Week by week pregnancy guide: You and your baby at Week 41
Is all that's missing is your baby's arrival? Well, try to relax, mum. He will make his debut soon. In the meantime, brush up on knowing the difference between real labour contractions and Braxton Hicks contractions for your peace of mind.
In this week by week pregnancy guide, you'll learn that:
- Your baby’s endocrine system, which is in charge of hormones, is getting ready for birth. (During his birth, he will produce the largest amount of stress hormones in his life. Don’t be frightened! These hormones are meant to help him adjust to life outside better.)
- A slowdown in foetal activity is usually an indication that your baby has reached full size and is now too cramped to move around.
- By 41 weeks, you may go into natural labour. Signs to look out for include: your water breaking (clear liquid that does not stop flowing even if you do Kegel exercise--not to be confused with urine which is yellowish), discharge of blood-tinged mucus, and regular and frequent contractions (not to be confused with Braxton Hicks).
- Until then, you may experience frequent urination, pelvic pains, nesting instincts, hemorrhages, and diarrhea.
- Stay near bathrooms—your baby’s big size puts a lot of pressure on your bladder.
- Give your body a break; relax in a warm tub or pool. Water counteracts gravity thus giving you more comfort during the remainder of your pregnancy.
- Relax (or do your very best to). You may have passed 40 weeks but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby is overdue. 70% of post-term pregnancies are caused by a miscalculation of the time of conception.
- If you haven't discussed induced labor with your doctor yet, do so now. But know that if your cervix not ready for labour, your doctor may use of hormones to 'ripen' it before inducing. Drugs such as Oxytocin may be used to jumpstart contractions.
- Have emergency numbers at hand. And if you notice a drastic decrease in foetal movement of frequent leaking from your vagina, inform your doctor immediately.
Your next week: 42 weeks pregnant
Your previous week: 40 weeks pregnant
Do you have questions on this week by week pregnancy guide? What are your current concerns, mums? Leave us a comment below!