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Week 40
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 38 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Fetal Development:
The last week (or is it?). The average size newborn is 7.5 pounds and 20 inches long. At this point, most of the vernix is gone, 15% of the body is fat and the chest sticks out.

Maternal Changes:
This may seem like a long week. Keep in mind that your baby's due date is only an estimate, and every baby is born in its own time. Be good to yourself and try to relax. You're not actually "post-due" until you hit 42 weeks. Just think about the poor elephant who is pregnant for 23 months!
9th month
Your care provider may suggest induction if s/he feels that the pregnancy has continued long enough. Some moms welcome this while others want to avoid it. Be sure to make your wishes known. Some of our StorkNet viewers have shared their "Mother Nature" type methods of starting labor.

Congratulations! We hope you'll share your birth story with us!

If You're Planning to Breastfeed:
If you haven't already, now is a good time to purchase a nursing bra. These specially designed bras are for the convenience of nursing and are not recommend for pregnancy because most cannot give the support needed for enlarging breasts. In the article, How to Find the Right Fit for Your Bra by Adrienne Huffman and Leigh Irwin, for nursing bras "it is suggested that you buy two sizes, the largest size that you are during pregnancy and one cup size larger. Since it is impossible to know what size you will be, you will have the option of the two and can exchange the one that does not fit. When you are established with your milk supply, you may find a difference again in your breast size and you should re-evaluate whether your current bra still fits properly."

Ideas for Partners:
This is it! Try to get some sleep in the last few days because you're going to need it before you officially join the ranks of the sleep-deprived. If Mom is overdue, every day can seem like an eternity. Every twinge is scrutinized in the hopes of "it" being the real thing. Hang in there! No pregnancy lasts forever! And congratulations! You've made it and have been a wonderful support for Mom!

Inspirational Thoughts:
If pregnancy were a book, they would cut the last two chapters. ~Nora Ephron

Reading:
This Isn't What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman, MSW and Valerie Davis Raskin, MD published by Bantam, 1994

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