At 41 weeks pregnant, you’re probably around 1 week after your expected due date and may be feeling both exhausted and excited to see your baby. Don’t worry about being a little beyond your due date, around a third of women go beyond their expected day of delivery and it is a normal circumstance. This week, however, your doctor may decide to induce labor. If you go more than 2 weeks beyond your due date, there are increased risks for the health of your baby.
If you have any concerns or questions about being 41 weeks pregnant, this article aims to address them and ease any anxieties you may have. Read on for more information about the forty-first week of pregnancy.
41 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
As long as your baby is still inside your womb, you’re likely to feel some symptoms. Some may even be more uncomfortable this week, as your baby is getting inpatient and is ready to enter the outside world. Here are the most common signs of pregnancy in week 41:
- Frequent Urination
Regular urges to urinate is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms. At 41 weeks pregnant, it’s even more likely to affect you. Your baby is moving slowly into your pelvic region in preparation for delivery, and this puts increased pressure on your bladder, leaving with a more frequent need to pee.
- Mucus Plug
Losing your mucus plug is usually a sign that labor is right around the corner. This gelatinous glob of mucus is a covering that plugs the opening of your uterus and usually comes out before our water breaks.
- Bloody Show
Bloody show is similar to a mucus show in that they both produce a discharge of mucus. A bloody show, however, typically has a blood-tinged colour and is not the same as losing the plug that covers your cervix. You can only lose your mucus plug once, but you may experience bloody show leakage more than once leading up to labor.
- Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain is a 41-weeks pregnant symptom that a lot of women experience. The increased pressure in your lower abdomen that is caused by your baby moving into the pelvis can create a very uncomfortable feeling that is especially prevalent towards the end of the pregnancy.
- Fetal Movement
The fetus at 41 weeks is very active. It is ready to leave your womb and is practicing or the outside world by moving its limbs around in all directions. As a result, you will likely notice increased fetal movement this week, and it will likely continue until you go into labor.
Your Body at Week 41
You’ve already been through a lot by the time you’re 41 weeks pregnant, and a lot of women are fed up and ready for it to be over. This is understandable, and liaisons with your medical practitioner may lead to the decision to medically induce labor if they think that your 41-weeks old fetus would be better off outside of the womb. There are a few ways you can naturally try to induce labor, such as going for gentle strolls and staying well hydrated. Other practices include acupuncture and eating spicy food, though these are not recommended unless they have been researched considerably and discussed with your doctor.
If you do have a medical induction, there a number of ways this can be performed. Your doctor may elect for an artificial rupture of membranes (AROM), in a process that involves breaking your water manually. Certain medications can also medically induce labor, such as oxytocin and prostaglandin.
Baby Size at Week 41
Your baby has stopped growing now and has reached full term development inside your womb. The baby at 41 weeks is the same size as a small pumpkin or watermelon. He or she weighs between 3 and 4.5 kg and measures in the range of 45 to 60 cm.
Despite your baby being fully developed and most likely past its due date, you’re not actually considered overdue yet. Only after the week 42 is the baby considered overdue, and this is a time when a baby’s health is at risk from staying in utero.
Week 41 Pregnant Ultrasound
The fetus at 41 weeks is waiting patiently to depart from your womb. It’s facial features, limbs, and internal organs are now fully developed, and its hair and nails continue to grow. Your doctor may schedule a 41 weeks pregnancy ultrasound if any complications are observed with progress, and a non-stress test may be performed to decide on whether your baby would benefit from a medical induction or not.
How does your stomach feel at 41 weeks pregnant?
At 41 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a watermelon and has expanded your uterus to its maximum capacity. Because of this, you may feel increased pressure in your lower abdomen region.
What to expect at 41 weeks pregnant?
Some of the 41 weeks pregnant symptoms that you can expect include swollen feet and ankles, itchy belly, losing your mucus plug, and increased fetal movement.
How do you feel at 41 weeks pregnant?
Pregnancy symptoms at week 41 can be quite harsh as your body is in limbo waiting for the arrival of your new-born baby. You will probably feel exhausted, both physically and mentally, at this stage. Though, you also may feel excited at the prospect of finally holding your baby for the first time.
What does your stomach look like at 41 weeks pregnant?
Your stomach will feel very tight and stretched at this stage. You may even have dry and itchy skin as a consequence of your abdomen stretching and being less able to retain moisture in the skin.
Tips for Week 41 of Pregnancy
- Stay Hydrated
Despite the likely increased need to urinate, you should try to stay as well hydrated as possible. Drinking water can reduce swelling and flush away excess waste in your system.
- Eat Healthily
Although your baby is fully developed, it shouldn’t mean you drop your healthy pregnancy diet. You should try to continue to eat a balanced, varied diet with lots of healthy fats, protein, and vitamins.
- Keep Your Mind Occupied
When you’re slightly overdue, your mind can become obsessed with labor. When is it coming? Where will I be when it happens? What do I do when it happens? All of these questions are normal, and most overdue women will go through a similar thought process. It’s not healthy, though, to obsess over it, and it is a good idea to keep your mind occupied as much as possible by doing other activities that you enjoy. Otherwise, your life could be consumed by this obsession.