Did you know that less than 5% of babies are born exactly on their due date? The rest are born either before or after their stipulated date. So, relax, because Worrying never solved anything. There’s nothing you can do to make things happen, except wait for labor to begin or discuss your options with the doctor. If you are 41 weeks pregnant and tired of playing the waiting game, read our post here to find out how things will proceed this week.
41 Weeks Pregnant Symptoms:
Some of the symptoms you experience during week 41 pregnancy include:
- Anxiety about missing your due date
- Cervical dilation and effacement
- Vaginal discharge
- Discomfort and pain around the pelvic area
- Diarrhea or nausea (just before labor begins)
[ Read: 10th Month of Pregnancy ]
Changes In Your Body In 41st Week Of Pregnancy:
Post date or not, the last few weeks of pregnancy aren’t easy. On one hand, you want to make sure that your baby is alright. On the other hand, you feel a despe
Pelvic Pain And Discomfort:
As your baby drops further down into the pelvis, he presses against your bladder, hips, and the pelvic joints. The pelvic muscles stretch to the maximum. Thanks to all the pressure, you may experience discomfort and pain in the lower abdomen. The discomfort increases as your baby prepares for labor and moves his head further into the birth canal. Sadly, there’s no escaping the pain. But, take comfort from the fact that all of it will be over in a few days (or probably hours).
Diarrhea And Nausea:
Some women experience diarrhea a few hours before labor. It is perhaps nature’s way of preparing you for labor. Loose bowel movements are sometimes accompanied by nausea, flu-like symptoms, vomiting, etc.
Early Labor Symptoms:
If things are fine and the baby assumes the birth position, you may experience early signs of labor. These signs include vaginal discharge (of the mucous plug), an increase in the frequency of contractions, backache, etc. If you experience one or all these symptoms, remember to stay calm and inform everyone concerned that it is probably time to check-in at the hospital.
[ Read: Difference Between True And False Labor ]
Slow Down in Fetal Activity:
Babies experience rapid growth between weeks 40 to 42. Your baby has now reached his birth weight and height, and there’s little room inside the uterus for him to move. And if he reaches the birth position, there’s probably little room for him to turn his head. Although his kicks aren’t frequent, they’re sharper and stronger than ever. Your doctor will advise you to monitor fetal activity by counting the number of kicks within a given time phase. Contact your doctor immediately if the baby is unusually quiet- it could indicate a serious problem.
How Accurate Is Your ‘Due Date’?
According to textbooks, pregnancies that last 42 weeks and beyond are called ‘post term pregnancies’. When you first visit your doctor, she may predict a due date for you. The due date depends on your Last Menstrual Period (LMP). The date can change according to the growth measures in the ultrasound. Doctors would monitor you and the baby closely if you miss the 40-week mark. Post-term pregnancies occur because of an inaccurately predicted date. It is especially true among women who experience irregular menstrual cycles or those who’ve been on hormonal birth control, or among those who experience bleeding in the first trimester.
Some menstrual cycles last up to 28 days and sometimes 35 days. If it is the case, even an ultrasound scan in the second semester may not be powerful enough to guess the Estimated Due Date (EDD).
Although ultrasounds are far more reliable than the LMP-based due date, remember that these are all estimates. For example, when the crown-rump-length is around 3-5 days, an ultrasound at 12-20 weeks may show the CRL to be around 7 to 10 days. Similarly, with a pregnancy at around 35 weeks on a 31-week ultrasound, the baby could be anywhere between 32 to 38 weeks. When the ultrasound gestational age varies from the LMP by a larger range of error, doctors refer to the former to calculate the Estimated Due Date.
The concept of due dates was first put forward by a German obstetrician Franz Karl Naegele. He observed that an average pregnancy lasts around 40 weeks or approximately nine months. But it differs from one individual to another. In fact, women may have different gestations for their babies. For example, a woman can deliver one baby at 38 weeks, another at 40 weeks and the third at 42 weeks. The bottom line is, your baby will be born when he’s ready! And even if he isn’t, doctors will be with you to ensure no harm to your baby and you.
[ Read: 40th Week Pregnancy ]