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Pregnancy Calendar, Week 40

How big is your baby?
Congratulations! If you have not gone into labor yet, then you have successfully carried your baby to full term. Your baby will be weighing in at around 3.462kg (7.63 pounds) and measuring 51.2cm (20.16 inches).  
How big are you?
Your uterus now sits about 16-20cm above your bellybutton and about 36-40cm above your pubic symphysis.
What to do when you begin labour
When the first signs of labor set in relax and do the following while you wait to arrive at the hospital:
  • At the beginning of each contraction, take a deep breath and exhale slowly.
  • Be sure to measure the time from the start of one contraction to the start of the next one and perhaps jot them down somewhere.
  • Get up and move about. This may help distract you from the pain, and it may also help relieve the lower back pain you will be feeling.
  • Get your partner to message your shoulders, neck, back and feet.
  • Take a warm shower or bath.
Your body
This week you'll experience the moment you've been anticipating - your introduction to your baby! Before you can meet your baby, though, you have to go through labor and delivery. You may have learned about the three stages of birth in your prenatal classes. The first stage of labor works to thin and stretch your cervix by contracting your uterus at regular intervals. The second stage of labor is when you push your baby into the vaginal canal and out of your body. The third and final stage of labor is when you deliver the placenta.
If you don't go into labor within a week of your due date, your health care provider may recommend you receive a nonstress test, which monitors fetal heart rate and movement to be sure that the baby is receiving adequate oxygen and that the nervous system is responding. Talk to your health care provider to find out more about this test.
Sometimes mother nature may need a little coaxing. If your labor isn't progressing, or if your health or your baby's health requires it, your health care provider may induce labor by artificially rupturing the membranes or by administering the hormone oxytocin or other medications. If your pregnancy is high risk, or if there are any other potential complications, you may require a cesarean section delivery.
Some women know ahead of time that they will be delivering via cesarean section and are able to schedule their baby's "birth day" well in advance. If you're one of them, you've probably been able to prepare yourself emotionally and mentally for the birth - which can help to lessen the feelings of disappointment that many mothers who are unable to deliver vaginally experience.
But even if you have to undergo a cesarean section that wasn't planned, rest assured that you'll still be able to bond with your baby. It might not be the birth experience you imagined, but your beautiful newborn has arrived nonetheless. The months of waiting are over!
Good luck with your baby!

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