At 42 weeks, you are officially crossed your last week of pregnancy. This period is called “post-term” pregnancy. About 98% of the babies are delivered towards the end of week 42. If you don’t deliver right after this week, your case will be taken up by your gynaecologist and artificial labour may be induced for delivery.
The baby is like a larger watermelon, weighing 8.1 pounds and measuring a little more than 20 inches. The baby is still growing, but will not exceed the appropriate size, in order to be pushed out of your vagina.
42 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms
Stress and anxiety are the two main factors that are robbing you of your precious night-time sleep. However, there are more reasons like changing hormones and frequent urination. To tackle this, take short naps throughout the day and practise asanas that soothe your nerves.
At 42 weeks pregnant, the baby is literally just a step away from being delivered. At this stage, the pressure on your pelvis is at its highest. You might find it difficult to move around like you did even a few weeks ago. Try resting and going on slow walks to keep the muscles well toned.
Read More: Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy
As the baby is putting excess pressure on your pelvis and intestines, you feel constipated most of the time. Trying hard to pass stool may result in haemorrhoids. The best way to handle this is by drinking lots of water and eating foods that are rich fibre. Water keeps the internal organs lubricated, thereby helping avoid extra friction and tear.
Again, the baby! The excess pressure that the baby is putting on your abdomen and the bladder makes you want to pee more. Stay in places that have hygienic washrooms that you can use at your disposal.
It is common to experience sudden cramps in your legs. There is no way to tackle this, except wait for the delivery. Apart from that, keep walking, exercising, and practising yoga.
Braxton Hicks contractions
As you almost about to deliver, your body will practise more and more with each passing day, the mechanisms of delivery. Keep a tab on these contractions as they might be a prelude to labour.
42 Weeks Pregnant Belly & Signs of Labour
Your belly is pretty much the same as it was last week. The only change is that you might feel more bloated and there is an increased frequency of cramps. The main aim at 42 weeks pregnant is to identify the signs of labour.
The inevitable signs of labour are:
- Severe back ache
- Mucus plug – If there’s a thick consistency in the mucus that is discharged, along with traces of blood in it, you’re going into labour. The cervix is dilating for delivery.
- Water breaking – If you see that there is a consistent flow of liquid from your vagina, it means that your sac has burst and you’re about to go into labour.
- Increased and continuous contractions
Read More: 11 Signs That You are in Labor
42 Weeks Pregnancy Ultrasound
Right before delivery, if you haven’t already delivered, you’ll have a last check-up with the gynaecologist. Your doctor will want to monitor you more closely as at this final stage, you are at a greater risk of last minute disclaimers. On the 3D screen, you can see that the baby has shed the ‘vernix caseosa’. There will be another non-stress test and a contraction test to ensure that the baby is breathing well and moving around comfortably. Depending on your situation, the doctor might recommend inducing labour medically.
The labour inducing methods are:
Stripping your membranes – A couple of fingers is inserted into your body and is gently moved around your cervix to dilate it.
Breaking the water – A medically acclaimed plastic hook is used to break the amniotic sac.
Ripening the cervix – A medicine called ‘prostaglandin’ is inserted into your vagina to make your cervix dilate overnight.
Initiating contractions – A hormone, oxytocin, will be intravenously administered to you for getting the abdominal muscles to contract accordingly.
Dos and Don’ts During Week 42 of Pregnancy
Go on a long walk: Going on a soothing long walk will help relax your muscles and bring in the pending labour contractions. However, try to take somebody with you, should you go into sudden labour during the walk, and make sure that you walk in places that are environmentally safe.
Exercise: Doing pelvic exercises and stretching regularly will help tone your abdominal muscles and get them ready for the upcoming delivery.
Try to induce labour: At 42 weeks pregnant, you might be wondering why you’ve not gone into labour yet. There’s no need to worry. Just be patient and try to induce labour on your own by eating spicy foods, walking a lot, and trying out acupuncture. If you face any unusual symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
Stress too much: Stress is not good for you while 42 weeks pregnant. The tension might affect the body’s functioning. Try to listen to lively music and engage in chatter with your partner or close family members to keep you distracted from haunting thoughts about the near future.
Stay alone: Staying alone even for an hour is not safe at 42 weeks pregnant. You might go into labour anytime now, and will be required to rush to the hospital. Make sure that you have somebody who is reliable, near you, to help you with your everyday activities and to keep an eye on you.
Cut down on water: Although you have to rush to the washroom more frequently than ever, don’t cut down on your water intake. Water helps lubricate your intestines’ internal walls and save you from experiencing painful haemorrhoids.
So, finally you’re at it! Parenting and responsibilities are about to take over. Keep calm and wait for the baby to arrive, and in the meantime, educate yourself on childbirth and childcare. Congratulations to the new parents!