41 Weeks Pregnant | Pregnancy Week By Week
41 WEEKS PREGNANT
So, 40 weeks have come and gone and you’re still pregnant. All the women you’ve talked to over the last 9 months who had due dates close to yours have all had their babies already. Some of them even had their babies a week or two early, yet here you are a week past your due date and still pregnant! At this point, you’re feeling like you’re going to be pregnant forever. It may seem like it, but if the baby doesn’t come on his own by the end of this week, your doctor will probably schedule you to be induced. One way or another, you’ll be holding that baby in your arms within the next week, so hang in there just a little bit longer!
At 41 weeks pregnant, the baby is the size of a watermelon. The average baby born at 41 weeks pregnant weighs 7.9 pounds and measures 20.4 inches long.
PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS WEEK 41
You don’t want to even think about dealing with pregnancy symptoms anymore. In fact, the water works probably started as soon as you read the words “Pregnancy Symptoms,” didn’t they? So sorry. It won’t be much longer before you’ll start to feel somewhat normal again. Pinky swear!
Here are the pregnancy symptoms you may experience at 41 weeks pregnant:
- Hemorrhoids. Not to be the bearer of bad news or anything, but if you’ve been dealing with hemorrhoids throughout your pregnancy, they’re only going to get worse before they get better. Pushing during delivery can make the hemorrhoids worse, unfortunately. They should go away for the most part as your body gets back to normal after the baby’s born.
- Pelvic pressure. As the baby drops lower into your pelvis in preparation for birth, the pressure you’ll feel down under will get quite uncomfortable.
- Frequent urination. You probably feel like you spend more time in the bathroom peeing these days than you do breathing thanks to all the pressure the baby is putting on your bladder.
- Trouble sleeping. You can’t get comfortable, you have to pee every five minutes, and you can’t shut your mind off long enough to fall asleep. Just think of it as practice for after the baby is born when you’ll be getting up every two hours to feed and change your little one. Do try to get as much rest as you can before the baby gets here. You’re going to need it!
- Contractions. The contractions are coming a lot more frequently than they have up until now and may even be getting slightly more painful. Pay attention to the time between each contraction and how long each contraction lasts. If they’re happening more regularly and lasting longer, you might be having real labor contractions.
41 WEEK BABY BUMP
That belly has grown about as much as it can it seems like, and you feel like a whale on steroids at this point. Speaking of whales – good thing you’re not one or you’d still have a few more months to go before giving birth. The average whale pregnancy lasts 14 to 16 months. Yikes! Bet being 41 weeks pregnant isn’t sounding so bad right about now, huh?
Now that you’re 41 weeks pregnant, you’re probably well aware of the labor signs to watch for, such as your water breaking and contractions that start coming quicker, lasting longer, and become more painful. If either of those two things start happening, contact your OB and head to the hospital.
If you notice anything unusual happening such as abdominal pain (not associated with contractions) and/or bleeding, call your doctor right away.
Even though you’ve made it past your due date without going into labor, that doesn’t mean this baby is never going to come. You could be feeling fine early in the day and then go into labor later in the afternoon. That’s how quickly things can change, so keep hanging in there!
Your doctor may also talk to you about inducing labor at this point. There are several ways to induce labor:
- Artificial rupture of membranes, aka AROM. This is usually done when labor isn’t progressing after contractions have started. Your doctor will break your water using a plastic hook.
- Stripping membranes. This method of induction can be performed right in your doctor’s office, but it doesn’t always work and could be quite painful. Your doctor will run his/her fingers around the amniotic sac to separate the membranes which will release hormones that may jumpstart labor.
- Suppository. Your doctor may choose to induce labor by inserting a prostaglandin suppository into your vagina. The suppository will remain there overnight and will help the cervix to start dilating.
- IV medication. Another method of inducing labor, and one of the most common, is administering Pitocin through an IV to get the contractions going.
41 WEEKS PREGNANT ULTRASOUND
The longer you remain pregnant, the longer your baby’s hair and nails are going to grow! Baby is nice and plump by now and is just waiting around for your body (or your doctor) to decide that it’s time to evict your little one from your uterus.
You may have a non-stress test and an ultrasound done this week just to check to make sure baby is doing okay. The results of the non-stress test and ultrasound will help your doctor to decide if it’s okay to wait a bit longer to see if you’ll go into labor naturally or if he/she should go ahead and induce you to get the baby out sooner.
WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING AT 41 WEEKS PREGNANT?
At 41 weeks pregnant, you should be taking it as easy as you possibly can. Your body is tired from being pregnant for so long and you’re probably not going to be as steady on your feet as you were several months ago. Get as much rest as you can before the baby is born.
A couple other things you can do at 41 weeks pregnant include:
- Make meals to freeze. Once the baby is home with you, your time is going to be limited while you figure out how to get into a new routine with your newborn baby, so go ahead and make up a week’s worth of meals and freeze them. That way you don’t have to spend time cooking during the first week the baby is home. You can just pull something out of the freezer, pop it in the oven, and have dinner ready in no time!
- Double check your hospital bag. There’s nothing worse than getting to the hospital to give birth and discovering you’ve left something you needed or wanted at home. Double and even triple check that you have everything you’ll need or want during your stay at the hospital.
- Sam C's Editorial Team