Your babys progress - Week 40
By now, your baby is baked to perfection, thanks to all your loving care. Only about 5 per cent of babies are born on their actual 'due date', with most babies coming within a week after the day estimated. While most babies will be born this week, it’s certainly not abnormal for babies to refuse to arrive on their due date. Doctors and midwives will identify an ‘on time’ baby by checking there is a small fatty pad under their nipples (in both boys and girls) and that baby’s fingernails reach the tips of her fingers, often looking manicured! By now, baby will be familiar with the rhythms of his mother’s voice. In fact, researchers analysing the cries of newborns found the cries of your newborn baby will be similar to the rhythm of your voice.
Some researchers have calculated that if women were left to go into labour without being induced:
- About 50% of women would have their baby between 39 and 41 weeks.
- Up to 88% of women would have their baby between 38 and 42 weeks.
- About 6-7% of babies would be born premature (before 37 weeks).
- If not induced, a small percentage of babies would be born after 42 weeks.
Babies who are born 'overdue' often have dry, peeling skin that can look red. They may have less amniotic fluid draining during labour and the baby may be more likely to pass meconium into the waters, potentially staining the fluid. Not that it matters …
Babies begin their life outside your womb at a time you may not be able to predict, but can guarantee will be memorable. The journey through labour and birth is a physical experience you will share with your baby – and even if baby is unlikely to remember it, you will never forget it. Enjoy.
Just like adults, all babies are different and develop at varying rates in the womb. This information gives a general idea of your baby's development and progress.
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This article was written by Allex Brooks for Kidspot, New Zealand's best pregnancy resource.
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