You’re 41 weeks pregnant!
You might not have imagined getting to this point.
And you probably hoped you wouldn’t!
Being 41 weeks pregnant is not comfortable, so you are probably looking forward to having your body back.
41 Weeks Pregnant – What To Except This Week
By now you should be completely ready, with hospital bag packed and everything you need for when baby is born.
Although, you might be getting sick of the constant ‘have you had that baby?’ messages from well meaning family and friends.
Of course, you can always 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.
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, reflux, aches and pains, and heartburn.
You’re probably not gaining much weight at this point, yet you’re feeling bigger than ever.
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.
In addition massage or body therapy can also relieve aches and keep your body in alignment,
It’s always a good idea to check with your healthcare professional before you start any new therapy to make sure it’s safe for you.
41 Weeks Pregnant And Can’t Sleep?
It’s not uncommon for women who are full term to have trouble sleeping.
This can be due to feeling uncomfortable when lying down.
Not to mention the more frequent trips to the bathroom at night as your bladder is squished by your baby.
Add to that the pressure on your hips and joints, not easily relieved by shifting positions.
Another common reason for third trimester insomnia is pre birth anxiety.
Thinking about giving birth, worrying about coping and possible what if isn’t unusual, especially for first time mamas.
But it’s not great if it’s interfering with your ability to sleep.
Talk out your fears and concerns with someone you trust to be positive and supportive.
Try writing down your thoughts or do some mindfulness exercises to help release the anxiety.
41 Weeks Pregnant – No Sign Of Labour?
Just because you’re a week past your due date doesn’t mean labour should’ve started by now.
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’ve been out if you weren’t sure of your ovulation date, or your cycle is not the average 28 days.
It’s really hard to think about relaxing, but it’s best to avoid getting stressed out.
However, stress hormones don’t help labour along – in fact, they usually stall it.
You might not be aware of the amazing way your body is already preparing for labour.
Your cervix is softening and thinning, which you might not feel. But if you’ve noticed an increase in vaginal mucus, that’s a sign things are definitely heading towards labour.
41 Weeks Pregnant – Induction Of Labour
It’s not uncommon for women to be induced if they reach 41 weeks pregnancy with no signs of labour.
Inducing labour has it’s own set of risks for an otherwise healthy baby and mother.
By now, your doctor or midwife may have ordered a biophysical profile and non-stress test.
Even though these tests are optional, they can 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.
If there are no concerns about your baby’s health, you may opt to decline these tests.
However, they can be useful if you wish to push back a scheduled induction.
It’s usual to request to have monitoring every other day until you reach 42 weeks.
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.