As you reach week 40 of pregnancy, your kid is finally ready to meet you. Discover why inducing labor may be necessary if you are overdue in this crucial stage of pregnancy.
What Size is Baby?
Your baby may be watermelon-sized by the time she is delivered. You’re due to give birth this week, but don’t panic if your child decides to stay a bit longer. Many first children are born late, but we promise she will be worth the wait!
- Baby’s Weight: 7.63lb
- Baby’s Length: 20.16in.
Mom’s Changing Body
This week is the due date for your baby, and if you’re lucky, she will arrive this week! You will soon have your first true contractions. If you’re in active labor, contractions will occur quickly and frequently, lasting up to a minute or even longer. And indeed, they hurt. This tremendous pain will radiate across your abdomen, lower back, and upper thighs. This is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, and every woman handles it differently. Now is typically the time when pain-relieving epidurals are provided, so do not hesitate to request one. While your infant is being examined, you will be delivering the placenta, a 2-pound, bluish mass of blood vessels and connective tissue that has nourished and protected your child for the past nine months. Although you may continue to experience contractions, most new mothers are too ecstatic— “I did it! She is present, healthy, and beautiful! “—to observe them.
After your baby is born, she will be evaluated and rated (from 0 to 2 points) on the following factors: activity and muscular tone, pulse (heart rate), grimace response (medically known as “reflex irritability”), appearance (skin color), and respiration (breathing rate and effort). This number will determine the baby’s Apgar score, a preliminary health indicator. Most healthy infants have an Apgar score between 7 and 9 (few babies get a 10).
Once you arrive at the hospital, a doctor will examine your cervix to determine how much it has dilated. As your cervix reaches 3 or 4 centimeters, you will likely be offered an epidural for pain relief. According to many women who swear by epidurals, the needle prick of the local anesthetic prior to receiving the epidural may be the most excruciating phase of childbirth. Or, you may be determined to deliver drug-free. It is acceptable to alter your mind at the last minute, regardless of what you had planned or envisioned. It happens frequently!
Ultrasound: Week 40
If your healthcare professional wishes to estimate your baby’s weight, the belly circumference is one of the most essential measurements the sonographer can take. This is a cross-sectional view of your baby’s abdomen. The little oval in her back represents her stomach, and the curving black line is a blood vessel that transports nourishment to the placenta. Soon, you’ll be feeding her in a totally different way!
Should One Induce or Not Induce?
You’ve made it to your due date! Congrats. Yet, the fact that you are still listening to this indicates that you are not yet in the throes of labor. Week 40 and beyond can be a trying time for pregnant women. You can feel as large as a house with a four-car garage, and 100 percent prepared to get this childbirth show on the road. Like NOW. In the previous episode, we discussed the gentle, natural ways to induce labor, but now that you’ve reached your due date, it’s time to get serious. Do you induce, or don’t you? And if so, how long do you wait before uttering the P-word (Pitocin)? Remember: it will all be worth it once you hold your kid in your arms!
This Week’s Task Checklist
- Prepare yourself for your water to burst, mucus plug, or bloody show.
- Time your contractions.
- Purchase a few cold packs from the drugstore when the hospital’s perineal cold packs run out.
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