41 Weeks Pregnant
You are 41 weeks pregnant and have stepped into the tenth month of your pregnancy. These will be the last two pregnancy weeks before you deliver. Doctors do not allow any pregnancy to continue beyond two weeks after the due date as there is an increased risk for the baby and the mother. If the pains do not start in the coming week, it is likely that you will be induced and labor will make its appearance. However there is no reason to panic or be worried as only 5% babies are actually born on their due date. A surprising 10% of the babies are post term babies and choose to stay in a little longer. This week, your baby is as big as a jackfruit and measures 20 inches in length and weighs a little less than 4 kg.
How Your Baby is Growing This Week?
The baby is ready to be born anytime soon and studies show that the baby’s body produces stress hormones which can actually trigger labor. Also during the entire process of childbirth the little body produces more stress hormones than it will do in its entire life. These hormones in the baby’s body help it to cope with the sudden change that comes about out of the womb and disconnected from you when the umbilical cord is cut.
The first cry of the baby is the sign of birth. With the cry, the baby also takes in its first breath and the cells within the lungs get inflated and the respiratory system begins functioning.
The lanugo hair and vernix are still shedding off and is your due date is off, then the baby is likely to be more dry when he is born. Premature babies tend to have a lot of hair but it sheds off in the coming weeks.
The brain and the lungs are the only two organs that will continue to grow and mature after birth. The rest of the organs in your 41 weeks pregnant baby are in place and functioning in proper sync.
The head of the baby has entered the pelvis by now and is fixed which means the baby cannot change its position from here on. The baby has also dropped lower as the head engages and you may feel uncomfortable when walking due to this.
Changes in Your Body at 41 Weeks Pregnant
Your body is preparing for the big task ahead. From preparing for pregnancy to experiencing the early pregnancy symptoms, your body is now setting itself for your delivery and feeding the little one. It is normal to be anxious since you have crossed your due date but do not worry as you will not be in a pregnant state forever and it is a matter of two weeks more. If your body doesn’t show early signs of pregnancy coming to an end with labor naturally, you will be induced by the end of next week. The doctor will wait provided all other parameters are totally normal. If any problem is suspected you may be advised for an elective C section. The induction of labor is done only after the cervix changes have begun. You will be given hormones and medications to ripen the cervix. After that is done, the pains may begin spontaneously or you may be given and oxytocin drip to augment the pains.
At 41 weeks pregnant, the weight gain has come to a standstill but you are big and the posture of the body has changed making you prone to backache. Take a break and rest with your legs up as you have a baby coming home by next week and you are going to be super busy.
Week 41 Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms
The due date calculator shows you are a week overdue. The symptoms of pregnancy do not change much from here. The stretch marks may be all over your pregnant belly and the skin will be itchy. Use a mild moisturizer for the same.
- Feeling the baby lower down
- Round ligament pains
- Braxton Hicks contractions
- Pelvic pain
- Reduction in number of fetal movements
- Oedema of hands and feet
- Anxiety about labor
- Frequent urination due to increased pressure on the bladder
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Involuntary urination on coughing or sneezing
- Hot flushes
- Stretch marks on abdomen, breast and thighs
- Strange Dreams
- Cramps in legs
- Itching of skin over abdomen and breasts
- Varicose veins and hemorrhoids
- Stretch marks
- Leaking of colostrum
- Darkening of nipple and areola
- Increased pigmentation of skin
Diagnostic Tests and Ultrasound Results in Week 41 of Pregnancy
This week you may have an ultrasound to assess fetal well being. If all parameters of the baby are normal, only then you will be allowed to wait for another two weeks. The fetal heart rate, placental condition and cervix are checked. The combined results help the doctor to decide the next course of action.
The antenatal visit will mainly be to check per vaginally for cervical dilatation and effacement. The fundal height will be measured and the head of the baby will be check if it fixed or mobile.
Pregnancy Health Tips
- Do not panic or over think about crossing your due date. In most pregnant women, the post term pregnancies are just a miscalculation of the due date. You are almost there just a week or two more.
- Have your fridge organized and try to stack in some food and freeze some so it can come handy in the first few busy weeks.
- Keep your hospital bag ready.
- Ensure the car seat is installed as you will need it within a day or two of going to the hospital.
- Eat healthy food and even though your acidity may be better, stick to smaller frequent meals
- Continue your pregnancy exercises like kegel till the day you go into labor.
- Take a warm shower at night and try to relax by listening to some soothing music.
- In case you are planning for cord blood banking, have the contact number handy. The concerned company will need to be intimated once you are admitted to the hospital.