Your baby now weighs somewhere around 3.5 kilos, but size can vary a lot at this stage in pregnancy. Some babies are smaller and some are bigger when they are born. Most babies are born in week 40, even if only about 5% arrive on their due date. In other words, it’s completely normal for it to take a bit longer than the date you’ve been expecting, but if your baby hasn’t been born after 40 full weeks, it’s time to start talking about inducing delivery. Often, there are national guidelines in place stipulating that all pregnant people should have given birth or should be in labour before week 42+0, but that’s not how it works in reality everywhere, and the final day for inducing labour could vary based on where you live. In some places, it’s routine to induce everyone during week 41, while in others you may have to wait a little longer. Of course, how baby and mother are faring is taken into consideration, as well as whether there are any risk factors.
Maybe you have heard that giving birth is like running a marathon. If you’re not a runner, that might not be a helpful reference, but you may still sense the enormous strain it is on the body. So it’s a good idea to gather strength for childbirth. But how can you do that when you don’t know when the baby is coming? Well, one idea is to rest and eat lots of slow carbs. Practicing taking deep breaths is also good, because it will improve your oxygen supply and give you more energy. Since you just don’t know when your baby will kick off the race, it’s best not to put off rest; just imagine you’ll be starting tomorrow. And remember that however your body looks, it was actually made to give birth. It’s put 40 weeks into brilliantly preparing. Yes, childbirth is painful. But unlike other kinds of pain, birthing pain doesn’t signal that something is wrong in the body. That might be a comforting thought to return to when the pain is at its peak. Try to welcome your first contraction with complete trust that your body will tell you exactly what to do. And accept pain relief if you need it; there’s no prize for giving birth without it.
Is it Wednesday? Then chances are slightly higher that your baby will come today. Statistically, most babies are born on Wednesdays. Meanwhile, the fewest babies arrive on Sundays. As long as the baby is still in the belly, you’ll continue meeting with the doctor or midwife regularly and they will conduct the usual checks: measuring the uterus, listening to the baby’s heart, and checking its position. Most births begin when the baby says it’s time, but some may need to be induced. It might be nice to know that an induced delivery isn’t necessarily any different from labour that begins naturally.