Baby development at 40 weeks gestation

Your baby is now completely ready for birth, although his nervous system is still developing. The child actively reacts to your emotions. Try to think positively, worry less and get upset over trifles.

The weight of the child at 40 weeks of gestation is approximately 3000 grams. Growth from the “crown to tail” is 37 cm, and full growth is about 50 centimeters. As you already know, these are average indicators.

In fact, everything is very individual.

What’s new in baby development

Now the baby looks exactly what it will look like at your first meeting.

Consider what happens at 40 weeks of gestation:

  1. The fluff covering the baby’s body is almost completely absent;
  2. The skin turned pink, palms and heels slightly wrinkled;
  3. The original grease has almost disappeared. She remained only in places of folds, and helps the child to avoid rubbing;
  4. The size of the fetus reached its maximum during the fortieth week of pregnancy. The uterus occupies the entire abdominal cavity, and the baby – the entire uterus. Therefore, fetal movements are very limited;
  5. The development of the fetus at 40 weeks of gestation is almost complete. In the body of a little man, all systems are being adjusted, internal organs are preparing for independent work;
  6. In the intestine there is meconium (primordial feces), which will come out a few hours after birth;
  7. The genital system has finally formed;
  8. The fetus at the 40th week of pregnancy is already ready to take its first breath, but lung development is still ongoing. Many expectant mothers are interested in the question of whether a baby should scream after birth. The answer is yes. The baby’s first cry occurs immediately after the first full breath of air and after the lungs open;
  9. Most of the kids at this stage are already comfortable head down, preparing for the birth. But if your saboteur “sits on the pope” or is in a transverse position – the doctor is likely to plan delivery by cesarean section.
Stirring activity before childbirth

At the time of 40 weeks of pregnancy, the baby is already bored in the womb, since he does not have the opportunity to move freely. It often happens that shortly before childbirth, the baby practically ceases its motor activity.

There is no reason for unrest, as he simply builds up strength to overcome his first difficult path. Moreover, the closer the birth, the more calm your baby will be in the movements.

The condition of the future mother at 40 weeks of pregnancy

With the onset of the fortieth week of pregnancy, your body is almost ready for childbirth. Most pregnant women at this stage are especially sensitive, because they are waiting for the first symptoms, which suggest that it is time to go to the hospital.

Characteristic symptoms at this time

Symptoms at 40 weeks of gestation:

  • The stomach moves down. Lowering the abdomen immediately becomes visually noticeable to others and tangible to you (it becomes easier to breathe, it stops bothering heartburn);
  • The increase in the flexibility of the pelvic joints, occurring at 40 weeks of pregnancy, helps to ensure that the baby is not injured during passage through the birth canal;
  • Allocations. Doctors recommend at this time to carefully monitor the discharge and if they have brown mucus or blood, consult a doctor immediately. I must say that by the onset of the 40th week of pregnancy, the discharge becomes more abundant;
  • The cervix gradually softens, and already closer to the birth process begins to open. This leads to the fact that the cork, which protected the baby from infection, begins to exfoliate. At this time, discharge with blood is possible. Doctors consider them harbingers of childbirth;
  • Hemorrhoids. During this period, the pressure of the child on the pelvis increases, which can lead to inflammation of the hemorrhoidal nodes;
  • Frequent urination. Uterine pressure on the bladder has increased. Do not ignore the urge to the toilet, because it is fraught with complications;
  • Varicose veins. Try to spend less time on your feet, but do not sit too long in one pose;
  • The chest is ready to feed the baby. Colostrum often stands out from it. And on the third day after birth, breast milk will replace it.
What unpleasant sensations may occur

At this time, all future mothers already think only about how to meet their baby as soon as possible, while the feeling of pregnancy does not bring its former lightness.

The fortieth obstetric week of pregnancy is one of the last weeks before birth.

It is characterized by such sensations:

  1. Pain in the lower back and in the sacral region, which occur more often. They are associated with an increasing load on the spine;
  2. Unpleasant crushing sensations in the perineum;
  3. Training fights. For many women, this phenomenon is already quite familiar by the 40th week of pregnancy. Training (false) contractions continue to prepare the uterus for the birth process.
The size and shape of your tummy

At this stage, you are not gaining weight as actively as before. However, this does not affect the size of the abdomen and its shape. At the 40th week, the stomach is not just big, but huge. He turns a pregnant woman into a clumsy bear, because it is becoming increasingly difficult to move around, it is extremely difficult to get comfortable in bed, and the skin on his stomach is constantly itching.

In addition, as we have already noted above, the abdomen at this time begins to sink and harden, which is associated with an increase in the tone of the uterus. Looks at 40 weeks so:

Necessary medical examinations and ultrasound

In the last days and weeks of pregnancy, you will have to visit your gynecologist quite often. Get ready for trips to the antenatal clinic 2-3 times a week. At the appointment, the doctor will carry out the manipulations already familiar to you:

  • blood pressure measurement;
  • measurements of girth of the abdomen;
  • visual examination of the extremities for the presence of edema;
  • listening to the baby’s heartbeat.

Ultrasound at the fortieth week of pregnancy is carried out in order to study such basic parameters:

  • Mass of the child;
  • The baby’s condition and his position in the womb;
  • The presence of cord entanglement;
  • The length and structure of the cervix. During the entire period of pregnancy, the cervix is ​​not in one condition, it is shortened closer to childbirth. The pharynx should be closed or ajar by 1 cm. During childbirth, the pharynx opens by 10 cm;
  • The presence of uterine tone. At this time, training contractions are considered normal, but if such contractions occur not only during ultrasound and the condition worsens, the question is raised about uterine hypertonicity;
  • The condition of the placenta. In the last stages, it is very important to determine the condition of the placenta, since its functioning is directly related to how your unborn baby eats and breathes. Often during this period, the placenta is already in a worn state and is not functioning properly, resulting in fetal hypoxia (lack of oxygen and nutrients). Over time, the placenta ages, and its walls become thin. Now infections are easier to get through. For this reason, a pregnant woman in the last stages of pregnancy should periodically visit a doctor, as well as take the necessary tests and do ultrasound studies as prescribed. If there is any doubt about the functional abilities of the placenta, it is necessary to conduct a CTG study with Doppler;
  • The location of the placenta. An important factor influencing the decision on the method of delivery is the location of the placenta relative to the bottom of the uterus. If from its lower edge to the pharynx less than 5 cm, a cesarean section is recommended;
  • Amniotic fluid amount and structure. With deviations in the amount of amniotic fluid, conclusions can be made regarding low water or polyhydramnios. In the early stages of pregnancy, such a conclusion may indicate the development of an infectious process, but at the end of the third trimester, oligohydramnios most likely indicates fetal overload. But polyhydramnios can be both a variant of the norm, and evidence of deviations in the development of the fetus.
How to determine the onset of labor

According to the observations of doctors, childbirth most often begins during the period from the 39th to the 40th week of pregnancy. To the beginning of the birth process, you need to prepare in advance.

Most pregnant women feel precursors of childbirth, which include:

  • Contractions;
  • The exit of the mucous plug, which closed the entrance to the uterus;
  • Displacement of the abdomen down;
  • Weight loss of more than 1 kg;
  • Decreased motor activity of the fetus;
  • Diarrhea, lack of appetite, nausea.

However, it often happens that a woman does not observe any precursors.

In fact, childbirth can begin quite calmly and without them. The onset of labor can be triggered by any physical exertion, sexual intercourse or even problems in the intestines.

Births started at 40 weeks of gestation are accompanied by:

  • The appearance of regular contractions of the uterus, the interval between which is reduced. If the uterus contracts after a strictly defined time – congratulations, the birth process has begun! In addition, unlike false ones, real contractions are more painful. Most women say that pain during contractions is very similar to menstrual pain. If you have previously had painful periods, then you can roughly imagine what to expect in the near future;
  • The discharge of amniotic fluid. Outflow can occur immediately complete, up to 1 cup, or drop by drop. The liquid can be either transparent or cloudy with a greenish tint (this indicates the presence of deviations from the norm).
Possible complications in the fortieth week

At this stage of pregnancy, it is worth paying attention to the movements of the fetus, which has already become quite crowded in the uterus.

Possible complications include:

  • Swelling. Many pregnant women suffer from edema. The fact is that, due to the increased load, the kidneys work in an emergency mode and may not be able to cope with the amount of fluid entering the body. Often swollen feet and fingers;
  • Gestosis. If high blood pressure is also added to the swelling, you should immediately consult a doctor. Such symptoms may indicate the development of gestosis;
  • Hypoxia of the fetus. By this time, the placenta has practically used up its resources, and yet it is a source of nutrition and oxygen for the baby. It is necessary to monitor its condition using ultrasound;
  • Repotting. Normally, labor should occur before 42 weeks, but there are times when the MDP is not set correctly. A child born after this period is considered overripe. When pregnancy is delayed, caesarean section is indicated.
Useful recommendations for expectant mothers

A period of 40 obstetric weeks is the time to finish preparing for a meeting with the baby. Useful tips this week are:

  1. Take advantage of the last days of your happy pregnancy, spend time with pleasure, relax and take a walk in the fresh air;
  2. Recheck your “alarm case”. It should contain all the necessary documents, as well as things for you and the baby that you will need during your stay in the hospital;
  3. If possible, do not go far from home. Wherever you go, be sure to bring an exchange card and cell phone with you;
  4. If you feel good, you can do light gymnastics, and hiking can naturally regulate the onset of childbirth.

This material is for informational purposes only, before using the information provided it is necessary to consult with a specialist.

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