Your Pregnancy: Weeks 39 and 40

Pregnancy week by week: You are 39 and 40 weeks pregnant


Your Body

You’ve reached the end of the third trimester of pregnancy, a colossal physical, mental and emotional achievement. You’re eagerness and excitement about seeing your little girl or boy may be tempered by frustration. Sooo, when is my baby going to make an entrance, you’re wondering? It’s frustrating playing the waiting game, sitting at home fielding calls, emails, Facebook messages and Tweets, asking, “Have you had the baby yet?” Not to worry, close to 50 percent of pregnancies last longer than week 40; however, your caregiver will probably want to induce you if you are overdue (i.e. before you go beyond 42 weeks). You can also experiment with natural remedies for inducing labour like nipple stimulation, drinking red raspberry leaf tea (a herbal tea safe for pregnancy), walking and have sex. There’s no guarantee you will see results, though.

In the interim, enjoy your freedom. Soon you and your partner will be busy feeding, burping and rocking your beautiful newborn to sleep, changing diapers and doing laundry. Keep yourself occupied so you’re not dwelling on the fact that you’re still not a mother. Try to go about your normal routine (we understand it’s a struggle moving around with your giant bump): see a movie, treat yourself to a mani-pedi and relax on an outdoor patio. Pack your hospital bag and finish last-minute touches to the nursery but delegate strenuous chores to your significant other. Your ultimate goal is to be well-rested before labour begins. Before you know it, you’ll be holding and kissing your infant.

Baby’s World

As your baby bids goodbye to her watery home, she weighs 3.2 to 3.4 kg. (7 - 7.5 lbs.) and measures between 50 and 52 cm. (20 – 20.5 in.); she’s approximately the size of a pumpkin. Soon a nurse will place her on a scale, and you’ll find out precisely how much she weighs. All of her organs are completely developed and ready to function outside mom’s body. Exactly one minute and five minutes after birth her Apgar score will be tested. It provides a quick overview of her condition and assesses her colour, muscle tone, reflexes, breathing and heart rate, in case she needs treatment for anything after emerging from the birth canal. At one minute, a healthy newborn normally scores a seven or higher; at five minutes, it increases to nine or 10.

Fun Fact

In utero, baby’s body temperature is regulated — she’s been floating in 37° degree water for nine months. As a newborn, she will have difficulty regulating her own body temperature so “brown fat” has formed around her neck, shoulders and main organs to help her out in the weeks following her birth.

Weeks 37 & 38

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