40 week pregnancy

40 week of pregnancy – the date “X”. The day on which the baby by all calculations should be born. In practice, a child can either be born a little earlier than this period, or linger in the womb. The last days of pregnancy pass in agonizing wait, and not always the woman manages to cope with surging emotions and experiences. What should expect a future mother in this period?

40 week pregnancy
40 week pregnancy

Fetal development

The weight of the baby at obstetric week 40 is 3200-3600 g, height – 52-56 cm. The dimensions of the baby are indicated approximately and depend on the following factors:

  • heredity;
  • mother’s endocrine background;
  • condition of the placenta;
  • individual characteristics of fetal development.

Heredity is the first thing you should pay attention to when assessing the height and weight of the fetus. You should not expect the birth of a large child in the undersized parents of frail physique. Other things being equal, fetal weight over 4 kg is found in maternal endocrine diseases (diabetes mellitus). Low weight (up to 2.5 kg) may indicate placental insufficiency and delayed fetal development.

The full-term newborn is fully prepared for life in a new world. The skin of a healthy baby is pale pink, covered with a small amount of cheese-like lubricant. Subcutaneous fat is most developed on the stomach, buttocks and in the natural folds of the skin. The bones of the skull are flexible, between the bony sutures there are open fontanels – large and small. All internal organs are ready for full functioning. A sufficient amount of surfactant has accumulated in the lungs so that the baby can take his first breath immediately after birth.

Placenta in the 40th week of pregnancy does not always cope with its function. Aging processes are initiated, leading to the deposition of calcinates and impaired blood flow. Fetal hypoxia develops. If the baby lingers in the womb, this phenomenon may adversely affect its further development.

Condition of a mom

At the end of pregnancy, the uterus descends and takes up a position between the navel and the xiphoid process. Heartburn and heaviness in the stomach decrease, and they are replaced by frequent urination and pain in the perineum. Increased load on the bones and ligaments of the pelvis provokes unpleasant sensations in the lower back. Periodically occurring training contractions are felt in the lower abdomen and the sacral area as weak or moderate nagging pains.

Diarrhea is another phenomenon that plagues women in later periods. Diarrhea is associated with an intestinal attempt to remove all excess fluid and ballast. So the body of the future mother is preparing for childbirth, facilitating the task itself. Diarrhea rarely lasts more than 2–3 days, is not accompanied by nausea and vomiting and does not lead to dehydration.

Discharge at week 40 is enhanced by the discharge of mucus plug. If the cork has come out entirely, you should expect the development of contractions from day to day. In the vaginal discharge should not be admixture of pus or blood. Staining secretions in yellow-green color indicates the accession of the infection. Bleeding from the genital tract of any intensity can be a sign of placental abruption and requires immediate hospitalization in the maternity hospital.

The movements of the fetus become much weaker. The baby occupies a stable position in the uterus and can no longer move actively. From time to time the child makes itself felt sensitive kicks in the stomach. Too weak or unusually strong movements of the fetus indicate the development of hypoxia. In this situation, you must necessarily see a doctor.

How to cause childbirth?

Toward the end of the pregnancy, the woman feels increasingly tired and weak. A big belly prevents you from moving normally, doing household chores and even sleeping peacefully. Every day, expectant mother expects the appearance of contractions. But what if the baby is in no hurry to be born?

It is known that the child chooses the date of birth. At the end of pregnancy, cortisol begins to be synthesized in its adrenal glands. As soon as the hormone reaches its peak, contractions begin. With a successful pregnancy, the baby does not need to rush. Some babies are born at 41-42 weeks, and this is perfectly normal. It is important that the child does not suffer from oxygen starvation. The condition of the fetus can be assessed using CTG (cardiotocography).

There are situations in which a baby should not linger in the womb for more than 40 weeks:

  • preeclampsia;
  • placental insufficiency with impaired blood flow;
  • signs of chronic fetal hypoxia.

In these situations, you can help a little baby to be born. There are several methods to stimulate childbirth at home:

  • intimacy;
  • exercise stress;
  • massage nipples.

Sex stimulates the production of prostaglandins – the substances responsible for cervical dilatation. A careful massage of the nipples activates the synthesis of oxytocin, a hormone that increases uterine tone. Exercise (washing floors, walking upstairs, gymnastics) also strengthens the contractions of the uterus and helps to start childbirth. It is only important not to overstrain and listen carefully to your feelings. Excessive late load may cause placental abruption and bleeding.

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