Pregnancy Week 40

Nurse handing mother newborn baby girl (0-3 months) in hospital.
Jonathan Nourok/Stone/Getty Images


Your body has been getting ready over the last few weeks. We have talked before of the labor and what it entails. We have discussed pain relief and other aspects as well. This is very normal, only about 4% of women will actually give birth on their due date. While 98% of women will give birth 2 weeks before or 2 weeks after.

Inductions are the artificial means used to bring about labor. They can be medically managed, like pitocin or amniotomy (breaking your water), or by non-medical means.

Give a great deal of thought to the risks and benefits of inductions.

  • 40 Weeks and Beyond Belly Gallery
  • Birth Pictures


Your baby is probably one of the 96% of babies who is head down and deeply snuggled into your pelvis. The immune system is still immature and the baby receives antibodies from the placenta and after birth they will receive antibodies continually from your breast milk. Most of the lanugo has fallen off the baby's body, although you may still find some hidden spots, particularly in the creases, and around the shoulders or ears.

The average baby will be about 7.5 pounds (3.4 kilograms) and 20 inches long at birth. Your baby will be judged, at birth and 5 minutes later, with an apgar score.


Looking for a way to pamper mom before the birth? Consider a pedicure or a pregnancy massage to help her relax. A nice date is also encouraged. Though be careful about picking things she has to sit through for long periods like concerts and the movies.

Readers Share:

40 weeks is a rough guess about when baby will be born, but babies are full term at 37 weeks. This end of pregnancy is a guess - how long will your pregnancy last? Did you believe your baby would be late or early? While babies are born a few weeks before or after the due date, everyone feels differently about when labor will begin or when induction is appropriate.

What were your thoughts in pregnancy? Did the end of pregnancy change that? Did you have a firm plan for your due date? Did you panic if your due date came and went? Or were you surprised by an early baby?

What does a due date mean?

Twin Tips:

The rate of undiagnosed multiples is very slim. Finding out earlier you have multiples helps ensure a healthier delivery for both mom and babies.

Suggested Reading:

The New Parent by Dr. Miriam Stoppard
A handy reference guide, complete with color photos from feeding to bathing, changing diapers, when to call your pediatrician and much more!


More Pregnancy Weeks:

Pregnancy Calendar