You’re 42 weeks pregnant!
Being 42 weeks pregnant can feel different to each woman who reaches this milestone.
Some are elated, calm and patient – happy to wait until baby is ready. Others are exhausted, anxious and frustrated by the whole thing.
Around 98% of babies will be born this week, either on their own or by induction. You will be starting your new journey as a parent very soon!
It’s not likely that you’ve experienced many big changes in your body over the past couple of weeks. You will probably have more swelling, especially your feet and ankles.
It’s important to keep resting as much as possible and take the pressure off your back and uterus. There is about 4kg or more of baby, placenta and amniotic fluid slowing you down. Sitting with your feet up might feel like your only option.
42 Weeks Pregnant – Your Body
Being 42 weeks pregnant can be tough. You feel like you’ve been pregnant forever and it seems that everyone else who was pregnant at the same time as you has given birth already.
You’re tired, exhausted and more than ready for this to be over. But you’re also super close to going into labour. It could happen at any minute — even while you’re reading this article. Seriously!
Something else that can be really tough during this week of pregnancy is the medical pressure for an induction or a c-section.
Remembering that up to 42 completed weeks of pregnancy is full-term, you still have some time up your sleeve. If you’re feeling pressure from your care provider about hurrying things along, it can be hard to resist the seduction of an induction. Especially if you’re completely over being pregnant. But remember, once you begin inducing labour, you are committed to getting your baby out – even if that means a c-section becomes necessary.
If your baby is not showing any signs of stress, you can negotiate with your care provider to come in for daily monitoring. This means you’ll have the electronic fetal monitor attached to your belly to trace your baby’s heartrate. After all, they do want to make sure baby is happy and healthy, just like you.
You can also agree to a scan to check that the placenta is still functioning well. Having your partner or a trusted friend (who is on your team, supporting your choices) to come with you to appointments can be a huge help, especially if the pressure is on.
If you’re getting stressed with what your doctor is suggesting and you can’t decide what to do, ask them to leave the room (or if you can leave the room) to make a decision or phone call. Making decisions under pressure can result in decisions we didn’t really want. Remember to use BRAIN’D when you’re faced with a decision-making situation such as an induction or c-section:
B – what are the benefits?
R – what are the risks?
A – what are the alternatives?
I – what do I want to do?
N – what happens if I do nothing?
D – we’d like some privacy to make a decision
If it’s too much for you, let your partner or birth support person know what your preference for care is and let them be your advocate. This can be a vulnerable time, so allow yourself to be supported when you need to.
42 Weeks Pregnant – Your Baby
By 42 weeks pregnant, your baby will probably be a little wrinkly and her skin might be drying out and peeling. Her fingernails are also likely be quite long and can cause scratches on her face so make sure you have mittens on hand, and take care of her nails properly so that you don’t cut the quick.
If your waters break during this week, it’s important to watch for signs of meconium in your amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid with meconium will have a greenish or yellowish colour, while normal amniotic fluid will appear completely clear.
It’s possible at 42 weeks pregnant that your baby may also have passed her first bowel movement into the amniotic fluid. It can cause breathing problems if inhaled. In most cases, these are not severe, but in some cases meconium aspiration can lead to serious complications. At any rate, if your baby inhales meconium, she will spend a few days in intensive care with breathing support.
If your amniotic fluid contains meconium, be certain to let your midwife or doctor know. The baby will be monitored more closely for fetal distress.
At 42 weeks pregnant, your baby’s weight is likely somewhere between 3–4 kilograms, and she is anywhere from 47-53 cm long.
Well, that’s it mamma. Now that you’re 42 weeks pregnant, you’ve come to the end of our pregnancy week by week feature. BellyBelly wishes you an amazing, gentle and empowered birth experience that you’ll cherish forever.
We hope our resources have helped you to feel prepared and more confident about birth and your options. Enjoy your babymoon!
Don’t forget to read our article on 4 reasons why you should hibernate after the birth.