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Pregnancy at week 40

4-minute read

Your baby

You have now reached your due date! Your baby is likely measuring about 50cm (head to toe) and weighing about 3.5 kg. Their head circumference is about 35cm.

A well grown, term baby can weigh anything from 2.9kg to 4.2kg – all pregnancies are different. If you have a large baby or small baby, in some instances you may require more monitoring. Your doctor or midwife will discuss any concerns they may have with you, making sure to provide individualised care that is right for you and your baby.

Your baby’s movements are very important right until the end of your pregnancy and even into labour. If your baby’s movement pattern changes, it may be a sign that they are unwell. If you are concerned at any stage about a change in your babies’ movements, contact your doctor or midwife immediately.

Your baby at 40 weeks

Length:50cm (head to toe)

Your body

Although it might feel as though you have been pregnant for ever, the journey is not quite over. Only a small number of babies are actually born on their due date. If you go more than 10 to 12 days past your due date, or if there is a risk to your own or your baby’s health, your doctor or midwife may recommend to induce labour. Any decision about you and your pregnancy should be made in consultation with you.

If you are overdue you may be feeling fed up and uncomfortable, but there is usually no need to worry. Your doctor or midwife will monitor you and the baby carefully.

Things to remember

There’s not long to wait now until you meet your baby. Even if you don’t have any experience with babies, don’t worry. Staff at the hospital will be there to support you.

After the birth, your baby will be offered several tests including:

These tests are all very important to ensuring your baby’s future health. You may have already given your consent to these tests before you go to hospital, or the hospital may talk to you about them after the baby is born.

To prepare for the exciting days ahead, you can read more about the early signs of labour, having a baby, newborn essentials, breastfeeding and your body after the birth.

Speak to a maternal child health nurse

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: March 2022

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Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

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