40 weeks pregnant

Your due date arrives this week. Hippie! However, only about 5 percent of women deliver on their due dates. It’s just as normal to have your baby a week late as it is to have him or her a week early. Try to be patient, although with all the work you’ve done, that’s not easy!

As labor approaches, your baby will experience many changes in order to prepare for birth, including a surge in hormones. This may help maintain blood pressure and blood sugar levels after birth. It may also have something to do with communicating to your uterus that the time has come.

With labor, your baby is prepared for the blood flow to the placenta to decrease a bit with each contraction. Your baby can coast through these interruptions so long as they aren’t too frequent and don’t last too long. The changes your baby will experience at birth are truly amazing. All that has gone before is prologue to this wonderful, glorious event.

You and your body

You will probably be impatient for labour to start as you approach your EDD. If nothing has happened by your due date try not to be too disappointed; only around five per cent of babies actually arrive on the date they were expected. Keep yourself busy and make plans for each day so that you are not just sitting and waiting for something to happen. Once you are close to your EDD you may feel more confident wearing a sanitary towel just in case your waters break.

Your growing baby

Your baby is curled up, head down, in the fetal position with legs drown up underneath and waiting to be born. He or she measures about 20.1 inches (51 cm) and weighs around 7.6 pounds (3,4 kg). Your own baby may be smaller or larger and still be nomial and healthy.