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Guide to Being 40 Weeks Pregnant

Don't Worry If…

When you are 40 weeks pregnant, you have a lot to think about, but there's also a lot you don't need to worry about.

Don't worry if you don't deliver on time. Half of pregnancies last longer than 40 weeks. It's just as normal to deliver a week or two early or late.

Don't worry if you've decided on natural childbirth, but change your mind during labor. It's impossible to know what you can handle, particularly if this is your first baby. If you do decide to ask for an epidural, do so early. You must be completely still during the placement of the epidural tube, so if your contractions are too strong for you to remain motionless, the anesthesiologist might be unable to give you the injection. And if you are too far along, it might be necessary to give you a higher dose of medication, which could prolong your labor and affect your ability to push.

Losing your mucous plug is a good sign that labor will soon begin, although it could still be weeks away. Don't worry if you don't notice when, or if, you lose it. That often happens when you're on the toilet, so you might not notice its occurrence. And some women don't lose it at all.

Instead of worrying about your pregnancy, start thinking about the sweet child who will soon be in your arms. Those thoughts will make your heart warm and help you keep working to bring your baby into the world.