Well-done, mum! You did it! Maybe, you are holding your little one in your arms. But for some, the baby might be still sitting cozy in the womb. Well, you are not alone if you've passed your due date: About 1 in 3 pregnancies will hit the 41-week mark! In reality, only 20 percent of women experience water that breaks as soon as labour begins. It’s your pelvic bones that actually count most. During labour, the hormone relaxin—as the name suggests—relaxes the connective tissue that holds the pelvic bones together so the baby can come out. Only 5 % of women actually need a C-section because they’re carrying a baby that’s too big for their pelvis, If your baby has arrived, don’t worry if the baby's eyes look swollen. Their hands and feet may be tinged blue. And, there may be white dots, acne, or a red rash on baby's face or skin. It's also common for just-borns to have swollen breasts/genitals.
तस्मिन्नेकदिवसातिक्रान्तेऽपि नवमं मासमुपादाय प्रसवकालमित्याहुरादशमान्मासात। एतवान प्रसवकालः, वैकारिकमतः परं कुक्षाववस्थानं गर्भस्य ॥ (चरक शारीरस्थान)
Ayurveda says that the intrauterine stay of foetus should be closely monitored regularly to check its wellbeing at this point. If the baby’s heart rate drops or the movements are optimum, the doctor needs to make quick decisions.
Since your baby has already shed most of her vernix, the waxy coating that acted as a moisturizer, some dry spots may appear on the skin. Post-due babies can appear to have dry, flaky skin.
If baby hasn't arrived this week, you are definitely not alone: An estimated 30 percent of pregnancies go past the 40-week mark.
At 40 weeks of pregnancy, the baby has coiled up since there isn’t much space inside. If your baby is in a breech position (rump down), your doctor may attempt to turn him. If that doesn't work, you will have the discussion on the possibility of a Cesarean birth.
15% of baby’s body weight is now from fat, that will be his insulation when he is born. His organs and body systems are ready for life outside the uterus. He's stored starch in his liver to be made into glucose after birth, and he has extra fluid on board as well. So, don’t worry - he won’t be hungry in the birth process! He can wait for that breast milk to come in.
In week 40, some pregnant women get a spurt of energy and want to clean up the house. This is called the ‘nesting instinct’. Others just want to lie down and rest. Both are completely normal. Even alternating between the two states is also a pretty normal pattern.
Some women report extreme exhaustion and sleeplessness in week 40. Maybe, it's just the toll of these 9 months. The huge belly, Braxton-Hicks, cramping, and anxiety may keep you awake tossing and turning all night.
Contractions are getting real. But, still, they could be just Braxton Hicks contractions. If they don't increase in frequency or severity or if they subside when you walk around or change position, then they are probably just practice contractions.
Contrary to the popular myth, the baby won’t stop moving at week 40 of pregnancy. The movements would not be sharp kicks but just pokes and jabs. You should be able to count 10 pokes, wiggles or rolls an hour.
There is no way for mum-to-be to find out if her cervix is opening or thinning out, but, in all probability, it is. Dilation is measured in centimeters and effacement in percentages; after an internal exam, your practitioner will probably give you the measurements. The cervix will continue to dilate and efface through early and active labour. You can ask your doctor how much it is this week.
Loose bowels are common in week 40 of pregnancy. Even if you have been suffering from constipation for most part of your pregnancy, it may become diarrhoea now. In fact, in week 40, loose bowel movements may be a sign that your labour is close-by.
If your baby has dropped this week, the uncomfortable feeling in your pelvis may be traced to a certain someone's little head knocking at your hips and bladder.
Mum, we wish you an easy and comfortable labour. May you breeze through it. Here is a tip that your spouse or family member can use. Massaging mums back with warm oils will promote relaxation and comfort. This technique will help to prevent muscle fatigue as massage will improve blood flow to the lower body muscles. It redirects apana vata and facilitates the birth process.
Please note that pushing prior to complete dilation will cause swelling of the cervix and only delay the process. Unfortunately, the urge to push comes earlier than it should. Do help mum to wait. Talk encouragingly, give her motivation. Sometimes. women who have pushed at nine centimeters have ended up making the cervix swell. So, your spouse or family member can help monitor your cervix while you try a few test pushes. Sometimes small pushes at the peak of each contraction, enough to deal with the urge but not enough to cause swelling, are the ideal solution.
The iMumz App has helpful tips in its feed section which validate Ayurvedic science to help you manage pregnancy symptoms.
The waiting game might be making you anxious and tense. This should be your final pregnancy well-visit before your baby is born.
When meeting the doctor this week, do ask about these FIVE questions:
Be Prepared to:
Give a urine sample to check sugar and protein levels
Allow stripping the membranes. During a final well-visit, your doctor can gently sweep a gloved finger between the baby's amniotic sac and the wall of your uterus. This may cause your body to release hormones to begin labour naturally.
Get admitted for Induction at the hospital. Your doctor may ask you to check into the hospital to be induced with medications that mimic the hormones that trigger labour. Induction doesn't always work. Sometimes, doctors must deliver the baby by C-section.
Let’s know what are good foods to have during labour. Some doctors may ask you to stay off food once contractions begin. Others may say that it's fine to eat in early labour as long as you're having light snacks or fluids. In an elective c-section, you will have to stop eating six to eight hours before your surgery. In some cases, doctors might give intravenous fluids to avoid dehydration in a fasting mother.
Foods you can eat in Early Labour:
A light, non spicy pasta
rusks or biscuits
fresh fruit, especially bananas
curd or yoghurt
dried fruit, nuts and seeds
Mudga yusha (Moong Soup)
Mudga krushra (Moong khichdi)
Foods that you can consume when labour advances
Suck on ice ships.
Foods to avoid
Fried, salty, high-fat foods can be heavy on your stomach and could make you feel sick. Desserts, ice cream, pastries and sugary foods are easy to eat and offer a quick energy boost, but this short-lived energy could leave you feeling low.
Drinks to avoid
Fizzy drinks or colas may make you feel sick. Avoid citric fruit juices, such as orange or grapefruit, too. Check with your doctor before having any tea, coffee or herbal drinks as well.
iMumz provides micro nutrients week by week for your pregnancy nutrition. Diet charts and recipes are made by mothers to give your daily dose of health for your baby and you.
First of all, please don’t worry. Dates are tricky because it's hard to pinpoint the exact age of a foetus. Reasons for this include irregular periods (since due dates are calculated based on a perfect 28-day cycle), sketchy or inaccurate menstrual history presented to the obstetrician, and mistaking spotting during very early pregnancy for a period.
Doctors use a bunch of methods to make their best estimate of a due date:
Did you know that 80 percent of babies arrive between 38 and 42 weeks of pregnancy? So, don’t get thrown by this week having arrived and still no baby!
Your due date window is much bigger than you might think.
If the baby has arrived, note these three vaccines given at birth : Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG), Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV 0) and Hepatitis B (HB 1). The next set will be given at 6 weeks of age.
Most babies have assumed the ‘birth position’ in week 40, which means that their head is pointing downwards. The baby’s movements may have slowed down a bit at this point as there isn’t much space to move around. She is curled up tightly and hence movements are limited. You will not feel a hearty kick anymore. But, pokes and jabs are happening and you should be able to count 10 of them in an hour.
The iMumz App has yoga exercises and webinars that can help you manage pain, not to mention the amazing Yoga section!
Do more women really go into labour during a full moon?
There’s actually been a great deal of research done on this, and there’s no difference in birth rates related to the lunar cycle.
There is an interesting bit of advice that can help you reach strong motivating vibes to the baby. It’s called belly breathing. It is particularly useful in early labour. Here are some simple steps:
As labour progresses, try pant-pant-blow breathing. This can be ideally done in a pattern that is of 6 cycles per minute.
Congratulations on your newborn! Click here to move the Responsive Parenting section of the iMumz App to start your parenting journey like the star that you are!
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