You have now reached the last month of the pregnancy and the baby will be born any second now. Very few women give birth on their due date. The due date is an estimation because it cannot be determined with certainty the exact date of conception. Baby’s are generally born anywhere from 38 weeks to 42 weeks. The average time a woman is pregnant is about 40 weeks or 280 says since the last normal period. About 80% of new moms will have full term births and about 20% will give birth before week 40.
The term for the 20% would be called a pre-term baby. That just means the baby was delivered or born before the 40 weeks. You still have to be careful at this stage of pregnancy because there are still risk in delivery of the placenta rupturing or high fever or infection and high blood pressure. That is why it is important to stay in contact with your doctor and get plenty of rest. The baby is coming any time now. Stay close to home and try not to drive a car if at all possible. The last thing you want to do is go into labor while driving a car.
Make sure that your hospital bag is packed, your cell phone with all of your important numbers are in it and you should have a plan on how to get to the hospital. Everything will go according to plan if you just relax and enjoy the ride.
The baby can weigh anywhere from 6 to 10 pounds. Ten pounds is an exceptional weight for a baby. The doctor has been keeping you apprised of what your baby weighs throughout the pregnancy. The baby is now ready to be born. The baby will be born with long nails. The hospital will cut them for you when they are in the nursery. At this stage, the placenta could stop making the amniotic fluid. This could be a major concern for the doctor. This is when the doctor may choose to induce labor or start preparing for a C-Section.
If the baby has become too big to travel through the birth canal, then a C-Section may be necessary. In the case of natural birth, the doctor may have to use a vacuum pump or a pair of forceps in order to help the birth along. This can cause some bruising to the baby. It would not be the doctor’s first choice. The problems that can arise at this stage of pregnancy include the baby’s heartbeat slowing down during the delivery or the perineum not stretching sufficiently during birth. If the pregnancy progresses past 42 week, the placenta is not able to provide the baby with oxygen or nutrients. The doctor would want to deliver the baby in the safest way possible and that could include a C-Section.
Changes With Your Body
The baby at this stage of pregnancy is ready to be born. You may be feeling frustrated at this point in time. But stay positive, the end of eth pregnancy is near. You should be going to all of the doctors’ visits and taking all of the right steps to ensure a safe and healthy baby. If you are at the end of the 42nd week, the doctor may discuss inducing labor. This is nothing to worry about; it just gives the doctors a little push for labor. It cannot harm the baby in any way. Or the doctor may want to wait until the baby goes through the natural birth meaning no induction of labor.
You have to be careful because after this week in pregnancy the placenta will slow down in making the amniotic fluid, which will reduce the oxygen and the nutrients from getting to the baby. So a decision should be made before this week what would happen if you went the full 42 weeks. This is something that should be discusses with the doctor at week 38 or 39. The only thing you want is a safe delivery and a healthy baby, it is the doctors’ jobs to make sure that you have that.
What To Expect
By the time the 42nd week of pregnancy ends, you will be considered to be in a post term pregnancy. The doctor will have you coming in every week to make sure that everything is still in okay. It is very rare that a pregnancy will extend past the 42nd week. The doctor may perform stress test to make sure that nothing is wrong and a natural delivery is still possible. You will still want to continue with what you are doing, now is not the time to break down and eat that unhealthy meal you have been craving for 9 months. Stick to the plan, continue to take the prenatal vitamins, and drink plenty of water. Eat healthy and eat smaller and more frequent meals to avoid heartburn.
The nursery should be ready. The names should be chosen. The hospital bag should be packed and ready to go. Go over the plans for getting you to the hospital such as who is going to accompany you in the delivery room and who is going to make the phone calls. If you have a ripe cervix, the chances of a successful vaginal birth are high. If not, the doctors may choose a C-Section birth or they may want to try inducing labor. Never try to induce labor on your own. Some women try mineral oil, laxatives and castor oil in order to start up labor. It sounds harmless but may cause some problems.
The only thing you can do right now is remain calm. Listen to the doctor and follow their instructions to the tee. You want to make sure that you have a happy and healthy baby. If you feel something is wrong, contact your doctor right away. Even if it feels like nothing it may be something.