Pregnancy Week 41
Pregnancy Week 41

Are you still pregnant?

If you have reached 41 weeks of pregnancy and your baby has not yet arrived, it is important to understand the reasons behind this delay and explore options to facilitate labor and delivery.

Feeling like a ticking time bomb? It’s not uncommon for babies to overstay their due dates, especially for first-time parents. Rest assured, your doctor will closely monitor your situation. You may undergo a nonstress test and/or ultrasound to ensure your baby is thriving.

If you’re eager to get things moving, there are a few things you can try. Taking a walk, despite the waddling, might help. Additionally, discussing the possibility of membrane stripping with your ob-gyn or midwife could be an option. While it may not be the most comfortable procedure, your doctor will gently separate the membranes around the amniotic sac, releasing hormones that could potentially stimulate labor.

Reaching 41 weeks of pregnancy may not have been part of your original plan, but here you are! 

Keep in mind that due to the extended time in the womb, your baby might be heavier and more alert at birth compared to those born earlier. Pay close attention to fetal movements and perform daily kick counts. If you notice any decrease in your baby’s movements, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Pregnancy Week 41 Quick Facts

  • At 41 weeks, you’re full term pregnant
  • This is your third trimester

Your Unborn Baby’s Size at 41 Weeks

How Big is a Baby?

When your baby is born, it may have reached the size of a watermelon. Although you’re expecting to give birth this week, it’s okay if your baby takes a little longer to arrive. Many first-time mothers experience delayed labor, but rest assured that your baby will be worth the wait.

Pregnancy Week 41

Are you still pregnant?

That’s perfectly normal. Babies can arrive anytime between 38 and 42 weeks, with your 40-week due date simply marking the middle of that range. If you have a scheduled delivery, you’ll head to the hospital and either prepare for a C-section or receive an induction of labor, such as a prostaglandin gel to soften or ripen your cervix, or an IV drip of pitocin, a synthetic hormone that can start contractions. 

If you go into labor naturally, such as your water breaking or experiencing increasingly painful contractions, contact your doctor or midwife for guidance.

  • Enjoy the final moments of feeling your baby’s kicks and the incredible sensation of carrying them within you.
  • Incorporate squats into your routine to help your body prepare for labor.
  • Make the most of this additional time by prioritizing rest and relaxation. 

Prenatal Tests and Doctor’s Appointments

  • At this time doctor will continue to monitor your baby’s movements closely and promptly inform your doctor or midwife if you notice a decrease in activity. Your baby should remain active until delivery, and any significant reduction in movement could indicate a potential issue.
  • Your healthcare provider may suggest a non-stress test to assess your baby’s happiness and health within the womb.
  • During the test, a nurse will place a monitor on your abdomen to measure your baby’s heartbeat, which typically increases with movement. If your baby’s heart rate doesn’t accelerate twice during the test, it may be classified as “non reactive.” In such cases, your provider may recommend further evaluation, such as a biophysical profile. However, it’s more likely that they will admit you to the hospital for delivery.

If you suspect a broken water bag?

  • It is important to contact your healthcare provider. Sometimes there may be a noticeable gush of fluid, while other times it could be a small burst or a slow leak.
  • If you are unsure whether you are experiencing leakage, you can wear a pad and check it after approximately half an hour. If the pad is significantly wet, it is likely that your water has broken.

Developmental Milestones

Your baby is now considered “late term”, which means they have stayed in your womb for a prolonged period. As a result, they may have grown larger than the average size for newborns, and may have shed most of their vernix. Vernix is a white waxy coating that protects a baby’s skin from drying out while in the amniotic fluid.