Congratulations Mama! You are at the official last week of pregnancy, and my! What a journey this has been. Though you still have a couple of weeks to go to get into the “post-term” club, you are on tenterhooks and want the baby to come out, now! Its been quite uncomfortable; the last few weeks, and you want to make it come to an end now, and get all goey, and coey with the baby (they show these things in the movies, don’t they?) Reality check – the coos are still a few weeks away, but for now, it’s the colostrum that’s leaking from your breasts regularly.
Physical and Emotional You
Yes, you will be eager and impatient; it can happen anytime, and the doctor will be checking you for dilation and softness of the cervix. If by any chance you do not get into labor in a week, the doctor may induce labor for you.
Your tummy might have dropped by now, making it easier to breathe but difficult to walk. Energy – just seems vanishing away.
Though rest seems like a joke with so much going on, try not to exert yourself too much. A walk and shower, coupled with loads of liquid and small meals are enough for you.
False labor contraction, the Braxton Hicks, will be more frequent now.
The baby is unlikely to throw a hard jabble or a strong kick at you, because of lack of space. However, the baby should be making some small movements, and if you feel otherwise, call your doctor.
Your baby is going to see the world anytime now, within these 1-2 weeks. Isn’t this a moment of great joy and excitement? Feel it and share your feelings with those close to you.
Though it will not break in public like the movies portray, yet the watercould actually break anytime now, you will know it, and in such an event, rush to the doctor immediately!
Your Baby at 40 Weeks:
The baby is cozy and warm inside though he is a bit cramped now. He would be anything between 19-21 inches and 3-4 kgs and looking like a round ball of pure chubbiness.
The lungs and the brain continue to mature, and they will continue the activity till early childhood years. The other systems are all developed and in place.
Any change in pattern of the baby’s activity would require attention – do call you doctor if you notice anything like this.
His skeleton is ready, but the bones in the skull have not yet fused – infact it is some time after birth that the skull bones harden up. This helps the baby squeeze his way through the birth canal, and in case you will have a long labor, his head may be cone shaped – which will resume normal shape after a few weeks of birth.
The baby is also packing up all the antibodies from the placenta to fight the worldly germs. If you plan to breastfeed, the additional antibodies from the colostrum will protect the baby from many infections in his first six months.
Things to Note:
This is the official deadline – ready out your hospital bag, your support systems, birth announcement plans and alternate arrangements along with your speed dials- be prepared for labour.
Rest is the mantra, though we know how tough it is!
Stay away from stress and comparison – no matter what anyone says, it’s you and your doctor who know everything is fine in there. Hold onto that faith and trust.