What prenatal care do I need during week 40 of pregnancy?

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Forty weeks is full-term…it is time for baby to arrive. Care during this week focuses on monitoring for the onset of labor. In addition to the beginning of rhythmic contractions the woman also need to be watching for rupture of the amniotic sac (bag of waters) or vaginal discharge. The woman also needs to get adequate rest, nutrition and fluids to prepare for the work of labor. A visit to the health care provider will involve a vaginal examination to evaluate effacement and dilatation of the cervix and fetal position in preparation for labor.

You should now be going to the doctor every week. At the exam, your doctor is going to do an exam of your abdomen to find out your baby's size and position. To find out if your cervix is ready for birth, your doctor will do an internal exam. They will check to see how dilated you are. Keep an eye on how your body changes and keep track of your baby's movements to notice any decrease in action. If your pregnancy goes past 40 weeks, your doctor will do additional tests and possibly induce labor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.