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42 Weeks Pregnant – Baby Development, and Tips!

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42 Weeks of Pregnancy

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42 Weeks Pregnant – It is finally time to meet your baby! In most cases, the baby comes out by now but if yours has not yet, nothing to worry about! You will be now induced by your doctor or the midwife to bring the baby out. Now that it is time for the baby to see the world, they obviously have grown a full human size, weighing 8.1 pounds and measuring an easy
20.3 inches long – baby size!

Here’s what is happening in 42 weeks Pregnant

1. The baby is referred to as Post-term

Since a baby is ideally supposed to pop out by the 41st week and yours is still a week late, the baby will be called a post-term baby. While post-term babies are common, there could be an increased chance of a birth complication because the placenta has now over-aged and it may not be able to carry nutrition and oxygen to your baby. Hence, induction.

2. A hyper-alert baby

The baby will soon be coming to the world and as nature’s play is, they will also, in fact, come out super-alert at birth in the 42nd week.

3. Baby becomes fatter

In the 42 weeks pregnancy, since your baby is post-term, they’d still be gaining weight and hence, will appear to be a little bigger than a full-term baby.

42 week of pregnancy- What is happening to the mother’s body?

1. Contractions (we know that is obvious!)

In the 42 weeks pregnant, since the pregnancy is now post-term, mother’s might find themselves confused if the contractions they feel are real or Braxton Hicks contractions or if the body will directly hit the labor. Having said that it is important for mothers to ensure that they time whatever contraction they feel – even if they have a reason to believe it’s Braxton Hicks.

2. Increased fatigue

It is common for mothers to start feeling a little more exhausted than ever in the 42 weeks  pregnant as you literally have been carrying around weight for a little too long already. Don’t worry, hold it in there, it really is just a little bit more longer now!

3. Increased stress

You might have expected your baby to pop out at full term but since they have entered the past term, you might find yourself a little stressed and anxious about the situation. However, try and keep your mind away from unwelcome stressful thoughts because this is the time where you should rather be preparing yourself to welcome the little one. Keep your doctor in the loop with every change you experience in your body, keep up the kick count, and, literally, just chill out! So what the baby took a little longer, they must be a little too special too!

Things to avoid at 42 weeks pregnant!

Reaching 42 weeks of pregnancy means you are post-term, and it’s important to be vigilant about certain considerations. Here are things to avoid and be mindful of at this stage:

  1. Self-Inducing Labor:

   – Avoid attempting to self-induce labor without consulting your healthcare provider. Methods such as herbal remedies, intense physical activity, or other folk practices could have risks.

  1. Ignoring Medical Advice:

   – If your healthcare provider recommends interventions or induction, it’s important to carefully consider their advice and discuss any concerns you may have.

  1. Dehydration:

   – Stay well-hydrated. Dehydration can lead to contractions and other complications, so ensure you are drinking enough water.

  1. Stress:

   – While it’s normal to feel anxious or stressed at this stage, try to manage stress through relaxation techniques and open communication with your healthcare provider.

  1. Excessive Physical Exertion:

   – Avoid strenuous physical activities. While staying active is important during pregnancy, excessive physical exertion may not be recommended in the late stages.

  1. Ignoring Reduced Fetal Movements:

   – Continue monitoring fetal movements. If you notice a significant decrease in fetal activity, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

  1. Ignoring Signs of Complications:

   – Be vigilant for signs of complications, such as changes in vision, severe headaches, or sudden swelling, and seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.

  1. Ignoring Potential Risks:

   – If your healthcare provider has identified any specific risks or concerns related to your pregnancy, make sure to follow their guidance and attend scheduled appointments.

  1. Skipping Prenatal Check-ups:

   – Regular prenatal check-ups are crucial during the post-term period. Skipping appointments can result in missed opportunities to monitor the well-being of both you and your baby.

  1. Delaying Medical Attention:

    – If you experience any signs of labor or if your water breaks, do not delay seeking medical attention. A post-term pregnancy may require closer monitoring.

  1. Non-Medical Induction Methods:

    – Avoid non-medical induction methods without consulting your healthcare provider. Induction methods should be supervised by medical professionals.

  1. Unsupervised Home Birth:

    – If you are considering a home birth, ensure it is supervised by qualified healthcare professionals experienced in managing post-term pregnancies.

Always prioritize communication with your healthcare provider and follow their advice. Late-term pregnancies come with additional considerations, and close monitoring ensures the well-being of both you and your baby. If you have any concerns or questions, discuss them openly with your healthcare team.

Final Thoughts

At 42 weeks pregnant, the most obvious question popping into your head right now would be How will the baby be induced?

Inducing, as per Mayo Clinic, is the process of “stimulation of uterine contractions during pregnancy before labor begins on its own to achieve a vaginal birth. A health care provider might recommend labor induction for various reasons, primarily when there’s a concern for a mother’s health or a baby’s health.” Since your post-term baby has already stayed inside a little too long, induction is advised to avoid birth complications.

Medical induction is and should only be done professionally and never be tried on your own. It is recommended that you read up about induction and ask as many questions as you can to make an informed and certain decision for yourself and your baby.

FAQs: 42 Weeks Pregnant - What To Expect ? Symptoms, Baby Development, and Tips!

1. What is a post-term pregnancy?

As per the NCBI, “Post-term pregnancy is defined as a pregnancy that has extended to or beyond 42 weeks of gestation (294 days), or estimated date of delivery (EDD) + 14 days (ACOG, 2004).” Mothers are usually induced in cases of post-term babies in order to avoid childbirth complications.

2. What are the tax benefits after childbirth?

Child Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit are some of the tax benefits you might qualify for. It should be noted that in order to add your child to a tax form, you will need the child’s social security card. The baby’s said social security card, in most cases, can be applied for at the hospital while filling out the birth certificate paperwork.

3. What is the longest pregnancy ever recorded?

A woman called Mrs. Hunter gave birth to a baby after 375 days of pregnancy (against the normal 280) at Los Angeles' Methodist Hospital!

4. Are 42 weeks of pregnancy normal?

Pregnancies can last any time between 37th-42nd week. While, ideally, a baby is supposed to come out before the 42nd week, it is not absolutely uncommon for the pregnancy to last more than 42 weeks (called a post-term pregnancy). Post-term pregnancies might come with some birth complications and hence, inducing is usually recommended to avoid the said risks.

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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