42 Weeks Pregnant
42 Weeks Pregnant
At 42 weeks pregnant, you’re now considered to be in the category of post-term pregnancy. Don’t worry, though, many women miss their expected due date and most babies emerge from the womb by the end of week 42. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to meet your baby in the outside world for the first time.
That being said, you probably still have a lot of questions about. How big is my baby at 42 weeks? What is medically and naturally induced labor? This article will answer these questions and aims to help you remain calm in your final week of pregnancy.
42 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
Pregnancy symptoms in week 41 will be similar to those that you have experienced throughout the third trimester. You can take comfort from the fact that this is probably the last week that you will feel these symptoms. The most common signs of pregnancy at week 42 are:
- Frequent Urination
As your baby moves deeper into your pelvis, the pressure on your bladder increases. This means that you will need to urinate more frequently and will possible have an unpleasant feeling of constantly needing to pee.
Your breasts may leak colostrum at 42 weeks pregnant as your body prepares for the arrival of your baby. Colostrum will be your baby’s first meal and is yellowish sticky liquid that is abundant in antibodies and nutrients.
- Cervical Dilation and Effacement
The opening of your cervix (dilation) and the thinning of your cervix (effacement) are a very common pregnancy symptom at week 42. Your cervix is getting ready for delivery and is clearing the route for your baby’s exit. Full cervical dilation will happen right at the end of the transitional phase of labor, and usually signals the call to start pushing.
After carrying extra weight around for 42 weeks, you’re likely to experience some swelling in your ankles and feet, otherwise known as edema. Swelling occurs during pregnancy due to the increased bodily fluids in your body accumulating in your tissues and putting pressure on your veins.
- Braxton Hicks Contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions occur when the muscles in your uterus prepare for the labor by contracting spontaneously at irregular contractions. They are very common at 42 weeks pregnant, but not all women experience these “false” contractions. If you start to notice contractions occurring in a more patterned and uniformed manner, you might have just started labor and should contact a medical professional immediately.
Your Body at Week 42
You need to pay special attention to your body this week, as it could be showing signs of labor. One of the most obvious signs of labor is water breaking. This happens when the amniotic sac ruptures and triggers the labor process. When your water breaks, it is likely to be discharged from your body in a slow trickle in the form of a colourless and odourless liquid.
You are likely to go into labor this week. If you don’t however, your doctor may decide to medically induce pregnancy. This can be done in a few ways. The most common is the artificial rupture of membranes, which is the manual instigation of water breaking. Another common method is to administer certain hormones to trigger a reaction and induce labor, such as prostaglandin and oxytocin.
Baby Size at Week 42
This week, your baby is the same size as it was last week as it has already reached full development inside the womb. Your 42 weeks-old fetus is the same size as a watermelon. It measures between 45 and 60 cm and weighs around 3 to 3.5 kg. When you look back at when your baby was once a tiny vanilla sized 2 weeks old embryo in your womb, the progress is quite remarkable.
Now that your baby is full term, doctors may decide that your baby is better off outside of the womb and, therefore, medically induce pregnancy.
Week 42 Pregnant Ultrasound
A post term pregnancy may be monitored by your obstetrician with a 42-week ultrasound. This, along with a non-stress test and a contraction stress test, will check that your baby is still active and healthy in utero, and will also test your baby’s heart rate over a period of time.
This is likely your last week of pregnancy and you will be at your biggest size. Your stomach will feel stretched and you’ll likely have pain in your pelvis due to the increased pressure in your lower abdomen.
Some of the pregnancy symptoms at 42 weeks include leaking breasts, endema, pelvic pain, insomnia, and Braxton Hicks contractions.
It’s normal to feel stressed and fed up with pregnancy in week 42. You have already gone beyond your expected due date and you may be starting to get inpatient. Try to remain calm, though, as your baby will enter the outside world any time now.
Your 42 weeks belly will be round, firm, and stretched. The uterus has expanded to its largest size and will be protruding out of your abdomen region. You may also experience dry, itchy skin on your stomach as a result of the stretching.
Tips for Week 42 of Pregnancy
- Research Postpartum Blues
Postpartum blues, also known as postnatal depression, can happen to any new parent. Being pregnant for 42 weeks will have completely drained your energy and you will be thoroughly exhausted. This can lead to extremely low feelings after delivery. If you experience these feelings, get help as soon as possible and don’t be afraid to talk about it, it’s a common pregnancy symptom and it happens to many women.
- Monitor Contractions
If you’re contractions are irregular and spontaneous, you may still be having Braxton Hicks contractions. If they start to occur in a more regular fashion, however, you could be going into labor. Try to monitor your contractions so that you are aware of any patterns.
- Discuss Inducing Labor
After week 42 of pregnancy, the health of your baby in utero could become compromised. It is a good idea, therefore, to have a discussion with a medical professional in order to decide what is the best way forward for you and your baby. It may be decided that medically inducing labor is the best option.