41 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect?
Don’t worry, your baby is not considered overdue until 42 weeks pregnant. Fewer than 5 percent of babies arrive on their due date. You are nine months and two weeks pregnant at 41 weeks pregnant and it is perfectly normal.
What is the Baby’s Size?
Your baby is the size of a bigger watermelon than it was in the 40th week. Your baby is still growing. The average 42-week fetus measures 20.3 inches and weighs 8.1 pounds. You don’t have to worry, he or she is unlikely to be too big to deliver vaginally. So, relax and be calm.
41-week Symptoms of Pregnancy
It is not easy after 41 weeks either and we understand. You might be going through some of the same symptoms that you faced in the nine months’ time. You must let your OB know about any discomfort or frequent contractions.
- Leg cramps
Cramps can be a sign of dehydration. It is a reminder to keep yourself hydrated and carry water everywhere. It is also a time where your water might break just about any time. Try to be prepared.
Braxton Hicks contractions are now going to be unavoidable but if it seems like you’re having a lot of them, start timing them to see how far apart they are. If they get closer together, you are in an early stage of labor.
- Pelvic discomfort
Your baby may be descending lower and lower, putting pressure on your bladder and cervix and giving you more aches and pains down below. Try to avoid very hot temperature.
That pelvic pressure causes swollen varicose veins in your rectum, causing hemorrhoids. They aren’t pretty, and they may get worse when you push the baby out. But eventually, the swelling will come down.
You are maybe stressing over something or just not able to sleep. It’s quite normal at this time. Try to relax and take short naps.
You will be just visiting and revisiting the bathroom now. Well, your baby is pretty much sitting right on your bladder at this point so it is pretty natural to run to nature’s call again and again.
41-week signs of labor
41 weeks pregnant is a lot of patience but it is also very much normal to not have your baby out yet. The two signs that you need to keep looking out for are – contractions which are frequent. If you are timing them and you feel like they are not very apart, then its time. Another definite sign of labor is a leak or flow of amniotic fluid—this means your water has ruptured or broken. You will likely know because it will be truly watery and nothing like typical discharge. Also, it doesn’t stop. You might confuse it with pee but you will realize it’s your water breaking.
Inducing labor at 41-week
Your anxiety is now visible but please keep calm. You might be looking for things that will help you. You might just look around for natural methods to induce labor. Two very light things you can consider are – walking or having sex. Both are pretty reachable and are frequently adopted by couples. You might have heard about some herbal supplements or even castor oil but it’s advised not to take any of them.
Stimulating your nipples releases oxytocin, and it may help start labor, but more research is needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of this method. Because it may overstimulate your uterus, your contractions and your baby’s response to the need to be monitored. It is better to not try this at all.
The doctor will have to check how the baby is doing in there to see if you need any medical intervention for inducing labor. There are different types of induction.
Medications – Two types of medication can be used for inducing labor at 41 weeks. First, prostaglandin suppository may be inserted like a tampon overnight to start cervical dilation. Second, Oxytocin may be given through an IV to jumpstart contractions.
Artificial rupture of membranes (AROM) – Your doctor can actually break your water for you using a thin plastic hook. This may be done if you’ve been having contractions but labor hasn’t progressed yet.
Stripping membranes – This is actually a natural induction method, but your doctor will need to perform it. If you’re willing to try this potentially painful procedure, your doctor will sweep her fingers around the amniotic sac, separating the membranes there and releasing hormones that could stimulate labor. This doesn’t always work, but if it does, you could be in labor within hours.
If your baby is healthy, it is normal to wait and let the baby take its time for coming out.
41 Weeks Ultrasound
Once you’ve completed a full-term pregnancy and reached 41 weeks, your doctor will likely want to do a biophysical profile. ICYMI, this is a two-fold test. You’ll have a non-stress test, where the baby’s movement and your contractions are monitored to see how baby’s heart rate reacts. You’ll also have a 40 weeks pregnant ultrasound to see what the amniotic fluid levels look like.
Your 41-week fetus is continuing to grow hair and nails. Now we know why some babies come out with a head full of hair and nails that are ready to get shaped. And baby at 41 weeks is keeping up that lung development too.
The ultrasound may result in the fact that your baby will be better outside than your doctor will have to induce labor to avoid any complications for you or your baby.
PREGNANCY CHECKLIST AT 41-WEEKS PREGNANCY
- Talk to your doctor about induction options.
- Try to relax your mind and do not worry about the arrival of the baby.
- Be ready for labor anytime now.
- Listen to music, go for light walks but have someone to accompany you if possible as you may need help if you into labor anytime.
Also Read: 40 Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect?