40 Weeks Pregnant No Sign of Labor

By the time you reach your 40th week of pregnancy, you will feel as though every day is “the day.” Of course, the day may simply pass by with no signs of labor. Know that you are not alone—studies have shown that less than 10% of births happen on the predicted due date. The other 90% of births are either pre or post term and can occur anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks before or after the due date. It’s therefore not uncommon to be 40 weeks pregnant, no sign of labor has shown. Nevertheless, it is important that you remain patient and diligently prepare yourself for motherhood.

40 Weeks Pregnant, No Sign of Labor: Is It Normal?

Yes, it is. The vast majority of babies arrive between 37 and 41 weeks of pregnancy. Usually, they come within a week of their due date. Twins and triplets, however, tend to arrive before the 37th week.

The due date is no more than an estimation of the day on which you will give birth. It is calculated as exactly 40 weeks from the first day of when your last period started. After your dating scan, it’s possible that your midwife will update your due date, as your scan will give the professional a more precise idea of how far along you are.

Pregnancies that last longer than 42 weeks (294 days) are known as prolonged pregnancies. 5% to 10% of pregnant women will be pregnant for that long.

40 Weeks Pregnant No Sign of Labor: Should I Worry?

During the first week after your due date has passed, neither you nor your baby are at a higher risk of complications as long as you both have been doing well. Even into the 2nd week past your due date there is not much of an increase in risk. There are, however, some risks that increase marginally. Babies who are significantly overdue face the following risks:

  • An infection developing inside the womb
  • The placenta ceasing to be able to properly do its job
  • Unexpected problems during labor

An overdue pregnancy is not usually associated with many risks for a pregnant woman; however, childbirth tends to be more difficult for bigger infants.

Almost all babies are born within 3 or 4 weeks of their due dates. Babies who are not born by this point are at risk of being dead upon birth (stillborn). Nevertheless, babies are very rarely born that late, as labor is typically induced no more than two weeks after the due date. Labor may be induced using hormones or other artificial methods.

40 Weeks Pregnant No Sign of Labor: What Can I Do?

  •  Relax. Try to avoid being alone. Spend lots of time with your family and friends. Start a DIY project or rent a few movies you’ve always wanted to see. Your task is to keep yourself from worrying too much!
  • Rest. Get as much sleep as you can. Once your new baby comes, you’re in for some serious sleep deprivation.
  • Shop. Now is the best time to go shopping for meals to stock up your freezer. Once your baby is born, you’ll be grateful that you have a bunch of food at your house. It is also a good time to go out for last-minute treats along with your partner. Spending time with your partner won’t be easy once your baby comes!
  • Meditate. Sit in an open, quiet area and try to meditate. Meditation will help you and your baby relax. Fresh air can also be magically energizing. It can help you have positive thoughts and calm your mind.

If you’re eager to see your new addition, consider trying some of these labor starters:

  • Stair climbing. There’s no need to exhaust yourself (after all, you’ll be in labor soon), but climbing stairs may help you induce labor, as taking big steps and lifting your legs high puts pressure on your cervix.
  • Acupressure. Acupressure is a technique that’s similar to acupuncture, except that it uses fingers (not needles) on your pressure points. Try placing pressure on the roof of your mouth or the webbings of your fingers between your thumb and pointer finger, and about four finger-lengths above your ankles.
  • Nipple stimulation. Stimulating your nipples releases oxytocin, this can cause your body to start having contractions. Try gently rubbing or rolling your nipples. If it’s not too painful, you can also use a breast pump—just keep stimulating until you start experiencing contractions. If your contractions start coming close together, feel free to stop and let nature take over.
  • Sex. You may not be up for sex right now, but if you happen to be in the mood (many women still are), having an orgasm can trigger contractions. Semen also contains prostaglandins, which help to prepare your body for labor.

40 Weeks Pregnant No Sign of Labor: What’s It Like for Other Mums?

I’m 40 weeks and today I went for a lovely walk. Like clockwork, my contractions started as soon as I got back. It was wonderful. I’d been sleeping poorly for weeks, so I thought of lying down for about an hour. As soon as I woke up, the contractions were gone, but I’m sure they’ll start again soon!

Patience is something you’ll need to raise your baby, so try taking a deep breath and enjoying your last few days of pregnancy. I am over 40 weeks pregnant and my doctor will be inducing labor soon. This is my third child and I now know that nothing I do to induce labor will work until it is actually time. Just remember that your baby won’t stay in your womb forever!

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