42 Weeks Pregnant – What to Expect
If you are 42 weeks pregnant, then you are officially in the last and final week of your pregnancy. You simply cannot wait to see your baby. Happy, nervous, and anxious – this is the state of mind in the last week of pregnancy. Isn’t it? Soon your little one will come into this world and you will actually be able to touch her tiny hands and feet. But how does a baby look in the womb when you are 42 weeks pregnant. Find out!
Your Baby’s Growth During Pregnancy – Week 42
Your baby is roughly a size of pumpkin or a watermelon by this time. Even if she has not made it into this world till now, she is safe inside your tummy and is constantly developing! Every baby is different, and so is every mommy-to-be. So, don’t let external factors worry you about your baby’s delivery as many times the dates are miscalculated from the missed period or delayed ovulation, which might make you feel that your delivery date has delayed.
What Is the Baby’s Size?
At 42 weeks your baby weighs approximately 2.5 to 3 kg and is around 20 inches long. And she’s still growing. Since she has no made her appearance yet, your doctor will induce you this week. So even if she is shy to come out, you will be holding her in your hands in just a few days.
Belly at 42 Weeks of Pregnancy
Your belly would have been stretched to its maximum by the time you reach 42 weeks in your pregnancy. As the baby is fully developed by now, your uterus expands to its maximum, and you will have a full round protruding belly.
Common Body Changes
Being 42 weeks pregnant can be really tiring and tough! By the time you reach the peak of your pregnancy, it is obvious to feel anxious.
You will also feel tired, and doing simple tasks will seem like a challenge. By now you will be used to oedema, bloating, and fake contractions. But you must feel positive as you are very near to your labour and your baby can come out any minute now.
Symptoms of Pregnancy at Week 42
42 weeks pregnant means that you are 9 months and 2 weeks pregnant. Yes, it seems like a lot, but that is true. By this time you will be completely familiar with all the symptoms of your pregnancy. All the symptoms that you experienced earlier will continue to be there even in 42 weeks of pregnancy. Insomnia, leg cramps, back pain, pelvic pain, frequent urination…all these symptoms will still prevail. However, around this time the contractions will be more intense. The regular symptoms of oedema will also be there. Also, now you will feel more tired and weak. Performing the daily menial tasks will also be a little tiring but do not worry as soon this phase will come to an end as your baby makes her entry into this world. But you should look out for symptoms of labour and always be ready to rush to the hospital as now it can happen any time.
42 Weeks Ultrasound
Ultrasound of your baby at this time can be really exciting as you can see her completely developed. By now your baby is fully grown, and all her organs start functioning. At 42 weeks of pregnancy, the lungs of the baby are mature, and she is ready to survive on her own. You will find that the baby’s skin will be a little dry as the vernix caseosa (a thin film that covers the baby’s skin) has already been shed. Due to the risks involved in 42 weeks of pregnancy, the doctor will monitor the baby more closely.
What Are the Signs of Labour?
The common body changes which you might experience during this time before your delivery will be:
By this time you would be able to clearly make out if it is a fake contraction or an actual one. So if you experience painful contractions that means your labour has started. And if it is your second delivery, then the good news is that it will be easier and earlier than the first one.
2. Water break
If your water breaks and the amniotic fluid starts leaking all at once, immediately call your doctor. It is a sign that your labour will begin in a few hours.
3. Mucus plug
If you experience a thick mucus discharge with a tinge of blood, then it is a sign that your labour will start soon! It indicates that your cervix is getting ready for labour.
Inducing Labour at 42 weeks
Your doctor will recommend inducing labour if you make it up to 42 weeks in your pregnancy. The doctor can induce labour in the following ways:
1. Water breaking
Your doctor breaks the amniotic sac with an instrument resembling a plastic hook. This can lead to contractions in just a few hours.
2. Cervix ripening
This is done by inserting a medication called prostaglandin in the vagina overnight. It helps dilate the cervix.
3. Stimulating contractions
A synthetic version of the oxytocin hormone will be injected using an IV. This will start the contractions in a few hours.
4. Stripping the membranes
This technique is used by the doctor to induce labour within 48 hours. The doctor inserts a finger to swipe around the amniotic sac, which releases the hormone oxytocin, that causes labour within 48 hours.
What to Eat
Ensure that you consume a healthy diet and nutrient-dense foods in order to avoid bloating and constipation. Eating pineapple is recommended as it contains bromelain, which helps soften the connective tissues of the muscles. Salmons and sardines (not to be taken more than twice a week) are great sources of DHA, consuming it will enhance the DHA levels in your breast milk. Also, refrain from consuming unhealthy junk food and instead go for fresh fruits like apples, kiwis, etc.
Tips & Care
Important checklist for week 42 of pregnancy:
- Relax and be happy.
- Have an open discussion with your doctor.
- Take long walks.
- Do yoga.
- Avoid consuming spicy and junk foods as they may cause bloating effect and constipation.
- Don’t indulge in natural methods of induction which can risk the well-being of you and your baby.
- Don’t overstress over the delivery of the baby and never make decisions related to induction and c-section under pressure.
1. Can there be any way that can help my water to break at home?
It can be really worrisome when you are 42 weeks pregnant with no signs of labour till now. But before you practice any type of natural induction method consult with your doctor first. The natural way to break your water includes having sex, taking long walks, doing different exercises like deep squats and lunges.
2. Will rubbing my nipples cause labour?
Massaging the nipples is also considered a great way to induce labour naturally. You can massage the nipples and areola with your thumb and forefinger, as it releases oxytocin which causes contractions in the uterus.
But there are contradicting views stating that such methods might cause complications and can be dangerous to the baby and mother. So, please consult a medical professional and follow his advice in order to avoid any unpleasant experiences.
Research shows that almost 80% of the babies arrive late from their actual due dates. The main reason for this is the miscalculated due dates, so you need not fret over the fact that your baby hasn’t arrived yet. Instead, start preparing for the arrival of your little one!
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