Your pregnancy at week 40

Welcome to your week 40 pregnancy update where we outline the changes you and your baby are experiencing.

Your Baby

Congratulations – you made it to 40 weeks! Baby is roughly 51cm long and weighs around 3.5kg. Your baby has probably settled in to the birth canal and is awaiting final approach. He is taking regular naps and moving less, but ready and able to live outside of your uterus.

His immune system is still immature and he receives antibodies from the placenta and after birth he will receive antibodies continually from your breast milk. Most of the lanugo has fallen off his body, although you may still find some hidden spots, particularly in the creases, and around the shoulders or ears when you finally meet him.

Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby’s development and progress.

The Mum Update

Even thought it’s week 40 don’t be discouraged – only 5 per cent of babies are born on their due date with most babies coming within a week of the day estimated. The key purpose of defining a due date (rather than say a more broader week time period) helps your caregivers define your pathway of care eg when to have tests. It can be frustrating though when everyone else from your antenatal class have had their baby and you are stuck at home getting bigger and bigger!

Babies who are born ‘overdue’ may have dry, peeling skin that can look red (sometimes they are called ‘overcooked’!). They may have less amniotic fluid draining during labour and the baby may be more likely to pass meconium into the waters, potentially staining the fluid.

Use the time to finish any last minute projects before the hectic pace of life with a newborn settles in and enjoy some extra rest. And we wish you all the best for this next exciting phase in your life.

Cute Fact: By now, baby will be familiar with the rhythms of his mother’s voice. In fact, researchers analysing the cries of newborns found the cries of your newborn baby will be similar to the rhythm of your voice.

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