What does my baby look like?
Most babies put in an appearance between 38 and 42 weeks of pregnancy, so it’s not unusual to go past your due date.
The average baby is about 3-4 kg at this point - try to imagine a pumpkin, or a watermelon!
Remember that no matter how tight the fit is, you should be feeling baby move in the same pattern as they always have.
Movements do not slow down in late pregnancy.
Watch our film on why your baby's movements matter
Film published in Oct 2016. Review date Oct 2019
Your symptoms - what's happening
Swollen feet and hands?
Take a load off - avoid standing for long periods of time
Prop your feet up so they’re higher than your heart for about an hour each day
Do some stretches - point your toes down and release upwards, 30 times. Then circle your ankles eight times - both feet.
If your swelling is severe or comes on suddenly, is particularly in your face as well as hands and feet, or comes with a headache or problems with your vision, you may have pre-eclampsia and should call your midwife, hospital or doctor immediately.
Having hot flushes?
Your body is working extra hard to carry your baby. Some tips to keep cool:
- Invest in a desk fan for your bedroom
- Carry a small, battery-operated fan around with you
- Wear loose, breathable fabrics
- Always have a bottle of water handy
- Take a dip in a refreshing bath. Or, better still, go for a swim.
Actions to take
Go to sleep on your side if you're not already doing so
When you reach your third trimester, the advice is to go to sleep on your side because research has shown that going to sleep on your back is linked to an increased risk of stillbirth. This advice includes daytime napping and night sleeping. Read more about safe sleep positions in pregnancy.
What’s a membrane sweep?
If you go over your due date, you might be offered a membrane sweep by your midwife.
It’s a drug-free way to help induce labour and involves your midwife making a circular, or sweeping, movement with her fingers on your cervix.
Your antenatal care
You should have a routine antenatal appointment booked for week 40 and you should also have one booked for 41 weeks in case your baby doesn’t arrive on time.
It's important not to miss your antenatal appointments in these final weeks. If you do have a problem, your antenatal team can spot the warning signs early and take action straight away.
Find out more about your antenatal appointment schedule.
How is labour induced?
As many as one in five pregnancies in the UK can end in an induction - where labour is started artificially. Here’s what you need to know about induction of labour.
I’m worried about meeting my baby. What if I don’t love him?
Some women feel an intense love for their babies when they are born, but for many others it takes a few weeks or even months to adjust and to grow into loving their baby.
Either way, it’s entirely normal. It doesn’t have to be love at first sight for you to be a great mum.
Find out more about getting the help and support you need.
The waiting game
It can be torturous. Your due date has been and gone, you feel the size of the Mothership and you’re oh so tired of waddling to the loo every five minutes. It’s time for this baby to make an appearance.
Only problem is it’s out of your control. Or is it? We asked mums what they think encouraged their baby out.
“For every day or two I went over my due date I gave myself a treat, like getting my nails done.” Emma, mum of one
Read more about your mental wellbeing in pregnancy.
1. You and your baby at 37–40 weeks pregnant, NHS Choices:http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-37-38-39-40.aspx [accessed 12 June 2015] (last reviewed: 11 February 2015; next review due: 11 February 2017).Hide details
ℹLast reviewed on April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.
By Anonymous (not verified) on 7 Dec 2017 - 01:43
much waiting due 12th n no sign f labour
By Midwife @Tommys on 7 Dec 2017 - 11:51
Hi, Thank you for your comment.
Only around 5% of babies will be born on their due date. It can be very common that you reach the 39th week of your pregnancy and there are no signs of labour. Please feel reassured that this can be very normal. Try and keep mobile and maintain a health diet, rest well and if you are worried about your baby's movements or anything about your pregnancy then please contact your maternity unit for further advice. Hope this helps, take care, Tommy's Midwives x