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Week 40


Pregnancy week by week


At 40 weeks, your baby is about the size of a watermelon

What happens when you are 40 weeks pregnant?

Your Baby

Your baby is now ready to be born and her organs are fully developed. However, it's not unusual for pregnancies to go on into the 42nd or 43rd week so don't worry if you haven't had any signs of labour yet. Your baby will continue to grow and her hair and nails will get longer.

Mum and Dad

There are a number of pain relief options for women in labour. They include gas and air, which is breathed in through a mask and helps you to cope with contractions, pethidine, which is injected into your buttock or thigh every 3-4 hours, and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), a battery-operated device that helps your body to release it's own natural painkiller hormones. If the pain becomes more than you can cope with, you may decide to have an epidural. This is an injection of anaesthetic that numbs the nerves along your spine.

Stay Healthy

Women who go a long time over their estimated due date may be given the option of having the labour induced. This can be done by artificially breaking your waters, giving you a pessary of hormones that are absorbed into your cervix, or giving you hormones straight into your blood through an oxytocin drip. Whatever you decide, you're bound to be feeling a bit on edge so make sure you relax as much as you can and avoid getting stressed.