40 Weeks Pregnant: Preparing for the Big Day

Fact Checked Medically reviewed by Tanja Premru-Sršen


Welcome to your final week of pregnancy! Well, not really! Week forty means you are full-term, but carrying the baby for one or two extra weeks is not uncommon, and many future moms experience this.

Week 40 can be mentally difficult, thanks to constant wondering when the baby will decide to come out and meet you finally.

Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect during week forty of your pregnancy, how to prepare for the baby’s arrival, how your baby’s development is advancing, what your body is going through, and what you need to do to prepare!

Physical Symptoms During Week Forty of Pregnancy

You are at a very late stage of your third trimester, which means that your body is in the final stages of preparing for the baby’s arrival and baby’s birth, which will cause all of your pregnancy symptoms to remain similar from week to week.

However, around week forty of your pregnancy, some of the main pregnancy symptoms you can expect are going to include:

Pelvic pressure

Your baby has probably turned and dropped lower in your pelvis, which can make your pelvic discomfort worse.

Unfortunately, there is no way to relieve this feeling, but the good news is that it won’t last much longer.


If your Braxton Hicks contractions often appear, start timing them to see how far apart they are.

If they start to feel painful and get closer and closer together, go to the hospital, as you are in an early stage of labor.


The anxiety about the baby’s arrival is probably at an all-time high at week forty.

Of course, it is easier said and done, but it is in your best interest to do your best not to stress.


The final few weeks of pregnancy can get pretty exhausting, and fatigue is one factor that adds to that equation.

What Happens to The Baby During Week Forty of Pregnancy?

At forty weeks of baby’s development, the baby is about 20.2 inches long and weighs about 7,6 pounds, which is about the size of a pumpkin or a watermelon!

Your baby’s head has likely dropped low into your pelvis area, and the baby’s body is currently curled up tightly, as it is pretty crowded in there.

Your baby has been getting ready to meet you and the outside world by gaining fat and developing its liver, lungs, and brain cells.

Pregnancy Checklist During Week Forty

You need to fulfill certain tasks to keep up with the journey and ensure you are staying on top of your and your baby’s needs and preparing for the baby’s arrival, which is days, if not hours, away.

The list of things you need to complete during your fortieth week of pregnancy will include:

Fill up your tank

This is one of those simple chores you can do so that you are prepared and ready when the baby is on the way.

The last thing you need to do is fill up your tank when you are going into early and active labor and rushing to a hospital or birthing center.

Meditate to relax

You are probably feeling anxious since your due date is so close, and you are finding it hard to control the anxiety that comes from not knowing and waiting.

Meditation can help you relax and ground yourself. And remember, the thing you are anticipating and worrying about is a positive, good thing!

Waterproof your bed

Now that the due date is so close, it is the perfect time to put a waterproof mattress cover on your bed, just in case your water breaks during the night; you do not want to ruin your nice bedding.

It is a good idea to keep it on the bed even after the baby comes to protect your bed from other messes like breast milk, spit-up, and pee.

Signs of Labor at Forty Weeks Pregnant

At forty weeks pregnant, signs of labor are probably the biggest things on your mind, and rightfully so, since your due date is just around the corner.

So here are the signs that you need to be on the lookout for!

If you notice any of these major signs, go to the hospital immediately, as you are going into labor.

Water breaking

The experience of your water breaking could be a massive gush of water, just like in the movies, but it could also be a slow trickle or a discharge with a watery consistency.

If you notice these three options, your amniotic sac has probably ruptured, and labor awaits in the next few hours.

You should go to the hospital immediately and get assistance from the healthcare provider.

Regular contractions

Start timing the contractions if you feel a repetitive and painful tightening in the belly and pelvic area.

If the contractions do not stop coming in an hour and they start being closer and closer, you are in the beginning stage of labor, and you should go to the hospital immediately and get assistance from the healthcare provider.

What To Avoid or Begin to Avoid?

Avoiding potentially dangerous and harmful things and activities is essential to protect you and the baby’s health during pregnancy, and close to the due date.

So, during your fortieth pregnancy week, make sure to stay away from:

  • Smoking, doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and being exposed to toxic substances.
  • Sleeping on your tummy.
  • Performing demanding workouts and carrying heavyweight.
  • Wearing strappy and tight shoes and high heels.
  • Touching kitty litter or cat feces.
  • Drinking an excessive amount of caffeine and carbonated drinks.
  • Getting tattooed as it poses a risk of infection.
  • Eating junk food, deli meats, raw or undercooked meat, eggs, cheeses from unpasteurized milk, unpasteurized dairy foods, high mercury fish, and unwashed fruits and vegetables.
  • Having close contact with anyone with rubella, chickenpox, or the Zika virus.