40 Weeks Pregnant

When you’re 40 weeks pregnant, you have finally reached the moment you’ve been waiting for since the start of your pregnancy. This week, you might get to meet your new baby. However, you could also end up waiting a bit longer if you’re overdue. 

Either way, you’re very close to the finish line. Even though many people at this stage of pregnancy are eager for it to be over, the emotions that come with the thought of the big day can catch you off guard.

To know more about the 40-week pregnancy period and the symptoms, keep reading.  

Related Blog: 39 Week Pregnant: Symptoms, Tips, And Baby Development

40 Week Pregnant – Baby Development

  • The baby is still growing hair and nails and developing their lungs.
  • A 40-week-old baby is approximately the size of a watermelon, measuring about 20.2 inches in length and weighing around 7.6 pounds.
  • By 40 weeks, the baby has likely reached their final birth weight and length, with about 15% of its body weight coming from fat for warmth.
  • The baby’s organs and body systems are ready for life outside the uterus, and they have stored starch in their liver and extra fluid to sustain them until breastfeeding starts.

40 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months?

At 40 weeks pregnant, a woman is considered to be in her 9th month of pregnancy, specifically at the end of the third trimester. This marks the full-term stage, and labor and delivery can happen at any time.

40 Weeks Pregnant Bump

At 40 weeks pregnant, the size of a woman’s baby bump can vary, but it’s typically quite large as the baby has reached full term. The uterus is at its maximum expansion, and the bump is generally prominent and round. 

The exact size can differ from person to person, as factors like the baby’s position, amniotic fluid levels, and individual body characteristics all play a role in determining the size of the bump at this stage of pregnancy.

40 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms

In these final weeks, you can expect to experience the same pregnancy symptoms you’ve been dealing with all along:

Leg cramps

Continue with calf and hamstring stretches to ease leg cramps that might disrupt your sleep.

Trouble sleeping

If sleep is elusive, opt for calming activities like reading or journaling rather than embarking on a major task.

Pelvic pressure

Your baby may drop lower in your pelvis, potentially increasing discomfort in that area.


Braxton Hicks’s contractions could progress into real labor contractions. Time them to monitor their frequency and intensity.


Remember, your baby will arrive in their own time. Try not to stress and focus on staying calm.


Sleep issues can exacerbate fatigue, so try to sneak naps or find moments for relaxation when needed.

Related Blog: 8 Surprising Things Unborn Babies Usually Do In The Womb

40 Weeks Pregnant – Tips to Follow

Prepare your bed

Place a waterproof mattress cover on your bed in case your water breaks at night, and keep it on afterward to handle potential messes like breast milk, spit-up, and pee.

Relax with meditation

Combat pre-birth anxiety by using a meditation app to achieve a state of mindfulness. It’s great for bedtime relaxation and can help you get some rest.

Relax during contractions

Instead of tensing up during contractions, consciously relax your body. Close your eyes, mentally scan your body from head to toe, identify tension, and release it with deep breathing.

Look for Signs of Labor

At 40 weeks pregnant, labor signs may be imminent. Contact your doctor if you experience frequent, uncomfortable contractions. Also, watch for amniotic fluid leaking continuously, which differs from the usual discharge.

Gas up the car

Fill up your car’s gas tank to ensure you’re ready to go when it’s time to head to the hospital.

Be patient

Babies come when they’re ready, so exercise patience if you haven’t given birth by 40 weeks.

Maintain prenatal vitamins

Continue taking prenatal vitamins, especially if you plan to breastfeed.

Stay hydrated

Drink eight to 12 glasses of water daily.

Kegel exercises

Continue daily Kegel exercises for childbirth and postpartum recovery.

Learn to time contractions

Familiarize yourself with timing contractions for when labor starts.

Prepare for postpartum

Get ready for the big day and the first weeks after childbirth.

Related Blog: 38 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms, Tips, and Baby Development

Takeaway at Forty Weeks Pregnant

Reaching 40 weeks of pregnancy is an exciting milestone as your baby has now fully developed. At this stage, your baby is about 20 inches long and could weigh close to 8 pounds. The signs of labor can include regular and uncomfortable contractions, indicating that your little one is ready to make their debut.

Another important sign to watch for is your water breaking, which results in a continuous, watery discharge that is distinct from your usual vaginal secretions. If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to contact your OB for guidance and support during this critical phase of pregnancy.

For expert guidance and care during pregnancy, contact Queen’s Gynecology today to ensure a smooth and healthy delivery. Your journey into motherhood matters, and we’re here to support you. Schedule your appointment now.


At 40 weeks pregnant, you’re on the brink of meeting your baby. Baby development includes readiness for birth, while symptoms such as leg cramps and contractions are common. Your bump is substantial, and the baby is approximately the size of a watermelon. Follow essential tips like preparing your bed, relaxing with meditation, and looking out for signs of labor. Maintain patience and readiness, ensuring you’re prepared for the exciting journey ahead.

WeekPregnancy SymptomsTips and AdviceBaby Development
Week 1– Missed period– Take a home pregnancy test– Fertilization occurs
Week 2– Tender breasts– Begin taking prenatal vitamins– Blastocyst implants in the uterus
Week 3– Fatigue– Schedule your first prenatal visit– Embryonic development begins
Week 4– Morning sickness starts– Avoid alcohol, smoking, and caffeine– Neural tube forms
Week 5– Increased urination– Eat a balanced diet– Heart starts beating
Week 6– Mood swings– Stay hydrated– Brain and head development
Week 7– Constipation– Start gentle exercise– Limb buds form
Week 8– Food cravings– Get plenty of rest– Webbed fingers and toes develop
Week 9– Weight gain begins– Avoid raw or undercooked foods– Tail disappears, now considered a fetus
Week 10– Visible baby bump– Wear comfortable clothing– Organs continue to develop
Week 11– Darkened areolas– Practice relaxation techniques– Baby can swallow and produce urine
Week 12– Reduced nausea– Consider prenatal classes– Sex organs distinguishable
Week 13– Increased energy– Continue regular check-ups– Baby’s fingerprints form
Week 14– Less frequent urination– Plan for maternity leave– Baby’s facial muscles develop
Week 15– Quickening (baby moves)– Do pelvic floor exercises– Baby can make facial expressions
Week 16– Round ligament pain– Stay active with low-impact exercises– Develops sense of hearing
Week 17– Nasal congestion– Consider a prenatal massage– Baby’s skeleton starts hardening
Week 18– Belly button changes– Stay well-hydrated– Vernix caseosa covers the skin
Week 19– Braxton Hicks contractions– Eat small, frequent meals– Baby’s kicks become stronger
20– Leg cramps– Begin monitoring baby’s movements– Baby is covered in lanugo (fine hair)
Week 21– Shortness of breath– Sleep on your side– Eyebrows and eyelashes appear
Week 22– Linea nigra (skin darkens)– Practice relaxation techniques– Rapid brain development
Week 23– Backache– Consider prenatal yoga or swimming– Baby can recognize your voice
Week 24– Swollen ankles– Elevate feet when sitting or lying– Lungs continue to mature
Week 25– Increased appetite– Continue regular prenatal check-ups– Baby may respond to loud noises
Week 26– Heartburn– Sleep with extra pillows for support– Eyes open for the first time
Week 27– Braxton Hicks intensify– Pack your hospital bag– Baby can hiccup
Week 28– Trouble sleeping– Monitor blood pressure– Baby’s kicks become more regular
Week 29– Shortness of breath– Avoid lifting heavy objects– Baby’s bones fully developed
Week 30– Swollen hands– Stay hydrated and avoid salt– Baby may be head-down in preparation for birth
Week 31– Increased vaginal discharge– Take childbirth classes– Baby’s immune system develops
Week 32– Hemorrhoids– Practice perineal massage– Baby’s toenails and fingernails grow
Week 33– Trouble finding a comfortable position to sleep– Rest and nap when possible– Baby’s bones start to harden further
Week 34– Frequent urination– Prepare for maternity leave– Baby’s central nervous system matures
Week 35– Braxton Hicks increase– Avoid prolonged standing or sitting– Baby’s skin becomes less wrinkled
Week 36– Pelvic pressure– Finalize birth plan– Baby continues to gain weight
Week 37– Lightening (baby drops)– Stay active with walking– Baby’s head positions for birth
Week 38– Fatigue increases– Do pelvic exercises– Baby’s lungs are fully mature
Week 39– Cervix effacement– Rest and conserve energy– Baby’s immune system continues to develop
Week 40– Contractions begin– Monitor contractions– Baby’s digestive system is ready for breast milk
Week 41– Dilation of cervix– Stay calm and patient during labor– Baby’s head molds to fit through the birth canal
Please note that every pregnancy is unique, and symptoms and developments may vary from person to person. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and care during pregnancy.

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