Pregnancy By Weeks – Week 40

Week 40, you have reached and now past your due date. The baby can come at any time now and likely sooner rather than later. It is interesting that only about 7% of babies are born on the due date. The due date is really just an approximation of when the baby should come. it is important to have a date to use to time tests, and measure how things are going. The due date is actually called the estimated date of confinement (EDC). The word estimated is there for a reason.

At week 40 you will want to have a conversation with your doctor about the process of induction if the baby does not come on its own. Most of us like to induce around 41 weeks but talk to your doctor and see what their plans are. You will want to know what ore the logistics of picking a date for induction and what will your doctor do and what you need to do.

There are a lot of myths about things you can do to help get labor started, they are all pretty much just myths. Like most myths there may be a grain of truth to them but the truth is, there is nothing you can do to speed up the process. My rule when considering following one of these myths is to ask yourself if the proposed thing sounds pleasant. For instance, walking on the beach, pleasant. Drinking Castor oil, not pleasant. Since none of these things are really going to help, only try them if they sound pleasant. Castor oil is a great example. Drinking Castor oil will give you bad diarrhea and may dangerously change your electrolyte balance, it will not put you into labor. Occasionally we see these poor women with horrible diarrhea that drank Castor oil and  are not in labor. Don’t be one of these people. You are likely to go into labor no matter what you do. If your cousin went into labor after drinking Castor oil, she would have gone into labor anyway. So be careful about trusting peoples antidotal experiences.

It is important to keep track of how the baby is moving, this is one of the best ways to confirm fetal well being. If the baby is not really active, do a kick count test once per day. Drink some fluids, have a snack and lay down somewhere quiet. You should be able to feel at least 10 distinct baby movements in less than 2 hours. If you cannot, you need to call or go in and be monitored. Most likely the baby is still fine so don’t panic but it is important to be checked to make sure.

Helpful Links:

C-Section Infromation

Induction of Labor

Labor and Delivery

Labor Precautions

Soft Signs of Labor

Pregnancy Disability 

Preeclampsia

Fetal Position

Edema

Kick Counts

Choosing the Baby’s Doctor

Gestational Diabetes

Placenta Previa

Sleeping Positions While Pregnant

Over the counter medications in pregnancy

Precautions

Dietary Restrictions in pregnancy