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40 weeks pregnant

Your baby at 40 weeks

Your baby is the size of a small pumpkin.

A mind of his/her own

So while you may be expecting a new family member this week, your little one might prefer a few more days or (dare we say it?) weeks in the cosiness of your belly. In this case, your healthcare provider will keep a close eye on baby’s weight gain and tolerance to contractions. 

Cramped quarters

Baby is curled up tightly inside your uterus. If your little one is in a breech position (feet or rump down), your provider may attempt to turn him/her. If that doesn't work, your provider may discuss with you the possibility of a Caesarean birth.

Chubby cherub

Your little one has probably reached final birth weight and length. The average baby is 3.4 kg (7.5 lb) and 52.1 cm (20.5 inches) long (boys are a bit bigger than girls). Fifteen per cent of the total body weight is now from fat, which will help baby stay warm in the outside world. Organs and body systems are also ready for life outside the uterus. Your baby has stored starch in the liver to be made into glucose after birth, and he or she has extra fluid on board as well. Like a camel, your little one is well equipped to get through birth and last until your breast milk comes in.

Your pregnancy at 40 weeks

Last-minute indulgences

You’re not considered late until you hit 42 weeks. Though you're eager to greet your child, try and consider these final days as an opportunity for a little self-indulgence. Treat yourself to a pedicure, take in a film or read a book from cover to cover. Once your little one arrives, you'll be on call 24-hours a day and it’ll be a while before you can squeeze in a little me-time.

Guess my age

Once your baby is born, you may discover that his or her true age is different from the one you calculated based on your last menstrual period or time of conception. Right after birth, a paediatric nurse or your baby's healthcare provider will evaluate gestational age based on physical features and neurological development. It’ll be interesting to compare these different dates!

Did you know?

Are you excited to hear your baby’s first cry? You may not realise that your newborn baby’s tear ducts won’t actually make tears until he or she is about a month old.

Quick tip for mums

You’ve made it to the big day! How will you know when labour starts? Three classic signs are: regular contractions that become closer and longer over time; a mucus vaginal discharge (called “mucus plug” or “bloody show”); or your water breaking (called “rupture of membranes”). Check in with your healthcare provider if you experience these signs, but stay at home for as long as you can!

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