Week 41 of pregnancy is a time when the expecting mother can feel burdened with carrying a full-term baby, and she may have to deal with symptoms such as frequent urination, backache and bloody mucus discharge.
It is common to carry a baby until the 41st week of your gestation period. This is a time you will expect your labour contractions to start, and you will long to have a normal delivery. If your pregnancy extends into the 41st week, it may be considered a late-term pregnancy. It can be an overwhelming feeling. Keep calm as it is fine to have a late-term baby.
What Does Your Baby Look Like
By this time, your baby is fully grown, and ready to step out in the world. He will put on more weight and grow at least 20 inches in length, weighing approximately 7-8 pounds. He will show fully-grown nails and keep growing more hair. During this week, the baby continues to keep gaining weight as well as descending into the pelvis region to fix himself in a head-down position.
What to Expect at 41 Weeks Pregnancy
Your body is ready to give birth to your child, and by the 41st week, you might start to experience labour pain. If you do not feel any indications of labour, your doctor might recommend you to consider labour induction techniques. Do not fret and let your baby take his time to come into this world.
First signs of labour can include a bloody show of mucus, the water breaking, and a rhythmical contraction of the uterus that goes from slow to fast. You can time the contractions as a set of contractions might start growing further apart, and then get progressively closer. The labour contractions can initially feel like menstrual cramps or low-backache, and then intensify in pain and frequency. It can also begin in your back and radiate towards the front of your stomach. Make sure to call your doctor during this week to tell him how you feel during this phase.
Pregnancy Week 41 Symptoms and Tips
In the last leg of your pregnancy, these are the common symptoms you will experience.
Reduced foetal movement:
Your baby during the 41st week of pregnancy will make little movements in the womb as he grows to his full size. It is too cramped inside the uterus to move around much. Notify your OB if you notice any marked reduction in your baby’s movement at this stage.
Urination at short intervals:
During week 41, your baby will move down to your pelvis and towards the birth canal, putting pressure on your bladder, which creates an urge to urinate frequently. When you sneeze or cough, you might leak urine. To help with this problem, you can undertake Kegel exercises and strengthen your pelvic-floor muscles.
During the 41st week of pregnancy, you might have a pink or brown-tinged mucous discharge. This discharge means that the blood vessels in your cervix are rupturing as it is beginning to open up and prepare you for labour.
Owing to the weight the baby has gained recently, it is normal for expecting mothers to feel the pressure in the pelvic region. By week 41, your baby will descend further in the direction of the birth canal, and this is bound to put immense pressure on your hips and pelvis region. Try to relax by lying down with your hips elevated on pillows.
If your baby is 3-4 weeks overdue, he might be at the risk of suffering from birth complications such as the decreased amniotic fluid level causing dehydration and malnourishment. The baby may suffer from irregular heartbeats, kidney or liver damage and there is a danger of the cord getting entangled or tightened around the baby’s neck as the uterine space gets tighter. Overdue pregnancy can also increase your chances of having a C-Section. It is wise to consult your doctor about inducing the labour.
41 Weeks Pregnant Belly
At 41 weeks you are all ready to deliver your baby. So you’re going to look your biggest ever! It might feel very uncomfortable, and you might be at your wits end! But hang in there. It’s all going to be soon over!
41 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound
The 41-week ultrasound will show you a fully formed baby that’s breathing but barely able to move since he is occupying all the possible space. Nonetheless, some babies manage to stay active even in the limited space they have!
WATCH: 41-Week Ultrasound
41 Weeks Pregnancy Diet
For most moms, the time for restricted diets is now almost over. Pregnancy is a beautiful experience, but for some moms, it can be challenging as they may have to go for 9 months without eating certain foods, or may have developed nausea for some of their favourite foods too! Well, it’s all going to be soon over.
At 41 weeks of pregnancy, focus on getting a good portion of all the major food groups – carbs, proteins, vitamins and minerals, and whatever you do, DO NOT skip the good fats! Unsaturated fats have umpteen benefits for your baby’s brain development, and outside your womb, the only way to ensure your baby gets them is through your breast milk – which means you need to eat them! Gorge on –
Nuts and Seeds
Continue to avoid refined, processed, and pre-packed food
Dos & Don’ts
While you are almost there, you still need to take care and not mess up the very last week of your pregnancy!
Keep your hospital bag ready!
Practice simple breathing exercises that will help you prepare for labour.
Walk as much as you can. Walking induces labour. Another thing that helps are orgasms! So feel free to go to town using your hand... or ask hubby to help!
Keep your mind happy and positive; visualise welcoming your baby and practice positive affirmations.
Read up on labour, induced labour and how to identify when your water breaks.
Make sure you have help that’s easily accessible (a friend, relative, etc.)
Do not engage in any strenuous activity. As you are now carrying a lot of weight on your hips and waist, you are susceptible to easy sprains.
While the above is true, don’t become static either! Keep moving. Walking (as mentioned previously) is the best.
Do not panic about the late birth of your baby. Due dates are only an ‘estimate’ of when your baby will be born. While it is natural to get impatient, know that it is okay even if your baby is born a couple weeks late.
Here are your most common questions answered for you!
Exactly how big is my baby right now?
Right now your baby is about the size of a watermelon, and probably weight about 7 pounds!
It’s been 9 months already! Why am I still pregnant?
Labour is a natural process, and it is difficult to know why some mothers ‘remain pregnant’ longer than others. It is possible that a lack of physical activity is delaying labour for you. It is also possible that your baby is just plain lazy! Whatever be the case, know that it is alright if your baby is taking some extra time to come out of your womb.
Should I go in for a C-section?
As far as possible, no. C-section is an invasive procedure and should not be opted for except in the certain medical circumstances (like if the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, or the mother has pre-eclampsia, etc.).
Should I go in for induced labour?
While a week or two here and it is fine, your doctor may suggest you go in for an induced labour, depending on how your pregnancy has mapped out and other case parameters. While it is completely your choice whether you want to go in for induced labour or not, it would be wise to first inform yourself, the best you can, about what induced labour is like. Talk to women you know, relatives, colleagues, etc. if any of them had to go in for induced labour.
Every passing day of your pregnancy week 41 can appear cumbersome for expecting mothers as it will make moving around a difficult task for you. Have patience as you are due any time now. Stay in touch with your obstetrician and keep yourself hydrated, positive and get ready to welcome your baby.
Follow us for what motherhood is really about #nofilter
Sign up for the most useful reads to make your life easier. #TestedByMoms