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Highlights this week

No baby yet?

Don't worry. About half of all newborns are late arrivals – usually because their due date was off. Only 7 percent are truly overdue.

How your body changes

Even after your uterus shrinks back to its normal size, you may continue to look pregnant for several weeks or even months. 

Back pain relief

Try a warm bath or a heating pad. Get a prenatal massage, or ask a friend to gently rub or knead your back.

40 weeks is how many months?

You're in your ninth month!

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Baby development at 40 weeks

How big?

It's hard to say for sure how big your baby will be, but the average newborn weighs about 7 1/2 pounds and is about 20 inches long.

Skin color: What to expect

Babies of all ethnicities are born with reddish-purple skin that changes to pinkish-red in a day or so. The pink tint comes from the red blood vessels that are visible through your baby's still-thin skin. Because your baby's blood circulation is still maturing, his hands and feet may be bluish for a few days. Over the next six months, your baby's skin will develop its permanent color.

baby with head with soft spots called fontanels
Your baby at 40 weeks Tap the plus for more details
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Your baby is about the size of a small pumpkin

small pumpkin
20 ¼
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head to toe
7 ¾
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Pregnancy symptoms during week 40


After months of anticipation, your due date rolls around, and ... you're still pregnant. It's a frustrating but common situation. You may not be as late as you think, especially if you're relying solely on a due date calculated from the day of your last period. (That's because sometimes women ovulate later than expected.) But even with reliable calculations, some women have prolonged pregnancies for no apparent reason.

Ripening cervix?

Your healthcare provider will check your cervix to see if it's "ripening." Its position, how soft it is, how effaced (thinned out) it is, and how dilated (open) it is can all affect when and how your labor is induced. If you don't go into labor on your own, you'll be induced, usually sometime between 41 and 42 weeks.

Don't see your symptom?
Wondering about a symptom you have? Find it on our pregnancy symptoms page.

baby in womb at 40 weeks
Your body at 40 weeks Tap the plus for more details

Pregnancy checklist at 40 weeks

Finalize your baby name list

Waiting until you meet your baby to make a final decision on names? That's fine! But make sure you have some good options ready to go.

Kick back and relax

Watch your favorite shows, read a novel, call an old friend, sleep in, or take naps when you can. You're in the final stretch!

Don't panic if you go past your due date

After months of anticipation, your due date rolls around, and ... you're still pregnant. It's a common but frustrating situation. If you don't go into labor within a week or so, your provider will induce labor.

40 weeks pregnant bellies

This week's video


BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

AAFP. 2016. Labor induction. American Academy of Family Physicians. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/pregnancy-newborns/labor-childbirth/labor-induction.html [Accessed May 2019]

ACOG. 2015. FAQ156. Prenatal development: How your baby grows during pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Prenatal-Development-How-Your-Baby-Grows-During-Pregnancy#one [Accessed May 2019]

ACOG. 2011. FAQ066. What to expect after your due date. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/What-to-Expect-After-Your-Due-Date [Accessed May 2019]

Mayo Clinic. 2015. Fetal development: The third trimester. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/fetal-development/art-20045997 [Accessed May 2019]

MedlinePlus (ADAM). 2015. Fetal development. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002398.htm [Accessed May 2019]

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Kate Marple is a writer and editor who specializes in health, pregnancy, and parenting content. She's passionate about translating complicated medical information into helpful pregnancy and parenting advice that's easy to understand. She lives in San Francisco with her family.
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