39 weeks pregnant
All the milestones are safely passed and you will meet your baby any day now
Like many mums-to-be, you may have to linger in suspense beyond the “last” day of pregnancy. Without a doubt, the big event is about to happen very soon and it will be worth the waiting, wondering, and fretting. Once you see and hold your baby, you won’t spend much time looking back over the past 40 weeks, but you’ll certainly marvel at the miracle of it all.
1.The membranes of the amniotic sac will rupture once labour starts, and the fluid that has cushioned the baby for months will drain away.
2.At full term the baby has the rounded chubby cheeks typical of new babies.
3.The skull bones are separated by membranes that allow for movement between bones and an easier passage of the head through the birth canal.
4.At 40 weeks the average crown to heel length is 51.2cm (20.2in) and the average weight is 3.5kg (7.6lb).
5.The umbilical cord is about the same length as your baby.
6.Shortly after the baby is born, further contractions will separate the placenta from the wall of the uterus. The midwife or doctor may gently deliver it by pulling on the umbilical cord.
You are there, you’ve made it! Congratulations on reaching 40’Th week of your pregnancy. Although you probably thought that you would never get to this milestone, take it as a personal accomplishment. You will probably be welcoming your baby this week. By this week your baby should weigh approximately 3-4 kg.
What are you about to experience?
You will be feeling a mix of anticipation and excitement, anxiety and impatience. This is a week full of emotions and it can be made worse by the fact that you don’t have much control over what happens. This week your doctor may advise you to undergo a Non Stress Test (NST) and an ultrasound to check the Amniotic Fluid Index (AFI). These are basic tests to check the baby inside your womb and whether he/she is under any stress.
Your baby’s development
Your baby is curled up tightly inside your uterus. He/she doesn't have much choice as it's big for that space. If your baby is in a breech position (feet or bum down) your doctor may discuss with you the possibility of a caesarean delivery.
Your baby’s bones have become hard, except the skull. The bones in the skull need to remain soft and pliable for delivery so they can overlap as they pass through the birth canal.
Changes in you
You're probably feeling a lot of discomfort by now, as you move around with your huge belly. Your pelvis and back are bearing the brunt of the weight leading to aches and pains.
One event that's not guaranteed before your labour begins is your water breaking (the amniotic sac surrounding your baby). By now you've lost many nights’ sleep over when and where it will happen. If at all you leak, you should now that amniotic fluid (Amniotic fluid is a clear, slightly yellowish liquid that surrounds the fetus during pregnancy. It is contained in the amniotic sac. It is a protective layer and helps in bone growth and lung development) is usually colourless and odourless. If you notice fluid that looks yellowish and smells of ammonia, you're probably leaking urine.
Keep up the exercise, be it walking with your partner or just some deep breathing. All these will prepare you for labour by giving you physical and mental health.
Indulge yourself as much as you want. Go for shopping, movies, etc with friends and family. Things are bound to change for atleast a few months on the arrival of the baby.
Nutrition for you
Your body has increased nutritional needs during pregnancy. Although the old age saying of ‘eating for two’ isn't entirely correct, you do require more nutrients to support you and your baby.
- Eat amply: You don’t need to overeat, but this trimester is when the baby actually gains weight through what you eat. So eat well and eat healthy. Do not go hungry or without food for long gaps.
- Fresh fruits: Fresh Fruits should always be at the top of your pregnancy diet. They are packed with essential nutrients and full of fibre, which is important for a healthy pregnancy diet.
Here are two of the topmost worries women have in the 40th week of pregnancy
- Wait patiently: Some babies come after their due dates. Try not to get too frustrated waiting and distract yourself and make plans for each day. You can just walk round the corner to see a friend or hang out with your partner.
- Delegate work: You might be stressing about household chores, managing a new baby when she arrives, and even things such as waking up at the night breastfeeding. Gather support from family and friends at this time. Delegate chores and responsibilities so that you won’t have to stress about those once the baby arrives.
What do the experts suggest?
“Remain patient as you’ve reached the very last stage of pregnancy. Discuss all possible options with your doctor- for both normal and caesarean delivery. Ask about epidural as a lot of women have misconceptions regarding it.”
Dr. Sangeeta Malhotra
CGHS Maternity and Gynea Hospital, Delhi
What do some of the moms say?
It’s always nice to know what the other moms have to say. We asked some of them and here is what they had to say:
“I was sick and tired of carrying a belly for 40 weeks and waiting for my water to break. Then my doctor suggested I go for AFI level check up. The radiologist saw that my AFI level had dropped considerably. They advised I go for a caesarean in emergency. Four hours later I finally saw my son! He was so pink!” shares Kriti Gulati, a new mom.
“I water broke while I was cooking dinner. I didn’t panic and instead went for a bath. Cleaned up and told my husband and then we left for hospital. But I had to wait 32 hours as my cervix wasn’t dilated enough. After being in labour for so long I finally held my son in my arms,” says Tanvi
Seasonal Pregnancy Care
Every season has its own requirements and especially so for a pregnant woman.
Summer: During pregnancy, your body needs more water to cope with the demands of your changing body. Water keeps you hydrated, helps you beat the heat, balances the fluid level in the body, flushes toxins out and also helps your growing baby build new cells. So, fill up your water bottle and carry it wherever you go.
Monsoon: Never walk around barefoot or in rubber soled footwear as they may cause slipping and falling. Opt for footwear which isn’t slippery and is comfortable and supportive.
Winter: Keep yourself well covered and indulge in all the winter greens and gur (jaggery) for tasty and wholesome meals.
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