Welcome to week 40 Congratulations! You are very close to giving birth!

Your baby measures approximately 51.2cm from head to heel, roughly equivalent to the size of a pumpkin.

Baby movements should continue as usual. Any decrease or stop in movement should be reported to your midwife or maternity unit immediately.

Be alert for your waters breaking, which could be a trickle or more. Contact your midwife or doctor for advice.

If this is your first baby, you’ll likely have an antenatal appointment this week. Expect checks on your blood pressure, bump measurements, and a urine sample. Consider joining online antenatal classes for additional support and information.

You might come across various suggestions online, but it’s important to consult your healthcare provider before trying any method to induce labour.

Tips for Managing Labour

  • Sleep Through Night Contractions: If possible, to conserve energy.
  • Stay Upright and Active: During the day contractions to help the baby move down.
  • Try Different Positions: Keep moving to find comfort.
  • Warm Bath or Shower: For pain relief.
  • Focus on Breathing: Practice deep breathing techniques.
  • Partner Support: Involve your partner in emotional and physical support.
  • Healthy Eating: Opt for energy-boosting foods like bananas or low-fat yoghurt.
  • Relaxation: Engage in activities that help you stay calm.

You may experience Braxton Hicks contractions, which are practice contractions and should not be painful. Real labour contractions will be more intense and occur when your bump tightens.

Monitoring for Pre-eclampsia: Your healthcare provider will look for signs of pre-eclampsia, a condition indicated by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.

The 3rd-trimester expectant mothers may experience:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Increased Pressure in the Pelvis
  • Backache
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Possible decrease in the baby’s movement – as space becomes tighter in the womb, some women may notice a slight decrease in the baby’s movements. It’s important that if there’s a significant decrease then you should report this to a healthcare provider.

Your healthcare team is dedicated to offering support and addressing any concerns, preferences, or queries you might have. A competent healthcare team will attentively listen and collaborate with you to ensure the finest care for both you and your baby.

Maintain a readily accessible list of crucial contact numbers, such as those of your healthcare provider, hospital, and relatives or friends who will be your support system during this period.

Make the most of your maternity leave, and ensure you are fully informed about your rights and entitlements regarding maternity leave and pay.

For any uncertainties or questions, always seek guidance from a healthcare professional.


NHS |