40 weeks pregnant

Semana 40 Melancia

The 40th week of gestation has arrived. It is wonderful to think about each phase that you and your baby went through and how much their lives have changed during that time. There is very little to go before the new stage begins.

These last few weeks of pregnancy seem to last longer than all the others. Anxiety, mixed with the weight of your belly, and all the other associated symptoms, make the wait almost endless, but take it easy. Everything happens in the its own time.

The most important thing is that everything is prepared for the arrival of the baby. Keep following the medical guidelines, relax and, even though it is distressing to wait any longer, be patient.


Baby’s development

The baby is fully formed: legs, feet, hands, arms, head, face, internal organs, skin, in short, just snuggled inside your belly waiting for the time to be born.

It is likely that he/she is between 48 and 54 cm and is 3.4 kg of cuteness. This size and weight are just an average, and may vary. Don’t be pay much attention to these details now.

Because he is in a cramped space, he may not move as much as he used to, or sometimes he is just asleep, but clear up any questions you have with the obstetrician if that makes you any calmer.


What happens to mom

You must be really tired. The belly and legs weigh and it hurts to get around. The pain in the groin is more intense due to the baby’s weight, especially if the baby’s head is already positioned downward. Heartburn is probably causing discomfort.

Anyway, at this moment your greatest wish is that everything will soon have a long-awaited happy ending. The waiting makes you and everyone around you a little crazy. In fact, you need a lot of patience to respond to the several issues when the baby will be born. Just smile, think about what has already happened and how well you have faced it, and you can wait a little longer.

Some mothers complain about their belly, but later claim to miss the baby moving around inside and all the spoiling he got during that period. So, feel privileged to still be pregnant, and maybe ask for a foot massage.


Care that must be taken at this stage

At this stage, you are already going to the obstetrician weekly. Upon arriving at the 40th week, the doctor must increase the number of visits to twice a week, exactly to perform specific tests, which will define whether or not it is on time and what procedures should be followed.

In the meantime, keep hydrating your body, using body moisturizers and drinking plenty of fluids, preferably the most natural ones, especially water and coconut water, avoiding sugary foods.

If you have continued with healthy eating up until now, your weight gain has been ideal. Keep up that pace and you should soon be able to get rid of all the pounds you’ve gained. Don’t think about it now, just keep eating right.

For you to reduce anxiety, which is normal this week, make sure that the bags for the maternity ward – the baby’s, yours and, why not, the father’s – are ready and placed in a strategic place. The trunk of the car is a good choice. Remember to leave all necessary documents and exams within easy reach.

Keep an eye out for possible signs of childbirth, the baby’s movements and your health. If there are any changes in relation to the last visit, such as the baby remaining still for more than 24 hours, for example, contact your obstetrician.


What if 40 weeks go by?

The counting of the gestation time, or the Estimated Date of Childbirth, EDC, is a mathematical calculation made by the obstetrician, based on the date of the last menstruation and the baby’s development shown in the ultrasound.

However, due to several factors, there may be a variation of 10% more or less, and a pregnancy can last from 38 to 42 weeks, which does not represent a risk for the baby or for you. However, you need to be watchful.

In any case, it is important to ask your obstetrician’s opinion as to what is the best thing to do at that moment. If you decide to speed up the time of delivery, the doctor may prescribe medication or procedures to induce normal childbirth or an indication for a cesarean section.


Tips to facilitate labor

There are some methods indicated to increase cervical dilation and stimulate the time of delivery. Before testing all of them that are taught, it is necessary to respect your rhythm and your health.

Light walks are recommended from the beginning of pregnancy because they are beneficial to the woman’s body and help with dilation. If you are up for it, walk around the block.

Having sex brings benefits such as the release of oxytocin, a hormone responsible, in a certain way, for stimulating labor. It also helps to thin out the cervix when in contact with the prostaglandin found in semen.

Massaging the nipples or pinching lightly causes the release of oxytocin, stimulating contractions. Back massages have the same effect. In fact, a lot of affection has a very positive effect.

Just be careful with the indication to eat certain foods, which can harm your digestive system and cause other maladies.


Karla Mendonça

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