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Pregnancy at week 40

5-minute read

Your baby

You have now reached your due date!

A well grown, term baby can weigh anything from 2.9kg to 4.2kg – although babies are born in all different shapes and sizes. If you have a large baby or small baby, or other complications, 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.

Every part of your baby is well developed by now, including their bones. Although the bones in their head will remain a bit soft and flexible so they can fit through the narrow birth canal when they’re being born. That's why your baby's skull might look a bit pointed right after they're born.

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 baby’s movements, contact your doctor or midwife immediately.

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 your 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 your 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, when birth doesn't go to plan and your body after the birth.

Resources and support

Speak to your doctor, midwife or obstetrician if you have questions about your pregnancy.

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby also has more information on:

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: August 2023

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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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