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A Complete Information Guide on Pregnancy Week 42
By Pregnancy week 42, your doctor may recommend you for medical induction. Finally, the time has arrived to meet your little bundle of joy.
You are nine months and two weeks pregnant. Your pregnancy is post-term. Once you pass your due date, you will be regularly monitored with scans and heartbeat checks. If in this week you don’t go into labor pains naturally, then the labor will be induced medically by your doctor. Don’t overthink about your due date that it has been passed. Just be calm! You and your baby are safe.
|Note: May be your baby is not actually over-due. There are chances you might have miscalculated your actual due date as it’s worked out as 280 days after the first day of your last period. However, if your menstrual cycle is normally longer than 28 days, the true date can be different. You might have miscalculated your actual due date due to irregular ovulation or confusion around the exact date of your last period.|
Fetal Development in Pregnancy Week 42:
In Pregnancy week 42:
- Size of baby – 20.4 inches (51.8 cm) – from crown to heel.
- Weight of baby – around 8.1 pounds (3.67 kg)
- Baby is as big as Watermelon.
As your baby has remained in your womb for more than 9 months, she will be slightly larger if being compared with other new born. You may have chances of having an assisted delivery with forceps or ventouse. As the vernix had already shed off from your baby’s body so his/her skin may look a little wrinkled or dry when she will be born. The skin will become normal after few days from the birth. Keep a deep analysis of fetal counts and kicks and do notify to your doctor if there is a sudden drop in numbers.
Image courtesy: www.pregnancy.uk
Moods & Symptoms in Pregnancy Week 42:
You may experience the following changes and symptoms during this week:
- Diarrhea & Constipation – Having these symptoms means an impending labor and thus, anytime you can deliver your bundle of joy.
- Anxiety and Restlessness – You may be very anxious about your delivery and baby. By this time, you may have lost patience and just eagerly waiting for the D-day. No matter what it takes! Don’t stress yourself. Spend quality time with your husband and near ones.
- Discomfort while sleeping/Insomnia – Hormonal changes and your large belly creates the discomfort in your body which results in sleepless nights. Your anxiety is also not letting you sleep.
- Fatigue – As you are not able to sleep properly, so you may feel exhausted like never before. Take rest as much as you can and take small nap in afternoon.
- Pelvic pain and discomfort – Your baby is moving lower and lower, putting pressure on your bladder and cervix which is giving you sharp pain and discomfort down below. You may experience leg cramps as well. Try to lie back with your hips elevated. You can take warm bath for some comfort and relief.
- Contractions – You may experience intense abdominal tightening more frequently as your body is preparing for delivery.
- Frequent Urination – The urination intervals may increase. But it doesn’t mean you should stop having water. Drink plenty of water.
- Edema – You may have swelling on your feet and ankles. Do not stand for prolonged hours at a stretch. Sit by keeping your feet elevated.
- Mucus Plug – You may release the mucus plug which has been protecting your cervix all along. It is a stingy mucus with blood either in red, brown or pink in color. As your cervix dilates (opens), the mucus plug is released to make way for baby. Losing mucus plug can happen at a different time for every woman and is a sign that labor is very near. But still how much near you are to labor can’t be defined as losing of mucus plug can happen weeks, days or hours before labor begins.
Signs of labor in Pregnancy Week 42:
Rush to the hospital immediately if you have:
- Breaking of water – Oftentimes after the contraction, water break occurs and you may feel a leakage from your vagina. This water is an amniotic sac. The moment you feel this situation, contact your doctor immediately as you will go into labor within hours.
- Strong and Regular Contractions – If the contractions are stronger, frequent and longer in duration, and the time between them keeps getting shorter, then you are in real labor. You will feel pain also. Start noting down the timings of contractions. As your uterus contracts, it’s dilating your cervix so baby can pass into the birth canal at delivery. So, therefore, if you feel this type of contraction, immediately contact your doctor. Your doctor will check if your cervix is dilated and its effacement (thinning). Established labor is when your cervix is dilated by more than three centimetres. The cervix becomes very thin before the delivery. If it is dilated and thin then you are very close to meet your baby. He will also examine the position of your cervix and baby in relation to your pelvis. If the position of your baby is very low then delivery may happen anytime now.
|[icon type=”icon-lamp”] Your cervix should be dilated to 10 centimetres, so baby can pass into the birth canal at delivery.|
- Constant Back pain – If you are experiencing severe back pain along with strong and regular contractions, then you are going through real labor. Rush to the hospital immediately.
Inducing labor in Pregnancy week 42:
You can try natural ways too for inducing labor.
Here are some Natural ways for inducing labor in Pregnancy week 42:
- Sex – Have sexual intercourse with your husband as orgasm can trigger contractions which will dilate your cervix. But don’t do sex if your water has ruptured as it can put you in the risk of infection.
- Climbing stairs – In climbing the stairs you will take longer steps and your legs will be lifted higher, thus putting pressure on your cervix leading to its dilation.
- Walking – Even long walks can induce the labor. So walk, walk, walk, walk and walk…!! If this walking exercise doesn’t work in inducing labor but this will surely assist you in busting off the stress level and keeping the body strong for the upcoming labor.
- Spicy Foods – It is said that having spicy foods can trigger contractions. Although it’s not recommended in your pregnancy diet. Even Chinese food can help ripen the cervix.
- Eating Pineapple, Basil – Having pineapple can put you into labor as it contains an enzyme called bromelain, which can soften your cervix. Add basil in your food for inducing labor naturally as it stimulates blood flow to the uterus.
- Acupuncture – This is an ancient remedy for inducing labor in which thin needles are inserted into the specific points of the body that triggers the contractions. This method has high labor induction so follow this when your due date is close or has passed.
- Acupressure – Quite similar to acupuncture, this method uses fingers instead of needles into the specific points of your body which can ripen the cervix.
- Warm Bath – Take a warm bath which will help in not only inducing the labor but will also give calm and relax feeling. Make sure the water is not so warm.
- Massage – Get a relaxing massage from massage therapist qualified to work with pregnant women. They may know various points to massage to induce labor. Kindly note that massage is not recommended in early stages of pregnancy.
Note: Before using any of the above mentioned methods/ways, kindly consult your doctor. Some of the methods mentioned above have high labor induction, so it shouldn’t be done at home or without proper supervision.
By this week, complications such as low amniotic fluid, pinched umbilical cord and less efficient placenta issues may arise. So, at this stage your doctor may recommend a medical induction.
If your doctor suggested you medical induction, then read the following ways that he may adopt for inducing labor.
Here are ways for inducing labor medically in Pregnancy week 42:
- Membrane Stripping – In this, your doctor will insert gloved finger through your cervix and separates the amniotic sac from your uterus which is known as stripping the membranes. This may trigger labor within hours or days in some women. But in some cases, it is ineffective.
- Artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) – In this method, your doctor will use a thin plastic hook to break the amniotic sac that holds your baby. This may trigger labor within hours.
- Providing medicines – Your doctor will give you medicine which can ripen the cervix and can start labor. These kind of medicines comes as a pill which you can take by mouth, or in a gel or suppository that your doctor places in the vagina up against the cervix. A suppository melts once it’s in place and this will dilate your cervix. Other medicine that may give you strong contractions is Pitocin which is a man-made form of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that your body makes to help start contractions. This medicine is inserted through an IV (a needle into a vein).
Do’s and Don’ts in Pregnancy Week 42:
- Take proper rest and continue having a healthy and nutritious diet.
- Stay calm and stress-free.
- Do not think much about your delivery.
- Spend time with your family and loved ones.
|Join our Facebook closed group called “Parenting Mom Style” only for Moms and To-be Moms to share experiences and queries.|
Don’t get frustrated. The time has come to welcome your baby. Put a lovely smile on your face.
For your reference- Pregnancy Week 42:
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- Is a Night Nurse Right for Your Baby? What You Need to Know Before Hiring One - May 1, 2021