42 WEEKS PREGNANT
Welcome to your post term pregnancy.
This is the last week of your pregnancy, and if you’re still reading this, you’re one of the few mothers who make it to week 42.
If your baby is still hesitant to come out by this week, your doctor will medically induce into labour.
At week 42, both you and your baby have an increased risk of injury during a vaginal delivery, and there’s a greater risk of stillbirth. However, do note that due dates can at times be miscalculated especially if your cycle is irregular.
42 weeks pregnant is how many months? 42 weeks pregnant is ten months and two weeks pregnant. You must be due by this week.
41 WEEKS BABY SIZE
How big is baby at 42 weeks? Your baby measures about 51.9cm.
The current weight of your baby is about 3.7kilograms.
42 WEEKS PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS
Some of the symptoms you’ll be experiencing will not be unfamiliar since you probably have already been experiencing the past weeks, but do watch out for signs of labour, because you are definitely due this week.
Being 42 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 should not be a reason you dehydrate yourself.
- Swelling of feet. Because of the high volume of liquids in your body and your heavy belly, you may have swelling on your feet and ankles, called edema. Try to elevate your feet whenever you can to help reduce swelling.
- Braxton Hicks 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!
Don’t be worried that you’re not in labour by week 42. Your due date is just an estimation, and you being here at week 42 could be due to a simple miscalculation. There is absolutely nothing wrong being pregnant at week 42.
42 WEEKS PREGNANT SIGNS OF LABOUR
Here are some 42 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.
- Labour 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 when you 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 releases 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.
HOW TO INDUCE LABOUR AT 42 WEEKS PREGNANT
Wondering how should you induce labour naturally at 42 weeks pregnant? Here are some tips for you to induce labour naturally:
- 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 that can develop into labour. However, this could cause severe contractions and it might affect the baby, so only do this in the presence of medical care.
- 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 releases oxytocin, which causes contractions that can develop into labour.
HOW CAN YOUR DOCTOR INDUCE LABOUR AT 42 WEEKS PREGNANT
Here is how your Doctor can medically induce you into labour at 42 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 42 WEEKS PREGNANT?
Your placenta will start to become less efficient at supplying your baby with oxygen and all the nutrients it needs. This is why at week 42, you will be monitored regularly when you’re overdue.
This week, your baby will probably be slightly wrinkly and the skin might start drying out and peeling. This is because the lanugo and vernix have already been shed from the skin.
The fingernails are also likely to be long and can cause scratches so ensure you have mittens for your baby.
At week 42, it is also possible that your baby have passed his or her first bowel movement in your uterus. This usually causes no problems unless your baby inhales them into the lungs (meconium aspiration) which could cause respiratory distress.
WHAT TO DO AT 42 WEEKS PREGNANT
Reminders for the week:
- Discuss options with your Doctor
- Try to relax
- Have sex