In this 40th week of your pregnancy, you probably have some very overwhelming feelings at times. It’s no wonder. Your hormones are raging in preparation for the birth and you are tired and just ready for this to happen. Don’t feel guilty about these feelings. It is natural to have them.
You should probably stick pretty close to home this week, just in case you go into labour. If you do have to go somewhere, put your packed bags in the trunk so they are ready to go. And, many doctors recommend not driving at this time. Besides the fact that it could be dangerous if you were to go into labour while driving, you might not even fit behind the steering wheel now!
At 40 weeks, you may be having some signs of pre-labour such as Braxton Hicks contractions, a vaginal discharge, or extreme exhaustion. Remember, in true labour, the pain will normally start in the lower back and then move to the abdomen unlike Braxton Hicks contractions which are only felt I the front of the abdomen. Additionally, true labour pains hurt more when you move around, whereas Braxton Hicks contractions go away when you move around. The best sign that labour is starting is when your water breaks. After that, you should be starting labour soon. If your water breaks, but your labour does not progress, contact your doctor right away.
If you have not yet started to show signs of pre-labour yet, your doctor may recommend that you have a non-stress test. This is a test that is given to make sure that your baby is getting enough oxygen and has a strong heartbeat. They also will check to make sure that the baby’s nervous system is responding correctly.
If it is necessary, your doctor could suggest that your labour be induced. This is usually only in the case that your health or the baby’s health is at risk. If you have had a high risk pregnancy due to an illness such as diabetes or other complications which may prohibit you from a natural birth, you may require a caesarean section delivery.