41 WEEKS PREGNANT
So your due date came and went, and here you are, still pregnant and fantasising the day you can meet your little one.
Because your baby is spending extra time in the womb, do expect a heavier and more alert baby upon delivery.
One reason for the delay could be that your estimated due date is miscalculated. This usually happens when your cycle is irregular and therefore given the wrong ovulation date.
However, for safety reasons, your doctor will not let you wait for more than two weeks past due date because it puts you and your baby at an increase risk of complications.
Your doctor may also order a biophysical profile and non-stress test to access the baby in the womb.
The biophysical and non-stress tests are for women who are past their due date. This is done to check on the safety of the baby in the womb.
41 WEEKS BABY SIZE
How big is baby at 41 weeks? Your baby now measures about 51.8cm.
The current weight of your baby is about 3.6kilograms.
41 WEEKS PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS
The symptoms are nothing new to what you’re already experiencing the past weeks, but do watch out for labour signs.
Being 41 weeks pregnant, here are some signs and symptoms that your body might be experiencing:
- Frequent peeing. The baby, at this stage, is pressing against your bladder, which means additional trips to the bathroom. However, do always keep yourself hydrated at all times and albeit frequent visits to the bathroom, this is no excuse to dehydrate yourself.
- Contractions. At this stage, pay attention to your contractions as this could be a sign of labour contractions.
- Pelvis Area Discomfort. As your baby is sitting low in your pelvic region, it is putting tremendous amounts of pressure in your pelvis area which is the very cause of your pains and discomfort.
- Trouble sleeping. At this stage, your nerves are probably the cause of your sleepless nights. Try to relax, because baby is well on his or her way to meet you!
41 WEEKS PREGNANT SIGNS OF LABOUR
Here are some 41 weeks pregnant signs of going into labour:
- Water breaking. If you experience wetness in your vagina area, either from a slow leak or a large gush of watery fluid, it is probably your amniotic fluid. Typically, after your water breaks, labour will soon follow.
- Contractions. If you are having contractions, remember to keep track of your contractions which are typically within five minutes apart for at least an hour. Thereafter, you will get into active labour where contractions are much stronger and you should be at the hospital by then.
- Vaginal discharge. When you pass out your mucus plug, which is a bloody thick red/pink/brown mucus-like lump, this marks the start of your cervix dilating. This could come loose for up to a few days before labour begins.
- Loose Stools. As your body gets ready for childbirth, it will release chemicals to cause the uterus to contract and the cervix to dilate. These chemicals will also cause you to get loose stools or even diarrhoea.
If you find anything out of the ordinary, inform your doctor! You should be due any moment now!
HOW TO INDUCE LABOUR AT 41 WEEKS PREGNANT
This is the week! You might be wondering how you should induce labour at 41 weeks pregnant. Here’s how!
Here are some options for you to induce labour:
- Take a walk.Walking allows your hips to sway from side to side, which could get your baby into position. On top of that, gravity could help bring the baby down to the pelvis region. Even if you don’t go into labour by walking, you’re still getting some exercise in! It’s a win-win situation.
- Nipple stimulation. Massaging the nipples is a way to induce labour. The stimulation makes the body release oxytocin, which causes contractions, which could develop into labour. Don’t try nipple stimulation at home as the contractions could be severe and it might affect your baby.
- Having Sex. Sex is the most well known natural method to induce labour. The female orgasm has been known to open the cervix up to two centimetres, while semen has prostaglandins, a hormone which is involved in the start of labour. On top of that, having sex also release oxytocin, which causes contractions that can develop into labour.
HOW CAN YOUR DOCTOR INDUCE LABOUR AT 41 WEEKS PREGNANT
Here is how your Doctor can medically induce you into labour at 41 weeks pregnant:
- Sweeping Membranes. This method involves your doctor sweeping their finger (with gloves of course) between the thin membranes of the amniotic sac found in your uterus. This will increase prostaglandin production, which can cause the contraction of your uterus, thus inducing labour.
- Rupturing Membranes. Your doctor intentionally breaks your water to induce labour. It is done using a small hook to break the amniotic sac that holds your baby.
- Foley Catheter Induction. Your doctor may insert a Foley catheter into your vagina and inflate the catheter to stretch your cervix to induce labour.
- Pitocin Induction. You will be given an IV drip of Pitocin which acts the hormone oxytocin to induce labour. Your doctor can adjust the amount you need according to the progress of your labour.
- Ripening the cervix. If your cervix is not dilated yet, your doctor will admit you to the hospital and administer a medication that contains synthetic prostaglandins, which will be inserted into your vagina. This can also be given in an oral form known as misoprostol. These help to ripen your cervix and stimulate contractions.
HOW IS MY BABY AT 41 WEEKS PREGNANT?
Your baby will lose the remainder of the lanugo and vernix from his or her skin this week.
Lanugo functions as an anchor to hold the vernix caseosa on the skin, which basically protects the little one from being damaged by the amniotic fluid.
Your baby will swallow the lanugo and vernix together with amniotic fluid, which will turn into meconium and that would be the first waste that your baby will poop in the days after birth.
Research suggests that your baby’s endocrine system, which is in charge of producing hormones, will start to send out hormones to trigger labour.
WHAT TO DO AT 41 WEEKS PREGNANT
Reminders for the week:
- Try to induce labour
- Get some rest and try to relax