What's happening in week 40
Week 40 and beyond – time to get things moving!
At a glance
- Your baby is now more than ready to be delivered
- Your midwife will discuss your options for induction with you
- Your pregnancy may be over but you are just beginning your amazing journey with your baby
Your baby in week 40
Once you are at week 40, your baby is more than ready to be delivered, and you are no doubt more than ready to meet them! They’re likely to be around 50cm now and weighing between 6 and 8lbs which is a healthy weight.
Your baby’s vision at birth will have developed enough to see around 2.5cm so they won’t be able to see much of your face at birth, they will however be able to recognise the sound of your voice and your partner’s if you’ve been talking to them over the last few weeks of pregnancy.
If your due date has passed, your midwife will be keeping a close eye on you both, and in some cases may offer you an ultrasound scan to check on the well-being of your baby and your placenta (which could start to deteriorate if you go too overdue).
You midwife will also be regularly monitoring your unborn baby's movement and heartbeat, and will suggest an induction if there are any concerns.
You at 40 weeks pregnant
Your midwife will be keen to get things moving by the time you pass week 40 to prevent any potential problems. If your due date has come and gone, she will be discussing your options with you. She will most probably initially suggest doing a 'sweep' for you, where she uses her fingers to give you an internal examination and sweep around your cervix to try and loosen the membranes. This will (hopefully) release prostaglandins, which are the hormones which will get your labour started.
If this does not work, she will set a date for you to be induced in hospital – have a read of our overdue babies page for all the information you need on the various methods of induction.
What to think about in week 40
What else could there be to think about this week other than cuddling up with your new baby, and doing all those other magical 'firsts' now you are a mum? You and your newborn have been on quite a journey over the past 40 weeks, and this is only the beginning!
Make the most of every precious moment, and enjoy those wonderful 'getting to know you' days with your baby son or daughter! You never know, you might love it so much you'll want to do it all over again in a couple of years!
Care to share? Talk to other overdue mums-to-be in our forums to see how they are coping too.
Search for a name, sibling names, middle names - or use our random name finder for some creative fun!
Baby Name Search
Search by letter