You’ve Arrived at the End (aka the Beginning) WEEK 40

Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board

Woohoo!!! You made it to 40 weeks! If you’re reading this, chances are baby is still cookin’ and you’re still waiting – and feeling like an elephant is kneeling on your torso.

We know.

Your little peanut is ready to be born now; development-wise she’s donezo and is 18-20 inches long and 6-9 lbs. Pretty mind-blowing that soon you’ll actually meet this little person with whom you’ve already spent so much intimate time. You probably have an impression of her personality already (those kicks and jabs communicate something, right?), and it’s nearly impossible to sit tight and wait knowing that any day you’ll finally meet IRL. The anticipation — along with your (beautiful) whale-esque body — is exhausting and may have you on edge.

If you’re still sittin’ pretty, don’t worry. Many first-time pregnancies go beyond the due date, but only 5.5% are postterm (42+ weeks), and anyway, your due date was based on nothing but donut fumes. Not really, it was based on your last menstrual period. But still. Consider it an estimate.

At your OB appointment this week you’ll get checked on all the regular fronts, including dilation and effacement of your cervix. The doctor may also do a fetal non-stress test which involves attaching a belt to your belly to measure your contractions and see how baby’s heart rate and movement correlate.

You and your doctor may also discuss a timetable for any potential induction. Typically, induction is considered at 41 or 42 weeks, since after that point the placenta is thought to be less effective at delivering nutrients to baby. But it can also be done if your health or the baby’s are at risk — like from low amniotic fluid, preeclampsia, water breaking but not being followed by labor, etc. So your doctor will give you a sense of what may be on the horizon. Of course, if you want DIY induction, knock some boots. Unless your doc has told you to avoid sex, it can’t hurt, and semen is thought to soften the cervix. Plus it’s the last sex you’ll have for awhile; think of it as your Goodbye Tour.

Speaking of goodbyes… we know you’re so done with being pregnant, but before you leave this phase in the dust, take a second to look back on the past nine months and marvel at how you’ve grown. One day you might even miss being pregnant. Meanwhile, we promise you, what’s on the horizon is unbearably sweet and heart-exploding. Yep, there’s gonna be a steep learning curve and not nearly enough sleep for a while, but the next stages are ridiculous amounts of fun. You are in for it — and we mean that in the best way possible.

You’ll now graduate to our baby emails (you can always update your baby’s birthday) so we can walk this next chapter with you. Also come on by to check out our baby content – including over here where we mouth off on gear we like – i.e. the stuff that we think can make your life just a little bit easier.

But for right now, go put your feet up and have a nice hunk of pineapple. You’ve covered a lot of ground this year, and for that we say 👏👏👏. It’s been an adventure already, and, rest assured, the best is yet to come.