You’re 42 weeks pregnant!
How many months is 42 weeks pregnant?
Because we count by weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period, technically this means you’re in the tenth month of pregnancy.
However only a small number of women are pregnant at 42 weeks.
You’re considered ‘post term’ once past 42 weeks pregnancy.
Being officially full term at 42 weeks pregnant can feel different to each woman who reaches this milestone.
42 Weeks Pregnant – What To Expect This Week
Some women feel elated, calm and patient – happy to wait until baby is ready to start labour.
However, other women feel exhausted, anxious and frustrated by the whole thing.
You will be starting your new journey as a parent very soon!
42 Weeks Pregnant – Symptoms
It’s unlikely you’ve experienced many big changes in your body over the past couple of weeks.
If anything you’re just well and truly over being pregnant.
You’ll probably have more swelling, especially your feet and ankles.
As a result, keep resting as much as possible which can help take the pressure off your back and uterus.
After all, 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 – No Signs Of Labour
If you’ve reached 42 weeks of pregnancy with no signs of labour, it’s pretty common for your care provider to want to check how your baby is going.
You are likely to be very close to giving birth now.
In some cases, women have simply ovulated later and dating scans haven’t been accurate. This means you not be as far along in pregnancy as you thought.
Besides, some women do gestate longer than others. This is more common if they have female relatives who gave birth closer to 42 weeks as well.
If you have no signs of labour at 42 weeks pregnant, you can ask to have monitoring to check all is well with you and baby.
This means you’ll have the electronic fetal monitor attached to your belly to trace your baby’s heart rate.
You can also agree to a scan to check 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.
42 Weeks Pregnant – Induction Of Labour
Being 42 weeks pregnant can be tough.
You feel like you’ve been pregnant forever.
You’re tired, exhausted and more than ready for this to be over.
But you’re also super close to going into labour.
Something else which can be really tough during this week of pregnancy is the pressure for an induction or a c-section.
If you’re feeling pressure from your care provider about being ‘overdue’, it can be hard to resist the seduction of an induction, especially if you’re completely over being pregnant.
But remember, once you begin the process to induce labour, getting your baby out will be a priority – even if that means a c-section becomes necessary.
Read about the differences between a natural and induced labour here.
Making Decisions About Interventions
It can be challenging deciding the best option for you in the face of being told you are now higher risk.
There is a very small increased of stillbirth for women who ge to week 42 with no signs of labour.
Ask your care provider questions to help you make an informed decision about your care.
If you don’t know what to ask, you can use BRAIN’D as a way to get the information you need:
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 you’re really feeling the pressure from your care provider, ask for some privacy to make a decision and have them step out of the room or go for a walk yourself.
Making decisions under pressure can result in decisions we didn’t really want.
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
At 42 weeks your baby is post term.
It’s possible at 42 weeks for your baby to have passed her first bowel movement while still in the uterus.
This is meconium and usually causes no problems, unless your baby inhales it into her lungs.
Meconium aspiration is very rare and most likely happens when your baby is distressed.
If the amniotic sac ruptures and the fluid is a greenish or yellowish colour, this indicates your baby has passed meconium already.
It doesn’t mean your baby is necessarily in danger but be sure to let your care provider know as they will want to check 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 mama.
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, and when your baby arrives (or for a sneak peak on what to expect next), be sure to check out our baby week by week series!
Recommended reading: 4 reasons why you should hibernate after the birth.