If you’re now in your 42nd week of pregnancy, you should check just to be sure that you haven’t miscalculated your due date. Are you positive about the date of your LMP (Last Menstrual Period)? And did you have a regular cycle prior to getting pregnant? Many supposedly ‘overdue’ pregnancies are a result of irregular or late ovulation and hence later conception.
If you find that you are indeed past your due date, consult with your doctor and look at your birthing options. The support of a partner or close friend could be really valuable now. You will likely undergo several tests to monitor baby’s activities, heart rate and other parameters.
Changes in the baby
Babies that arrive late usually have drier skin because the protective vernix layer is likely to have shed by now. Baby may have longer hair and nails but perhaps little or none of the lanugo (protective hair layer). Overdue babies may also be bigger, more alert and wide-awake when they arrive.
- Baby is preparing to adjust to life outside the womb as a fully fledged independent being.
- After the birth, babies often arrive looking rather strange – an elongated head from passing through the birth canal, wrinkly skin, arms and legs that don’t seem to extend. The legs may even seem bowlegged, but all of this is normal.
Changes in the mom to be
You may be very uncomfortable and also very frustrated by now. However, keeping in touch with your doctor on a regular basis and undergoing any tests or monitoring processes, should help to reassure you.
- Your ankles are probably even more swollen now than before.
- If you haven’t already started to leak colostrums, you may do so now. Leaky nipples are among the symptoms of later pregnancy.
Tips for the 42nd week
Just hang in there and remember that you will soon be holding a brand new person in your arms and will be responsible for simply everything relating to him/her. You will soon be a parent with some very important new responsibilities; so try and enjoy this time.
- You could use this extra time to practice the art of swaddling. Wrapping baby up snugly in a sheet or blanket tends to give new born babies a sense of still being in a womb. Many newborns enjoy swaddling; however some may not.
- Read up about how to encourage the breastfeeding process.
- Also try and understand more about why newborn babies cry so much, and how to soothe your little one after he/she arrives.