Pregnancy calendar

40 weeks pregnant

by Richard Kozinski

This is the last week of a pregnancy. Joy is mixed with fear. It is why you should be coconscious of what the stages of delivery are.

Your Baby

Now there are no greater changes in development of your baby. All the organs and systems have already been formed. Your child may measure from 19-22 in. and weigh even 4000 g.

Guidelines for Mother

During early labour, your cervix starts to open and widen. It will go from being closed, to being about 1.2 in or 1.6 in dilated. It may feel like the mild cramps you get with your period, or a dull ache or backache. Many women, notice regular and painful contractions. These are different from Braxton Hicks contractions, which are irregular and painless.

Timing your contractions over the course of 30 minutes because it can help you to keep track of your progress. In early labour, you may have a contraction every seven minutes, lasting 40 seconds, giving you a rest between contractions of six minutes and 20 seconds. Your cervix goes through enormous changes during prelabour and early labour, which can take time. Try to be patient.

The next is an active phase of labour. The contractions are likely to become longer, and more frequent. This is when your cervix opens from 1.2 in or 1.6 in to becoming fully dilated to 3.9 in. Contractions may come as often as every three minutes to four minutes, and last between 60 seconds and 90 seconds, giving you less time to rest between them.

The transitional phase happens when you move from the first stage of labour to the second, pushing stage. It usually starts when your cervix is about 3.5 in dilated, and ends when your cervix is fully dilated, or when you get the urge to push. You may have less frequent, but much stronger and longer-lasting contractions. Sometimes they come in double waves. As your cervix becomes fully dilated, you may have another show of blood. Thankfully, there's sometimes a lull at the end of transition, when the contractions pause, and you and your baby can rest before the pushing stage.
You are almost at the end of delivery. Now it’s time to help your baby through the birth canal by pushing. Delivery generally takes 30 minutes to an hour, but it can be as short as a few minutes or as long as several hours.

The last task is delivering the placenta. It lasts from five to 20 minutes. After delivery you'll have bloody vaginal discharge. You should expect to feel hungry and thirsty. You can also experience a wide range of emotions from relief, joy to impatience to see and hug your baby.

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