42 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect?
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making it to 42 weeks pregnant. Every mom-to-be and baby is different and your due date is just an estimate—sometimes due dates are miscalculated too! Please don’t stress over and just remember that 98 percent of babies emerge by the end of week 42. You will have your little one in your arms soon.
What is the Baby’s Size?
Your baby is the size of a bigger watermelon than it was in the last week. Your baby is still growing! Well yes, that’s a surprise! The average 42-week fetus measures 20.3 inches and weighs 8.1 pounds. You really don’t have to worry at all about the delivery. Your baby is unlikely to be too big to deliver vaginally.
42-week Symptoms of Pregnancy
There would still be the usual pregnancy symptoms that you may have experienced through your pregnancy.
- Pelvic discomfort
Your baby may be descending lower and lower, putting pressure on your bladder and cervix and giving you more aches and pains down below. Try to avoid very hot temperature.
That pelvic pressure causes swollen varicose veins in your rectum, causing hemorrhoids. They aren’t pretty, and they may get worse when you push baby out. But eventually the swelling will come down.
You are maybe stressing over something or just not able to sleep. It’s quite normal at this time. Try to relax yourself and take short naps.
You will be just visiting and revisiting the bathroom now. Well your baby is pretty much sitting right on your bladder at this point so it is pretty natural to run to the nature’s call again and again.
- Leg cramps
Cramps can be a sign of dehydration. It is reminder to keep yourself hydrated and carry water everywhere. It is also a time where your water might break just about any time. Try to be prepared.
Apart from these usual symptoms, there will be the those 42nd week symptoms.
Braxton Hicks contractions are now going to be unavoidable but if it seems like you’re having a lot of them, start timing them to see how far apart they are. If they get closer together, you are in an early stage of labor.
- Mucus plug and/or bloody show
The thick mucus discharge which might be sometimes tinged with blood is a sign the cervix is getting itself ready for delivery. It’s often a sign that labor will start soon.
42-week signs of labour
Well you are into the final week and you are definitely losing your patience but if not, then you are doing great too. Just be alert because “Any minute now”.
The two signs that you need to keep looking out for are – contractions which are frequent. If you are timing them and you feel like they are not very apart, then its time. Another definite sign of labour is a leak or flow of amniotic fluid—this means your water has ruptured or broken. You will likely know because it will be truly watery and nothing like typical discharge. Also, it doesn’t stop. You might confuse it with pee but you will realize it’s your water breaking.
Make sure your car is filled with gas/patrol so that you may not run out of it at the middle of the night if you go into labour. Keep all the things ready to take and rush to the hospital.
Inducing labour at 42-week
It’s a lot to keep it holding for nine months and the delay is making you worry but please don’t. It is perfectly normal. You might just look around for natural methods to induce labour. Two very light things you can consider are – walking or having sex. Both are pretty reachable and are frequently adapted by couples. You might have heard about some herbal supplements or even castor oil but it’s advised not to take any of them.
Stimulating your nipples releases oxytocin, and it may help start labor, but more research is needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of this method. Because it may overstimulate your uterus, your contractions and your baby’s response to them need to be monitored. It is better to not try this at all.
The doctor will have to check how the baby is doing in there to see if you need any medical intervention for inducing labour. There are different types of induction.
Medications – Two types of medication can be used for inducing labor at 42 weeks pregnant. First, prostaglandin suppository may be inserted like a tampon overnight to start cervical dilation. Second, Oxytocin may be given through an IV to jumpstart contractions.
Artificial rupture of membranes (AROM) – Your doctor can actually break your water for you using a thin plastic hook. This may be done if you’ve been having contractions but labor hasn’t progressed yet.
Stripping membranes – This is actually a natural induction method, but your doctor will need to perform it. If you’re willing to try this potentially painful procedure, your doctor will sweep her fingers around the amniotic sac, separating the membranes there and releasing hormones that could stimulate labor. This doesn’t always work, but if it does, you could be in labor within hours.
If your baby is healthy, it is normal to wait and let the baby take its time for coming out.
42 Weeks Ultrasound
Because of the 42 weeks pregnant risks, your OB will want to monitor baby extra closely right now. A 42-weeks pregnancy ultrasound, a non-stress test, and a contraction stress test will be given to make sure baby’s still moving well, has plenty of amniotic fluid, is breathing well, and has a healthy heart rate.
Your baby is inside you but it won’t stay there forever. Talk to your doctor and you will find a way out if there are any complications, but if there aren’t any, then just expect a little angel in your arms soon.
PREGNANCY CHECKLIST AT 42-WEEKS PREGNANCY
- Talk to your doctor about induction options.
- Try to relax your mind and do not worry about the arrival of the baby.
- Be ready for labor anytime now.
Also Read: 41 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect?