You may have already had your hospital bag packed and waiting to go for weeks now. But in the slim chance that you haven’t done so, now is the time to do it. Don’t over pack, but pack enough to keep you comfortable for at least 3 days. You should have a nightgown, bathrobe, slippers, change of clothes, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and a magazine or books.
The only left to do is at this point in the pregnancy is to be patient and wait. Some women may try to induce their own labor by going for a long stroll. It is best to just let nature take its course. At week 41, you are not going to be pregnant much longer.
You should have already decided on who was going to be in the delivery room with you, who is going to drive you to the hospital, and who is going to make the phone calls after your baby is born. You should by now have girls and boys names in mind. While in the hospital, some women like to write out birth announcements and then send the pictures out at a later date. At this week in pregnancy, you should be taking the prenatal vitamins as well as continue on your healthy eating style. This may be something you want to continue after the baby is born or you might just be looking forward to a Big Mac.
You may still be able to exercise a little bit this week. Continue to practice the kegel exercises. This will help you strengthen your muscles for delivery. At the same time, don’t over do it. You will need as much rest as you can now because your nights of getting 8 straight hours of sleep are a thing of the past.
At this week in pregnancy, the baby is attempting to get comfortable. That is why you are feeling many movements at this time. The baby is very cramped in a small space and it preparing to leave the womb and be born. It may sound strange but the baby wants to come out. He or she has been in the womb a long time. The baby may weigh about 8-1/2 to 10 pounds at week 41. The baby will measure in at 20 inches in length.
The baby will sleep a lot at this week because there is just no room to move around. The baby will even sleep as you are having contractions. The baby’s head is being pushed down as the contraction hits but then as soon as it is over, the baby will start to push back. This happens until the baby is travels through the birth canal and is seen by the doctors.
The baby will continue to grow until delivery. Mom will continue to feel a bit heavier than the day before. All of the baby’s internal organs are matured by now. There is very little of the lanugo remaining on the baby’s skin. The baby will still continue to kick you should start to feel about 10 kicks in 4 hours. If you reach 7 kicks in 4 hours, it is still ok. Only you will be able to tell when something is wrong.
Changes With Your Body
By now, the inner part of the vagina may start to sting and burn. This is due to the position of the baby. You will still feel the kicks and all of the baby’s movements by now. Some women may not feel labor pains at this stage so the doctor may want to do an ultra sound to determine why. They may induce labor in a week or so if you still haven’t felt any labor pains. The main thing is to still monitor the movements of the baby.
If the doctor decides to induce labor they will give you a drip of Oxyoctin. This will help with placing the hormones right into the bloodstream and start up the labor. The only thing that you should be thinking of is preparing for the baby to come home. Let the doctor worry about the rest. Now is the time for excitement, not for worry. You should still be consuming a good amount of water and continuing to eat small meals.
It is normal to feel frustrated because the baby should have been born by now (at least that is what you are thinking). Every pregnancy is different and every birth is different. Just think that you have had some time to experience pregnancy than other women.
What To Expect
Some women may start to experience a vaginal discharge; this can be normal but let your doctor know about it because it also could be start of a problem. Don’t worry about still being pregnant if you are past the due date the doctor gave you. Only a very small percentage of women give birth on their actual due dates. Remember, pregnancy due dates are not set in stone, they are just estimates. Don’t panic you will still go through labor and delivery.
Some women like to keep journals or videos of their pregnancy. Later when the baby is born they can look back and see what they went through. If you are way past your due date the doctor may induce labor, the thing to remember is to stay calm and look forward to the baby being born.
Remember the day is coming when the baby will be born. The baby is just as anxious for it to be born as you are. Nature has a way of taking its time when it is something that you have waited for the past 9 months. But rest assured the baby is coming and soon you will be holding the baby you have felt kicking inside you.