Weeks 39, 40 and 41 of pregnancy

This period is characterised by waiting for the birth, and some women start to become impatient. The preparations that your body has been making recently are important.

Newborn baby after birth

The cervix softens and the contractions of the womb are uncoordinated and irregular. Towards the end of the pregnancy, the level of activity will subside, and it can be tiresome at times.

Ready for labour

The baby is now ready to be born. It takes up nutrition in order to have some in reserve during labour and will now weigh between 2,500 and 4,500 grams. It will be between 45 and 55 centimetres long.

The birth

Whether you give birth at week 37 or within the next 4-5 weeks, this is considered normal. If your pregnancy has gone on 7-9 days past the due date without the birth having started, your health care provider will make an assessment of you and, together with you, consider whether it is necessary to induce labour.

Signs of labour

Loss of the mucus plug is a sign that the body is getting ready for labour, but it gives no indication of when the labour will actually start. However, the vast majority of women do not notice that they have lost their mucus plug, so this can be difficult to detect. Labour has usually begun once you start experiencing regular contractions.

If your waters break without you experiencing contractions, the contractions will normally start by themselves within 24 hours. If your waters have broken or liquid is seeping out which you think may be amniotic fluid, you should contact the place where you are due to have your baby.

Feel life

Tips for pregnant women on how to monitor your baby’s movements. Information in Arabic, English, Norwegian, Polish, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya and Urdu.


Information about pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period in Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Norwegian, Polish, Somali, Tigrinya and Turkish aimed at immigrants and others with a short period of residence.

Nasjonal faglig retningslinje for svangerskapsomsorgen, Helsedirektoratet 06.06 2018.  

Content provided by The Norwegian Directorate of Health

The Norwegian Directorate of Health. Weeks 39, 40 and 41 of pregnancy. [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; updated Monday, March 7, 2022 [retrieved Sunday, July 14, 2024]. Available from: https://www.helsenorge.no/en/pregnancy-and-maternity-care-in-norway/pregnancy-week-by-week/pregnancy-weeks-39-40-and-41/

Last updated Monday, March 7, 2022