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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.


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.


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.


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

Last reviewed: September 2019

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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?

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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