You may have been checking off the days on a calendar until your due date, and by week 40 of pregnancy, you may be days away from meeting your baby. While it’s tough to know when your baby will make their entrance into the world, 40 weeks is officially considered to be full term, so you could go into labor any day.
“Forty weeks is your due date, but babies really have a due month, so it’s normal for them to come before or after this date,” explains Dr. Allison K. Rodgers, reproductive endocrinologist, obstetrician, and gynecologist at Fertility Centers of Illinois, US.
Try not to worry if your due date arrives and passes. Most people give birth between 38 to 41 weeks of pregnancy. This might feel like a waiting game. From reading up on labor and delivery to checking and then double-checking your hospital bag, there’s only so much you can do to prepare for your baby’s arrival. So, here’s the lowdown on being 40 weeks pregnant.
Your baby at 40 weeks pregnant
Your baby is almost ready to be born
Your baby is almost ready to make their way into the world. As your due date approaches, your baby is continuing to gain weight, and there is much less room for them in your uterus. However, you should still feel them moving as much as before. The sensations might feel like a roll or a swish, and you may even be able to see your bump move with them.
At 40 weeks pregnant, many of their organs and systems (like their lungs, digestive system, and heart) are fully developed and are maturing.
Baby has lost their lanugo (layer of fine hairs)
You might remember that your baby had a layer of fine hair that covered their body which protected them and kept them warm in the uterus. This is called the lanugo. By 40 weeks, this has almost gone, but patches of it may remain when your baby is born.
How big is a baby at 40 weeks?
Length (crown to heel): 51 cm or 20.1 in
Weight: 3.6 kg or 8 lb
Size: Equivalent to a watermelon
All measurements are approximate and vary within the normal range.