This is the moment your baby and you have been waiting for! At 40 weeks pregnant, you’re at the official end of your pregnancy!
How big will your baby be? What will it be like for your baby to see the world around him or her? Heidi Murkoff will cover all of that an more!
Congratulations! Your baby is officially full-term! She’s now somewhere between 6 and 9 pounds, and anywhere between 19 and 22 inches long – a wide range, true, but that’s because babies, like their parents, come in all sizes; taller, shorter, chubbier, slimmer. What package will your baby come in? It’s hard to say for sure until she arrives. Even your practitioner’s guesstimates can be way off the final mark.
You know what else is around 20 inches long? Your baby’s umbilical cord – her connection to you during her 9-month stint in your uterus. It could be floating free in whatever space there is left in your uterus, or coiled around her ankle or wrist, or gripped between her chubby fingers, or wrapped around her neck. Not to worry if it is… it’s not dangerous now and at birth your practitioner will simply slip it over her head before clamping it tight. The remnants will dry up and become…her sweet little belly button.
Your little miracle is now fully loaded with fully functioning organs, bodily systems, and reflexes, and she’s ready to start her new life outside your uterus. When you do meet your new arrival, be sure to say hello – and more. Though it’ll be your first face-to-face, your baby will recognize the sound of your voice – and that of dad’s.
Though your sweetie is fully baked and ready to roll, she’s still putting in a full day’s work. Her hormones are revving up, sending signals throughout her body to prepare for life on the outside. Hopefully one of those hormones will signal to the placenta that it’s time to initiate labor.
Even during labor and delivery, your little one will be hard at work alongside you, producing her own stress hormones that’ll enable her to adapt immediately to the new environment outside your womb and kick-start the survival instincts she needs as well as help her take her first big breath of air.
And if she doesn’t arrive on time, opting instead for a late checkout, you’re in good – though anxious – company. About half of all pregnancies proceed past the 40-week mark, though thankfully, your practitioner will probably not let yours continue beyond 42 weeks.