42 Weeks Pregnant
Congratulations! You are now 42 weeks pregnant. Baby is now medically ready to meet the world. He will be perfectly safe in there until the end of this week.
Your doctor will however keep a close eye for signs of stress and to check that he still has enough amniotic fluid around him. He now weighs about 3.6 kgs, is alert and his hair and nails are also growing longer. At birth, he will be ready for his first trim. Do not get frustrated if he doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to come. Keep in mind that he may not be ready to take on the world yet.
Your changing body
There is a good chance that you will go into natural labour this week. If the baby isn’t born by the end of being 42 weeks pregnant, waiting will increase chances of complications. The quality of the placenta which nourishes your child with food and nutrients also starts to deteriorate and the chances of a stillbirth go up. Explore the induction option with your healthcare provider. The key concern when doing this should be the safety of your unborn baby.
There are things you can try to get things moving along fast. Gently rubbing your nipples will stimulate the hormone oxytocin which might trigger labor. You should try pregnancy exercises such as taking short walks to nudge the baby further down into the birth canal. Take care not to wander too far lest you go into labor unexpectedly. Sex is also said to help kick-start the birth. It is believed that the process could trigger contractions while your partner’s semen contains a high concentration of prostaglandins which may help ripen your cervix. However do not try anything without consulting your doctor.
You are also likely to experience frequent Braxton Hicks contractions. Pay attention to these practice contractions because if they become frequent, it is real labor. A loose stool and abdominal discomfort may also be signs of labor.
Your appetite at 42 weeks pregnant is still high but with the baby squashed up in your tummy, you may find it hard to eat a plateful in one sitting. Adjust your meals such that you consume smaller, more nutritionally dense foods. You will also feel hungry when you go into labor. While sugary snacks might give you an instant burst of energy, it will be short lived. Eat carbohydrates like bread or plain pasta instead as they break down slower. Fatty food might make you nauseated.
You will be jittery this week. You can pass time by stocking up your refrigerator and kitchen shelves with food in Kenya that is healthy and easy to prepare because you won’t have a lot of time to shop or cook when baby finally comes home. Also check that you have everything else that you will need when baby finally comes home.
This week’s tip: “Deep breathing and meditation greatly eased my childbirth. Childbirth comes with pain and naturally, I was afraid of the experience with my first child. When that time came, I took my mind to my safe place – a time in the past when I was happy. I felt my body relax and give way,” shares Esther Waters, a mother of one.
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