Pregnancy Stages: Week 42
Your baby is fully developed and ready for birth. However your doctor will put you and your baby under surveillance this week. He will monitor the baby’s heart and his activity as well as the quantity of the amniotic fluid. All babies who pass their due date will arrive with a dry skin, cracked and peeled.
At this stage you have passed your due date and considered overdue. 5% of pregnancies are post-term. You might experience true labor signs soon. Contractions will start feeling like the Braxton Hicks contractions but stronger and regular. It won’t fade whatever you do. Your water might break down and your fluid leaks whether in a small trickle or out in a large gush. You should contact your doctor as soon as your water breaks.
Many doctors induce labor before week 42 and do not wait. The risk of having a stillbirth is higher than the risk of inducing labor. Your practitioner will examine your blood pressure, test your urine for protein and check the cervix status. The cervix becomes softer and effaced. Your doctor will schedule an induction date. He will use oxytocin, a medicine that causes contractions through intra venous then he will rupture the membrane that holds the amniotic fluid. The midwife or your doctor will insert a clamp between their fingers through the cervix and twist it to rupture the membrane. Don’t worry it is not painful nor harmless for you and your baby. You will feel a leakage of water. It should be clear. The quality of the amniotic fluid gives an idea about the baby’s wellness. If the amniotic fluid contains meconium, the baby’s health is at risk. The doctor might suggest a C-Section immediately. Usually labor starts directly after the water breaks.
Be prepared this week to visit the hospital at any time. Your little angel will be soon in your hands.