If your baby hasn’t checked out at Week 40, don’t be too worried. He or she is just one of the 50% of babies that opt to stay cozy in the womb a little bit past the due date. You, however, probably feel overworked and exhausted.
What’s happening to your body?
By now, your body is ready for birth. You’ve probably been briefed about labour inductions already—but that doesn’t ensure that you won’t just end up going into labour on your own.
When you go into labour, you’ll probably know what’s happening. But in case you don’t, here are what you should look out for: Your water might break and you might notice blood-tinged mucus just before labour begins. After this come the labour contractions, which can come fast and suddenly for some women, or slow and gradually for others.
At the same time, symptoms that have been there throughout the third trimester will remain with you. This includes the frequent urination, pelvic pains, nesting instincts, haemorrhages, and diarrhoea.
How your foetus is developing week by week:
Your baby’s endocrine system, which is in charge of hormones, is getting ready for the birth. During his or her birth, the baby will produce the largest amount of stress hormones that he or she will ever produce. Don’t be frightened; these hormones will only help the baby adjust to life outside much more efficiently.
At this time, your baby is also getting prepared for his or her first breath!
A slowdown in foetal activity is usually an indication that your baby has reached full size and is now too cramped to move around.
What you can do:
Give your body a break and relax in a warm tub or pool! This counteracts gravity and will help you relax before your big day.
Stay near bathrooms—your baby’s big size means lots of pressure on your bladder!
Ask your health care provider about saving your placenta, if you plan on doing so.
Don’t be worried. You may have passed 40 weeks but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby is overdue. 70% of post-term pregnancies are caused by a miscalculation of the time of conception rather than an overdue baby!
What if baby decides to stay on until week 42?