Now that you are in the 40th week, chances are, your due date is probably in a few days from now, or you are already past it. Are you worried sick about complications that your post-date baby may develop? Do you agonize about your pregnancy that seems to last forever? Well, don’t! Just a few more days and your little angel will be with you soon. Here’s how to cope with pregnancy at 40 weeks:
40 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms:
The 40 weeks of pregnancy brings about many changes while you are earnestly waiting for your little one to arrive, you will go through symptoms like:
- Anxiety about impending labor
- Pelvic pain and discomfort
- Braxton Hicks
- Varicose veins and leg cramps
- Early signs of labor
- Frequent urination
- Diarrhea and nausea
[ Read: 41st Week Pregnancy ]
Changes In Your Body At 40 Weeks:
Only a small percentage of babies are born on their due dates- the vast majority, are born before or after their due date. It’s no use worrying because your little one will come when s
- Baby Drops Further Down Into The Pelvis:
If she hasn’t until now, your baby will move further into the birth canal. It is an indication that you may go into labor anytime soon. As your little munchkin continues pushing through the pelvis, you may observe pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen. She’s throwing her weight around (the pelvic area), causing immense pressure on the hips, abdomen and pelvis. You may also occasionally observe a sharp pain in the pelvic area. It happens when your baby moves her head sideways.
- False Contractions Increases In Frequency:
As the due date approaches near, you may observe an increase in false contractions. Unlike the real deal, false contractions are irregular and not as strong. But sometimes, it is difficult to differentiate between the two and the only way to ascertain is through a vaginal examination to look for cervical dilation and effacement. The doctor may ask you to time these contractions; i.e. the doctor will ask you to you to note the gap between the start of one contraction to the start of another.
- Vaginal Discharge or Bloody Show:
Throughout your pregnancy, a thick mucus plug accumulates at the cervix. As your baby pushes through the cervix, it is discharged through the vagina. The mucus is usually clear and white in color, although it is occasionally tinged with blood and appears pinkish. However, vaginal discharge isn’t an accurate indication of imminent labor. After you lose the mucous plug, it could take a few hours to several days before labor contractions begin.
[ Read: 10th Month of Pregnancy ]
- Diarrhea And Nausea:
Sometime before labor begins, you may experience unusually frequent bowel movements. Some women also complain of nausea and vomiting. Unless, diarrhea doesn’t occur due to external factors (food or water), there’s nothing to worry. It is nature’s way of preparing you for labor. Remember to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Early Signs Of Labor:
Your baby is now fully grown and ready for the outside world. She sends the right signals to your body to begin labor. Some of these signs include vaginal discharge, rupturing of the amniotic sac, and labor contractions. Your doctor may have told you what to do when you experience these symptoms. Remember to stay calm and be ready for the show to begin!
[ Read: Difference Between True And False Labor ]
What If Your Water Breaks?
One event that pregnant women worry about that their amniotic sac may rupture before labor begins. Relax, because few women experience this. And even if your water sac ruptures, the fluid is less likely to gush out; rather it may come as a trickle or a slow leak. Wear a sanitary napkin to keep the fluid from wetting your clothes and remember to keep the area clean. The amniotic sac usually ruptures after contractions, but sometimes it may break before labor begins. And for some women, the amniotic sac doesn’t break until they’re into active labor. If it breaks before labor begins, the doctor may wait up to 24 hours for contractions to begin (your body replaces the lost fluids). If contractions don’t begin by themselves, she may induce labor. The amniotic fluid is odorless and colorless- call the doctor if it appears green or brown in color. It happens when your baby leaks meconium (the first stool) into the amniotic sac and indicates that your baby is probably stressed.
[ Read: Precautions To Be Taken When Water Breaks During Pregnancy ]