You're 41 weeks pregnant! You might not have imagined getting to this point, and you probably hoped you wouldn't!
Remember, only 5% of babies arrive on their due date, and half of all babies arrive past their due date. So you aren’t outside of the norm by still being pregnant – nor are you ‘overdue'!
Your estimated due date could have been out if you weren’t sure of your ovulation date, or your cycle is not the average 28 days.
But none of this really helps when you're feeling so impatient to meet your baby!
Being 41 weeks pregnant is not comfortable either, so you are probably looking forward to having your body back. It’s really hard to think about relaxing, but it’s best to avoid getting stressed out.
Stress hormones don’t help labour along – in fact, they usually stall it. Meditation, pregnancy massage or even acupuncture might help you feel calm and could even get labour going.
You might be getting sick of the constant ‘have you had that baby?’ messages from well meaning family and friends.
If possible, turn off your phone or ask your partner to field the calls. Feeling like the ‘watched pot’ doesn’t help your own frustration and emotions while waiting for labour to start, and you may feel more pressured to accept any offers of induction, which has it's own set of risks for an otherwise healthy baby and mother.
Make sure you have a peek at our very popular article, 8 Tips For A Low Stress Early Labour At Home.
41 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body
There’s likely nothing new going on with your body at 41 weeks pregnant; just more of the same: haemorrhoids, trouble sleeping, aches and pains, and heartburn.
You're probably not gaining much weight at this point, yet you’re feeling bigger than ever. All the items on your to-do list are probably checked off.
Take every moment you can to relax and enjoy your last days of pregnancy. You may be limited by what you can do comfortably, but you can certainly see a movie or visit with friends. Swimming in a warm pool can help take some of the stress off your body and ease aches and pains. Floating in a sensory deprivation tank (which has around 500kgs of epsom salts) might be just what you need to relax and soothe your tired body.
By now, your care provider may have ordered a biophysical profile and non-stress test to assess how well your baby is doing in the womb. These tests are often suggested for women whose estimated due dates have passed.
The biophysical profile is simple and involves an ultrasound to check baby’s measurements, breathing movements and the level of amniotic fluid. The non-stress test checks how your baby's heart rate responds to movement.
These tests are done to determine your baby's wellbeing but they are optional. If there are no concerns about your baby's health, you may opt to decline these tests.
41 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby
Your baby is likely to be losing the remainder of the lanugo and vernix from his skin this week. This mixes with the amniotic fluid your baby swallows and turns into meconium, which is the build-up of waste in his bowels.
In the first few days after birth, your baby will pass this meconium which is thick, sticky and black-green in colour. Make sure you have plenty of wipes handy!
Your baby’s weight is likely somewhere between 3 and 4 kilograms now (6.6 to 8.8 pounds), and he is anywhere from 47-53 cm long. He continues to gain weight and his lungs continue to develop.