Pregnancy Calendar Week 41 – Baby Wants to Overstay Inside
Still waiting for the big day? No problem, some babies are little lazy and want to spend little more time in the coziness of the womb. Rest assured that there is nothing to concern about. Just read on the story and know why the baby is taking time more time inside.
You are almost on the edge of meeting your baby. You might become nervous due to extra time spending of the baby inside but it’s nothing to worry as the little fellow is completely fine. However, you will continue to face the discomforts you have been experiencing all these weeks.
Your body this week
The anticipation of seeing the baby and breastfeeding might be killing you, but you are not alone. There are plenty of pregnant women (around 14 percent) out there who must be going through the same dilemma and hopefully delivering this week.
Your body has gone through several changes all through the gestational phase. Right from abdomen, joints, skin, breasts and even digestive system has been affected during these weeks. But hopefully this week all the discomforts will come to rest. The baby is making efforts to exit as soon as possible with the body is preparing itself for the birthing process. For this, the cervix is being effaced (thinning) and dilated (widening) steadily.
Signs of labor
If you happen to end up into labor phase, then make sure you are able to differentiate between frequent contraction and Braxton Hicks contractions. The labor contractions come every 2-3 minutes and lasts longer upto 90 seconds. This is will be the active stage of labor, intensity of which will increase with the passage of time.
But if you want to make sure that the big day has come, keep a tab on below two things:
- Water breaking which is indicated by constant leak of watery discharge (amniotic fluid)
- Pink or red-tinged yellowish discharge
- It will be followed by frequent contractions which are painful like menstrual cramps and come at regular intervals
In the labor room
You will already be in the hospital in the active labor stage. And with each contraction, the dilation (widening) of the cervix will increase. During the later part of the active labor, the contractions will slow down with the strong urge to push the baby.
- With each contraction, the head of the baby becomes more and visible from outside the vagina
- After the green signal of the doctor you will be making efforts to push the fetus.
- Once the head becomes completely visible, the baby will be delivered within an hour
- After the baby is delivered, the third stage of labor begins in which the placenta is expelled out
Symptoms at 41 weeks
If your labor doesn’t begin this week, the discomforts you have been facing so far will continue to haunt you. These include:
- Pelvic discomfort
- Trouble sleeping
- Frequent urination
- Changes in baby’s activity
Complications at 41st week of pregnancy
Tension would be mounting on your head as the due date has passed. But remember, the science behind due dates is not accurate. Less than 5 percent of babies are born on the due date. There are a lot of factors which affects the due date. But there could be complications at this stage of pregnancy including fetal distress, breech position and issues related to umbilical cord which can create problems.
So, to avoid any risks, the doctor would be monitoring you closely at this point of time so that the child is delivered safely.
|Overdue Pregnancy – How Common it is and What are the Complications ?|
What the baby is doing this week?
If the baby is still in the womb, then rest assured he or she is fully developed and making efforts to enter the new world. The baby is just plumping some more weight besides the nails and hair continue growing. But if he or she is making plans to exit this week, you may see following features on the body:
- Elongated head (temporary) if the delivery was vaginal
- Puffy eyes
- Vernix caseosa, the cheesy-like substance covering the baby’s body
- Wrinkles on the skin due to long 9 months stay
- A lot of hair which will be replaced by new hair with different colour and texture
- Delicate skin, so much so that the blood vessels can be seen
- Pigeon-toed feet because of limited mobility, this will come back to normal
Size, weight and appearance
Baby at 41 weeks measures about 20 inches in length and weighs around 3.6 kgs (8 pounds) or the size of a pumpkin.
Are you worried about breastfeeding? Don’t be shocked as breastfeeding anxiety in men is more common than one would think. It might sound weird a whole lot of them feel jealous, excluded or worried since can’t do as much as the mother can. Some even feel uncomfortable with the idea that their wife breastfeed in the public.
Wives should open up with their husbands on this matter. They should tell them the basics of breastfeeding if they are not aware of. Moreover, no matter what they think, invite them to come along with you to attend the breastfeeding classes. All this in the end will help the wives to get better support in terms of breastfeeding.
At doctor’s clinic
If you do not deliver this week, the doctor will be doing a lot of checkup to ensure all is well. You may want to know the weight of the baby since the official due date is crossed. The radiologist or sonographer would be measuring abdominal circumference to determine the weight of the baby.
Once the cross-section image gives the idea on baby’s weight, the doctor may suggest inducing labor. This will include:
Stripping of membranes
This is often a painful procedure during which the doctor will sweep her finger around the amniotic sac, separating the membranes from the uterine wall. This releases hormones which stimulates labor. This procedure does not always work, but if it works, then you will go into the labor anytime.
Artificial rupture of membranes (AROM)
Also known as amniotomy, this is breaking of water manually. The doctor can use this technique when you are experiencing contractions but labor has not begun yet. A thin plastic hook will be used to rupture the membranes to accelerate labor.
Labor can be induced through medicines also. There are basically two kinds of medication used for triggering labor. First method is the prostaglandin suppositories which can be inserted just like a menstruating woman insert a tampon. This can kick off cervical dilation. Another method is giving oxytocin hormone intravenously to start contractions.
Week 42 – Is Baby Checking Out Late?
Baby is still safe! If you are reading this section, you are actually one of the rarest to touch this milestone. Every pregnancy is different, so if you are bothered about your post-term pregnancy, rest assured that due dates are mere calculations and can be affected by variety of reasons. You might be going out of mind due to anxiety, so do not worry, as 98 percent of babies see the light of the day by the end of 42 weeks.
If the labor didn’t started last week, the doctor will definitely induce labor through above mentioned methods at the end of this week and you will be blessed with a baby.
What will happen this week?
While all the internal efforts the uterus and the baby are putting inside remain the same, things are getting a bit different at week 42:
- Baby’s skin is getting a little drier at this point as the cheesy-like substance (vernix caseosa) which covered the skin of your little one has perhaps withered away
- The uterus is getting inhospitable for the baby
- The baby will be continuously monitored to avoid any risk
What precautions you need to take?
Since the baby is officially late, in most of the cases, you will be at the hospital this week. You need to take below precautions:
- If the contractions are strong, lasting from 45-90 seconds, call the doctor as the baby is on his way.
- Conduct perineal massage to ease pain at the pelvic region
- Keep a tab on kick counts and inform the doctor about change in frequency
At the hospital
Don’t be worried as you will be monitored through eagle eye this week. The doctor will keep checking baby’s heart rate, amniotic fluid, movements and breathing. If you labor hasn’t started yet, the doctor will induce labor using above mentioned techniques and deliver the baby to avoid any risks.
But apart from all this, there is one thing that keep you calm all through these dilemma and i.e. whenever your little one choses to arrive, that will be the prettiest moment of your life. Stay blessed and enjoy the motherhood.