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Track Your Baby's Development Week By Week
Track Your Baby's Development Week By Week
..where little means a lot

Note: The length, weight and size mentioned below are only a guideline, as these vary from baby to baby and from one pregnancy to another.

What is going on with your baby during week 40?

  • At 40 weeks over 95% of babies are head-down in the uterus and will be born this way.
  • The average weight of a newborn at term is about 3.4kg although anything between 2.5-4 kg is considered normal.
  • From 37 or 38 weeks your baby may not have gained much weight.
  • Only about 5-6% babies are born on the due date. The majority are born after 40 weeks.
  • There is about one liter of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby, which at this point is milky in consistency due to the lanugo mixed in it.

Week 40 Fetus

Changes in you at this stage Week 40

  • You may have lost a little weight in the final couple of weeks. Your weight gain has slowed down or stopped from about week 37. So you may lose about 900-1.4 kg in the last few weeks.
  • You will still have a week or two before you will be considered ‘late’ since full term is considered anywhere from 37 to 42 weeks.

Good to Know in Week 40

Baby Facts

  • Equipped with over 70 different reflexes, your baby is ready to start his new life outside the uterus.
  • The placenta at this point is roughly one-sixth of the size of the baby.
  • The umbilical cord is about the same length as the baby.
  • Baby's immune system takes time to fully mature and will develop slowly over the first few years of her life. The myelin sheath that coats the nervous system also needs to mature and will be complete when your child turns about two years old.

Mummy Facts

  • After delivery most women lose about 12 pounds immediately (7-9 pound baby, 1-2 pounds placenta and about 1 pound of blood and amniotic fluid). The weight loss continues as all the extra fluid will need to be flushed out. Expect more urine and perspiration than usual in the days after birth. By the end of the 1st week you will lose about 4 pounds of water weight! (This of course depends on how much water was retained during pregnancy).
  • The likeliest reason for your due date to be miscalculated was because you were not even late to begin with.
  • An overdistended bladder can cause urinary problems and make it harder for uterus to contract thereby causing more bleeding and pains. If there is a problem with peeing a catheter will be placed in the bladder to release urine. A catheter will be placed for women who have undergone a c-section for some hours post delivery.

Wholesome Advice in Week 40

  • If baby blues hits you, know that it is treatable; know that you are not alone.

Your actions can impact your baby's growth at this stage

Post Delivery Dos and Don'ts

  • When can I have Sex? If you feel up to it, your lochia is no longer red and you didn't have any lacerations or an episiotomy, a few weeks after delivery is ok. Else wait till after your postpartum checkup.
  • When can I Exercise? Short walks and simple exercises within days after birth are generally considered ok. If you had a cesarean wait till your doctor Okays it.
  • When can I start Dieting? Not until the six weeks are up for sure. You need time to recover from labor and delivery. After this time frame crash dieting is out if you are breastfeeding.
  • When can I go back to work? 6 weeks following a vaginal birth and 2 months after a c-section. If you are in a rush to resume work, make sure you don't tax yourself with long hours. Conversely if you don't feel like stretching it beyond this period, you are in good company! Many women take several months to heal physically and/or emotionally to feel fit for work.

5 Pointers for New Mums

  • Don't crash diet or skip meals: you need enough calories and nutrients to recover from childbirth to maintain your energy level and milk supply if you are breastfeeding.
  • Focus on healthy foods: eat foods that are rich in protein, calcium and iron.
  • Stay hydrated: drink at least 8-12 glasses of water a day.
  • You may need supplements: you still need a healthy balanced diet which means good eating habits and the supplements your doctor prescribes.
  • Avoid irritants especially if you are breastfeeding: cut back on caffeine as this irritates newborns. In some cases of allergy other foods such as cow's milk, nuts etc. should be eliminated following your doctor's advice.
Free baby Sample

Common Concerns in in Week 40

When will the cord be cut after the birth?

  • This depends on the method and circumstances of delivery. If there was a surgery the cord will be clamped immediately. In vaginal births you have the choice of leaving the cord intact until it stops pulsating.

What triggers labor?

  • The miracle of birth is still a medical mystery though labor is plainly defined as a series of uterine contractions that open the cervix for birth. Somehow the baby's system coupled with the mother's hormones and the placenta all play a role in triggering labor. The current understanding is that labor begins when hormones (prostaglandins) of the mother are produced in large amounts which in turn cause contractions to become stronger. These contractions in turn increase the production of prostaglandins further and the cycle progresses into labor.

Weekly Nutrition advice in Week 40

How you feel emotionally and physically after a C-section will depend largely on whether you had an elective (planned) or an emergency section (rushed into theatre because of concerns about you or the baby). The latter can leave you feeling shocked and emotional and you are more likely to have had a general anesthetic. Possible Problems

  • Side effects of anesthetic
  • Fatigue and tearfulness
  • Infection
  • Insufficient lactation

Key tips

  • Get as much rest as possible to aid healing and recuperation.
  • Allow yourself time to recover properly and do not attempt to do too much.
  • Eat a healthy diet, especially zinc-rich foods as this will help you heal faster .

A good diet is important following section. Take a daily multivitamin and eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin C, (citrus fruits and broccoli) iron and zinc (fish, poultry and wholegrain) to encourage your body to fight infection and aid iron absorption, to help your wound heal and to prevent anemia (if you lost a lot of blood). In addition take energy rich drinks and light meals or snacks regularly. Take a DHA supplement if you are breastfeeding.

Note: if you develop fever, chills, extreme fatigue, flu-like symptoms or your wound is inflamed and does not seem to be healing properly you may have an infection. Consult your doctor.

Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.

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