42 weeks pregnant: what can I expect?
You are now two weeks past your expected due date and your baby will be termed as an overdue baby, and it’s perfectly normal for your baby to arrive past the due date. You will most likely have your baby this week as it is a rarity for women to have a gestation period longer than 42 weeks. During your antenatal checkups, your doctor will discuss some artificial techniques with you to induce labor. Soon, you will have your little baby snuggling in your arms.
Week 42 – your body
- Your ankles and feet might be so swollen this week that you might find it difficult to stand or walk. Don’t be discouraged, as your baby is not far away now.
- You might also notice an increase in vaginal discharge or cervical mucus. It’s normal for your discharge to be tinged with blood at this stage because your cervix is so engorged with blood.
- At 42 weeks of pregnancy, you may suffer from loose bowels as there is pressure on your rectum from the baby. If you have been suffering from constipation you will be glad you are able to go to the bathroom.
- The pain and stress in your pelvic region will continue once your baby has dropped into position. All you can do is sit and wait for the baby to be delivered. Once you have reached 42 weeks of gestation, it’s rare for women to have pregnancy longer than this stage.
Week 42 – your emotions
- At 42 weeks of your pregnancy, you are almost there, you will be relieved that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You will have your baby this week, and focus on the fact that your baby will soon be in your arms. If you haven’t gone into labor by now your doctor will be thinking of inducing labor.
- You are now two weeks past your expected due date and you may be sick and tired of people asking you, ‘when will you deliver’. Don’t be bothered by people’s comments and concentrate on being calm. If you are calm you will be able to get through labor easily.
- You may be worried that your waters are going to break when you are out shopping and you might leave a puddle of water. Your waters are not going to break until you are in labor and only in less than 15 percent of cases the waters break before labor. Keep some towels handy in your car if your membranes rupture when you are outdoors.
- If your waters have broken and you are still not in labor after 24 hours, your doctor will induce labor. This is mainly done to reduce the chance of infections.
How’s my baby doing?
- Since you are two weeks past your due date most of the vernix protecting your baby’s skin will have disappeared. Most overdue babies will have a dry and a peeling look to their skin due to this fact. After your baby is born to use a baby moisturizing lotion or olive oil to keep your baby’s skin hydrated.
- Your baby’s fingernails will have grown really long by 42 weeks. Keep a nail cutter handy and trim your baby’s fingernails so that it doesn’t scratch itself on its face.
- Your baby will be hungry when it arrives because the placenta won’t be feeding it much now as it had done in the past few weeks. Offering breast milk frequently and regularly will help your baby develop an intimate bond with you and increase its immunity.
Week 42 – useful tips
- If you are keen to induce labor try having sex or hot curry, these are considered natural methods to induce labor. Another option is to go for a long walk as it helps in the opening and thinning of your cervix.
- Your doctor will have discussed some artificial techniques to induce your labor such as ARM (Artificial Rupture of the Membranes), Prostaglandin Gel and Syntocinon Infusion.
- You deserve a pat on the back, for doing so well throughout your pregnancy.