Pregnancy calendar - week 42 of pregnancy advice - almost there, won't be long now!
Although you may feel that your baby is very overdue by now, medically babies are not classed as post-term until the 43rd week of pregnancy. Only 2% of pregnancies fall into this category so if it is of any reassurance, you'll more than likely have your little one in your arms by this time next week.
As you enter the 42nd week of pregnancy your doctor may suggest a non-stress test; this simply involves monitoring your baby's movement and heart rate externally as a means of ensuring he or she is responsive and is receiving sufficient oxygen.
Make sure you're still eating well and are getting plenty of relaxation. Many women suffer from lower back ache at this stage in pregnancy - a warm bath can help to relieve this.
Remember your baby could arrive any time now so make sure the car is filled with petrol, has plenty of change in the glove box for parking at the hospital and is fitted with the baby seat ready for the journey home. You should have your hospital bag packed and to hand and should have finalised any other arrangements you need to make. Alternatively if you are planning a home birth, you should ensure you have everything you and the midwife will need to hand.
As you approach the end of week 42 your doctor may suggest you consider the possibility of being induced - make sure you explore your options so that you are fully comfortable with any decision you make.
There are a huge number of practices said to naturally induce labour, while some can be a bit extreme, others such as drinking raspberry leaf tea, having sex or going for a walk are definitely worth a shot.
By the 42nd week the vernis that kept your baby's skin moist throughout pregnancy has stopped being produced. For this reason you may notice that for the first few days after birth your baby's skin has a reddened, flaky quality to it. Your baby's fingernails may also be quite long and will need cutting shortly after birth to prevent scratching. Babies born in the 42nd week also tend to have a fuller head of hair than those born earlier.
Your baby's movements will slow down towards the end of your pregnancy but will not stop - remember to keep counting your baby's kicks on a daily basis and check with your health care provider if you have any concerns.
During the final stages of pregnancy your cervix begins to soften and your baby's head moves into position ready for the birth. Remember to look for continuous contractions to show that your baby is on his or her way.
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