Pregnancy at 40 Weeks
This may seem like the longest week so far, particularly if you are past your due date. Some women experience a hormonal feeling, similar to premenstrual tension, just before labour begins; other women just feel 'different'. Many women experience a desperate urge to clean and tidy the house, sort through the baby's clothes, and 'nest'in preparation for their baby's arrival.
Your baby is fully developed. At birth, major changes will occur in the baby's heart and lungs. Up until birth the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide has been through the placenta. As soon as she is born and takes her first breath, the blood in her lungs will be oxygenated and she will begin to breathe normally. Her rate of respiration will be about 50 per minute, although it is often irregular for the first few days.
At this point, your baby looks the same in the uterus as she will when she is bom. She will be tightly curled up so it is not surprising that babies like to be held close and made to feel secure. If she was in the breech position in the uterus, her knees may remain drawn up to her chest for a couple of days. Some babies are born with one foot or both feet turned in (positional talipes), because of their position inside the uterus, but this is only temporary.
Even inside you, your baby is practising turning her head to the side to look for milk and sucking. You will probably recognize some of these squirming movements when you finally hold your baby. As he pushes out his bottom or reaches up to his face, it will seem familiar to you. Your movements and sounds will be familiar to him too.