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.
- Guide to Being 30 Weeks Pregnant
- Guide to Being 31 Weeks Pregnant
- Guide to Being 32 Weeks Pregnant
- Guide to Being 33 Weeks Pregnant
- Guide to Being 34 Weeks Pregnant
- Guide to Being 35 Weeks Pregnant
- Guide to Being 36 Weeks Pregnant
- Guide to Being 37 Weeks Pregnant
- Guide to Being 38 Weeks Pregnant
- Guide to Being 39 Weeks Pregnant
More Great Links
- Blott, Maggie "Pregnancy Day by Day." DK Publishing. 2009.
- Brann, James W. "Your Baby at 40 Weeks Pregnant." Women's Healthcare Topics. (June 17, 2011) http://www.womenshealthcaretopics.com/pregnancy_week_40.htm
- Harms, Roger W. "Mayo Clinic Guide to A Healthy Pregnancy." Harper Collins Publishers Inc. 2004.
- Iovine, Vicki. "The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy." Pocket Books. January 2007.
- Konopicky, Kate. "100 Things I Hate About Pregnancy." Sourcebooks. Inc. 2006.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. "Fetal development: The third trimester." July 25, 2009. (June 17, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fetaldevelopment/PR00114/NSECTIONGROUP=2
- Murkoff, Heidi. "Week 40 of Pregnancy: When (and if) Your Water Will Break." What to Expect. (June 17, 2011) http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/your-body/week-40/rupture-of-membranes.aspx
- Murkoff, Heidi and Mazel, Sharon. "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Workman Publishing. March 2008.
- Parents.com. "Week-by-Week Pregnancy Tips." (June 17, 2011) http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/pregnancy-tips/?page=40
- Parents.com. "Your Changing Body Week-by-Week." (June 17, 2011) http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/your-changing-body/?page=40
- Parents.com. "Your Developing Baby, Week by Week." (June 17, 2011) http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/baby-development/?page=40
- Parents.com "Your Pregnancy To-Do List." (June 17, 2011) http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/your-pregnancy-to-do-list/?page=40
- Riley, Laura. "The Inside Story: Your Baby in Week Forty." (June 17, 2011) http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/week-by-week/40/the-inside-story-your-baby-in-week-forty/
- Similac.com. "Baby's Growth and Development When You're 40 Weeks Pregnant." (June 17, 2011) http://similac.com/pregnancy/40-weeks-pregnant-baby-growth-development
- Similac.com. "Help Make Labor Less Laborious." (June 17, 2011) http://similac.com/pregnancy/delivery-tips-for-dad
- Similac.com. "Top Tips and Checklist When You're 40 Weeks Pregnant." (June 17, 2011) http://similac.com/pregnancy/40-weeks-pregnant-checklist-tips
- Similac.com. "Wellness and Nutrition When You're 40 Weeks Pregnant." (June 17, 2011) http://similac.com/pregnancy/40-weeks-pregnant-nutrition-wellness
- Similac.com. "Your Changing Body When You're 40 Weeks Pregnant." (June 17, 2011) http://similac.com/pregnancy/40-weeks-pregnant-your-changing-body
- Stone, Joanne; Eddleman, Keith and Duenwald, Mary. "Pregancy for Dummies." Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2009