In your 41st week of pregnancy – still no signs of labor
So, 41 weeks of pregnancy has come, and birth still does not begin, to the surprise of future mothers. It would seem that 40 weeks, allotted by the obstetrician to carry the baby, is over, and yet she continues to be in this position. What could the reason be? Doctors reassure: everything is all right, the timely delivery is considered to be from 38 to 42 weeks of pregnancy. This means that the baby is not ready to come into the world and is waiting for the right time. And meanwhile, the mother already fully feels the harbingers of labor, which include:
- False contractions that occur daily, which exercise the uterine muscles;
- The tightness of the uterus against the pelvic bones;
- Painful sensations and heaviness in the lower abdomen;
- Lack of weight gain.
The mother has no choice but to be patient and wait.
Сhildbirth after 41 weeks of pregnancy does not entail a risk to the health of the fetus, if the mother does not suffer from severe complications, and the baby has enough oxygen and nutrients in the womb.
The fetus at 41 weeks of pregnancy
A baby at 41 weeks of pregnancy weighs an average of 3.5 kg and is about 53 cm tall. Most babies are born with these figures. It should be noted that the baby continues to gain weight – every day by about 30 grams. Given this fact, doctors insist that the woman should give birth in the next week or two. Otherwise, given the large fetus, there may be difficulties in delivery.
- All vital systems of the fetus work properly and at full capacity: digestive, urinary, endocrine, blood and vascular.
- The stomach continues to digest everything the baby swallows in the womb into firstborn feces. Amniotic fluid is excreted with urine into the amniotic fluid, which is constantly renewed.
- The respiratory system is ready to function; the lungs are full of surfactant, which will help the newborn take its first breath and open its lungs.
- The skin is thickened, with a layer of fat underneath, which will take on the function of thermoregulation after the baby is born. There is almost no primordial lubrication.
- The central nervous system is sufficiently developed for the baby to be born without health consequences. In the first year of life, the CNS will continue to improve.
Note that 41 weeks is the period calculated from the beginning of the last menstrual period. But it should be taken into account that after the menstrual cycle ovulation began, then the female cell merged with the sperm cell, and finally the embryo (blastocyst) was formed. That is, the moment of conception occurred about two weeks later. Therefore, the embryo is 39 weeks old at this stage.
Your baby's size
- 49-52 cm (1'61-1'71 ft)
- 3500-3600 g (7.716-7.937 lbs)
Feelings and changes in a pregnant woman’s body
“When will I finally give birth?” – This is the main question that bothers pregnant women when they are 41 weeks pregnant. During this period, most expecting mothers are so tired of the indispositions typical of late pregnancy, and of the excruciating waiting, that every day drags on like a week. What is the advice? Firstly, it’s important to calm down and set a positive mood. And secondly, occupy yourself with useful work. To get rid of fears and anxious feelings, it is necessary to share them with others. A good solution would be a walk with your mom or girlfriend, a heart-to-heart talk with the baby’s father, or trips to parks and store.
Changes that occur in the body of a pregnant woman are related to the preparation for childbirth. There is increased sweating, fever throughout the body, and swelling.
The abdomen shifts from the chest down to the pelvis, which causes frequent urination.
Possible pains at 41 weeks of pregnancy
Almost all painful sensations that occur during the 41st week of pregnancy are caused by the pressure exerted by the enlarged uterus:
- Stomach pain and resulting constipation or diarrhea;
- A feeling of tightness in the crotch;
- Aching pain in the lower abdomen;
- Pain in the sacrum and lower back;
- Pain in the lower extremities.
An unpleasant phenomenon faced by pregnant women is a pinched sciatic or femoral nerve. This causes pain in the sacral area, which radiates to the legs. As a rule, the doctor does not prescribe serious treatment, because it is a sign of an early delivery, which will disappear after the baby is born. However, it is still necessary to consult a gynecologist.
One of the most important landmarks of the beginning of labor is the discharge at 41 weeks of pregnancy. If a woman notices oozing mucus with blood streaks, you should immediately call an ambulance or contact your doctor. This description fits the mucus plug, which protects the pregnant woman’s body from infections and comes out of the genital tract just before delivery. Constant moisture on your underwear, yellowish watery discharge is amniotic fluid. It means that the process is about to start, and it’s time to go to the hospital.
Note that after 41 weeks, the amount of normal discharge (without color and odor) may increase due to smoothing and shortening of the cervix.
The 41st week of pregnancy is characterized by rather weak and inactive movements of the fetus. There are objective reasons for this: the lack of free space for violent action, as well as the accumulation of strength before the final burst and birth into the world. The baby sleeps peacefully in mom’s tummy, and when he wakes up, he moves very smoothly and slowly.
Motions at 41 weeks of pregnancy are no longer as chaotic as in earlier periods. It feels like the baby is trying to take a comfortable position that will allow him or her to be born quickly and without complications. In some cases, on the contrary, there may be excessively active movements of the baby, bringing the mother pain and discomfort. Consult your doctor, perhaps the baby is not feeling well.
Training contractions in 41 weeks of pregnancy, or Braxton-Hicks contractions, cause the pregnant woman’s abdomen to feel stiff. The uterine muscles tense for a while, then relax. Some moms start to alarm and panic. But you don’t have to worry, because this is how the uterus “learns” to expel the fetus. It is important not to confuse false contractions with labor contractions. If they intensify, and the interval is 5-10 minutes, it means that labor has started.
Position of the baby in the uterus
There are 41 weeks on the calendar, and the baby has already taken the final position in which it is going to be born. The most comfortable and safe position is head down. If the baby lies with its legs or other body parts toward the birth canal, there is a high probability of injury to both mother and fetus. Doctors look at each case individually. More often than not, they forbid natural childbirth, referring the mother to a cesarean section. In special cases, the mother is allowed to give birth herself. This is possible if the baby is not large and its neck is not wrapped around the umbilical cord.
The circumference of the abdomen by the 41st week of pregnancy can be about 100 cm and the size of the uterus up to 40 cm. At this time, the abdomen bulges forward, with a dark pigmented stripe running from the navel to the frontal area. Due to the severe stretching of the skin, the umbilical node is everted; its appearance normalizes after the birth of the child.
- In some places on the abdomen you can see stretch marks – the consequences of too rapid growth of the uterus, for which the skin on the abdomen was not prepared. Up until the birth of a woman needs to take care of themselves, moisturizing these places with cosmetics.
- Weight gain during the whole pregnancy is up to 16 kg. In some cases, more is possible, but this is no longer considered the norm. The fetus, placenta, amniotic fluid and edema make up most of a woman’s body weight.
- Actions that used to be easy to perform sometimes become unbearable for a pregnant woman. Putting on shoes, bending over, sitting and walking for a long time – all these things become more difficult. Fatigue, sleepiness and weakness are increasingly common. Wear comfortable shoes without a heel and be careful to avoid falls.
Nutrition during your 41 weeks of pregnancy
The basic rule of nutrition, which should be followed by every pregnant woman, is not to overeat. In the last days before labor it is important not to overload your stomach with heavy food. Remember that it already suffers a lot from the pressure of a huge uterus, and because of this there are problems in digestion. In addition, extra weight will not help the mother-to-be at all during childbirth. On the contrary, it will be more difficult to control your body and breathing.
Food should contain as little protein and carbohydrates as possible. The right solution would be to limit the amount of sweets, chocolates and pastries in your diet. Of course, alcohol, carbonated and concentrated drinks, coffee and strong black tea are prohibited. Smoked foods, too salty, peppery, spicy and fatty foods should be excluded from your menu.
Eat fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as dairy products, boiled eggs, chicken breast, cheese and cereal porridge. If the expectant mother observes these recommendations, no doubt she will manage to reach the moment of delivery cheerful, healthy and cheerful.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Do first time mothers have a higher chance of being overdue?
First babies are less likely to be “on time” at 39 weeks, and more likely to be a little late, between 41 and 43 weeks along. Among full-term pregnancies, first born babies tend to be delivered about 1.3 days later on average.