40 Weeks Pregnant
The average weight of a baby born at 40 weeks is 7 pounds, 8 ounces; the average baby measures 19 to 20 inches. However, boys tend to weigh a little more than girls.
The following will take place right after you give birth:
- Your healthcare provider will suction mucus out of your baby's mouth and nose
- You will hear that long awaited first cry from your baby
- The umbilical cord will be cut
- A series of quick screening tests will be performed to assess your baby's responsiveness and vital signs (the Apgar score)
- Your baby will be weighed and measured
- If you had an episiotomy, your healthcare provider will give you stitches.
If you have chosen to breastfeed, try this in the delivery room -- there will be a nurse or lactation specialist there to help you figure it out. This first time your baby nurses, he or she will get colostrum. Colostrum is the thicker yellowish milk that is richer in protein and lower in fat and milk sugar than the breast milk that comes a few days after delivery. It also contains antibodies that may help protect your baby from disease.
If your pregnancy was high-risk, or if a cesarean section was necessary, a neonatologist (a doctor who specializes in newborn intensive care) will be present at your delivery to take care of your baby right away.
Once you deliver your baby, your healthcare provider will hand your baby to you as soon as they have checked it over. Do not be alarmed if your baby's head is misshapen -- this is normal: it is from coming through the birth canal -- this is temporary, and will even out soon.
Other physical characteristics of your newborn may include the following:
- Newborns are covered with vernix and blood
- Your baby's skin may have skin discolorations, dry patches, and rashes
- The presence of hormones in your baby's system may make your baby's genitals appear enlarged
- Both boys and girls may secrete milk from their nipples.
All of these characteristics are completely normal and should disappear within a few days.
After you have had a chance to bond with your baby, your healthcare provider wants your uterus to contract back down to the size of a golf ball. To do this, a nurse may massage it and you may also be given Pitocin, to help it along.