried your baby during your pregnancy, he/she might be a low rider right now.

During the final days before delivery, many babies drop so low into the pelvis that it’s evident from the outside. You might even have strangers comment on how low you’re carrying your baby.

It’s pretty much a universal sign that you don’t have much time left before you go into labor.

40 Weeks Pregnant: With Twins

Although you might feel like an immovable mountain of mom and baby, your time for relief will soon come.

If your babies have managed to remain in their little utero home this long, then feel confident in knowing that you have very strong babies.

Keep a close watch on any symptoms that might be early signs of labor and keep your doctor on speed dial.

40 Weeks Pregnant: A Checklist

  • Put a waterproof mattress cover on your bed in case your water breaks at night.
  • Talk to your doctor about your options regarding inducing labor.
  • Make sure your hospital bag is 100% packed.
  • Take one more “big belly” photo for your pregnancy journal.

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Get our free cheat sheet and learn over 50+ smart ways to save money as new parents. You'll be glad you did!

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