40 Weeks Pregnant
Most women go into labor within one week of their due date. If you do not go into labor within a week of your due date, your healthcare provider may recommend that you have a non-stress test. This test will monitor the fetal heart rate and movements to ensure that your baby is receiving adequate oxygen and that your baby's nervous system is responding properly.
Your healthcare provider may induce labor if:
- Your labor is not progressing
- Your health is at risk
- Your baby's health is at risk.
In order to induce labor, your healthcare provider will:
- Artificially rupture the membranes
- Administer the hormone oxytocin (Pitocin®)
- Administer other medications as needed.
If your pregnancy is considered high risk, or if there are any other potential complications, you may require a cesarean section delivery.
Similar to other late pregnancy weeks, you may be experiencing some signs of prelabor when you are 40 weeks pregnant. This might include such things as Braxton Hicks contractions, a change in energy levels, or a change in vaginal discharge.
(See Prelabor Signs for more information. You can compare these to labor signs by going to Signs of Labor.)
If you think that you are in labor, eating may cause nausea, but it is important to get some nourishment, so you are energized for the laboring process. Foods like pasta and grains (carbohydrates) are good choices and can have a slow, steady release over a few hours. Choose foods that are easy on your stomach -- foods that are fatty or fried tend to be harder on your stomach. Make sure you continue to drink plenty of fluids -- dehydration can slow your labor.