Congratulations, you’ve made it to 42 weeks of pregnancy! At this point, you may be feeling a mix of emotions - excitement to meet your baby, anxiety about labor and delivery, and frustration with waiting past your due date. Here’s what you can expect during the 42nd week of pregnancy and possible symptoms you may experience:
By now, your baby is fully developed and ready to be born. He or she weighs around 7.5 pounds and is approximately 20 inches long. Your baby’s head may have engaged in your pelvis in preparation for birth, but if not, your healthcare provider may recommend induction.
Your Body Changes and Symptoms
At 42 weeks pregnant, you may experience the following symptoms:
Fatigue: You may feel extremely tired and have trouble sleeping, as your body is working hard to prepare for labor.
Braxton Hicks contractions: You may experience more frequent and intense Braxton Hicks contractions, which are practice contractions that help your body prepare for labor.
Reduced fetal movements: As your baby is running out of space in the uterus, you may feel reduced fetal movements, but it’s important to continue monitoring them.
Back pain and pelvic pressure: As your baby drops lower into your pelvis, you may experience back pain and pelvic pressure.
Loose stools and diarrhea: Your body may naturally start to clear out the bowels in preparation for birth, which can lead to loose stools and diarrhea.
What to Do
At 42 weeks pregnant, your healthcare provider will likely recommend induction to prevent any potential complications. Induction methods can include stripping the membranes, rupturing the amniotic sac, or administering medication to stimulate contractions.
It’s important to keep monitoring your baby’s movements and contact your healthcare provider if you notice a decrease. Stay hydrated, eat nutritious foods, and try to get as much rest as possible.
Reaching 42 weeks of pregnancy can feel like a marathon, but remember that the end is in sight. Keep in close contact with your healthcare provider, trust your instincts, and know that soon you’ll be holding your baby in your arms. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and congratulations on reaching this milestone!