OB Appointment Week 40
This is it - your due date is sometime this week! For the most part, this week's appointment will be short and sweet and your doctor or midwife will check your cervix to determine if you've started to efface and/or dilate.
In addition to all the physical checks you and your baby have had in the previous weeks, your doctor or midwife will palpate your uterus to determine your baby's position, and may perform an ultrasound to determine his or her size and position. Your doctor or midwife will want to determine how your baby is presenting (head or buttocks first, facing to the front or to the back), and if the presenting part is engaged.
Your doctor or midwife will discuss what you can expect in the next few days, common symptoms of true labor, and any worrisome signs to watch for. This week is a good time for you to relax and rest up before the big delivery; remember to drink your water, go for walks, and tie up those loose ends while you still have your hands free!
If your due date comes and goes this week and still no baby, your doctor may begin discussing your options. Most doctors will allow a pregnancy to continue a week to 10 days after the due date if mother and baby are healthy; however, the placenta is a temporary organ and it begins to break down after about 40 weeks. This means that your baby may not be receiving as much oxygen or as many nutrients as he or she needs. If your doctor determines this to be the case, he or she will recommend inducing labor or performing a c-section. But your body may make this unnecessary if you go into labor soon!