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Pregnancy at week 40

3-minute read


Your baby

Your baby is now fully grown, measuring about 50cm and weighing about 3.5 kg. Their head circumference is about 35cm.

However, a normal, full-term baby can still weigh anything from 2.9kg to 4.2kg – the range is large. So, if you have a large baby or a small baby, there is no need to worry. It just means you and your baby may need a little extra support during and after the delivery.

Your baby’s movements will probably slow down now because the baby is so cramped inside your uterus. But if you find the baby stops moving completely or you are worried about their movements, call your doctor or midwife.

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Your body

Although it might feel as though you have been pregnant for ever, the journey is not quite over. Only 1 out of every 20 babies is born on their due date and about half of all pregnancies go past 40 weeks. 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 decide to induce labour.

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.

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Things to remember

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

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 newborn essentials, breastfeeding and your body after the birth.

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Last reviewed: September 2019


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Need more information?

Overdue

Pregnancy normally lasts about 40 weeks or around 280 days from the first day of your last period, however some women go overdue.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Early signs of pregnancy

For women who have a regular menstrual cycle, the earliest and most reliable sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Read about some of the other early pregnancy signs and symptoms.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) or Molar Pregnancy

GTD is a rare complication of pregnancy that occurs in about 1 out of every 200–1000 pregnancies. It is also called a ‘Molar Pregnancy’.

Read more on RANZCOG - Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website

Pregnant with twins? About twin pregnancy | Raising Children Network

Pregnant with twins? Twin pregnancy can have more complications, so you’ll need more check-ups. Here’s what to expect in your pregnancy and antenatal care.

Read more on raisingchildren.net.au website

Multiple pregnancy (triplets or more)

Learning you're pregnant with triplets or more can be a shock, but overall, most parents find having multiple babies to be a positive experience.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Multiple birth - triplets or more

If you are pregnant with triplets or more, the birth will need careful planning. The main risk is that they will be born prematurely. Find out more here.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Pregnancy at week 39

Your baby's weight gain should slow down since they are now ready to be born. You might soon start to notice the early signs of labour.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Playing sport during pregnancy

Playing sport during pregnancy can have many benefits, but you need to be careful when choosing your sport and how you participate. Find out more here.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Third trimester

The third trimester is the last 3 months of your pregnancy – an exciting time, but with some discomforts too. Learn more about what to expect before the birth.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Baby due date - Better Health Channel

Pregnancy is calculated from the first day of your last period, not from the date of conception.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

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?

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

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