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Guide to Being 40 Weeks Pregnant


Your belly is huge now. You've packed on 25 to 35 pounds, and your back is killing you. See more pregnancy pictures.
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You made it! Or almost, anyway. Even if you haven't delivered your baby yet, at 40 weeks you're considered full term. While people commonly talk about the nine months of pregnancy, most health care providers calculate your due date 40 weeks from the start of your last known menstrual period. That's 280 days, or between nine and 10 months. Or to you, it might seem like forever.

If you're still waiting for the big moment, rest assured it's close. While only about five percent of women actually deliver on their due date, most do give birth within two weeks of it.

You might be tempted to try to get the process started on your own. Women have tried everything from long walks to having sex to eating Chinese food to drinking herbal tea. But it's usually best just to let nature take its course.

So how long will you be in labor? It varies, with the average labor lasting 12 to 14 hours for the first baby. Second and later children often make their way through the birth canal a little faster.

You have a lot of excitement ahead of you, so take this opportunity to relax. Get some rest. And read the following guide to learn more about week 40.


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