What To Expect When You’re 41 Weeks Pregnant
Your baby is the size of a pumpkin!
In The Guide
Your body and your baby’s body are now gearing up for the epic adventure that is birth.
It might seem odd that all of this starts weeks before the actual event, but nature knows what it’s doing, so hold tight.
Here’s what’s happening this week!
At about the size of a coconut, your baby weighs 3 1/3 pounds and is 16 inches long from head-to-feet.
Your baby’s skin is much smoother now because of all the weight gain. And will become even more smooth after this week’s growth spurt.
Birthing Fears – While it’s perfectly normal to fear such an unknown as giving birth, it’s important to take a close look at your fears.
For instance, ask yourself what truly scares you about birth. Maybe you think it will hurt too much, you’ll tear, or something will go wrong.
No matter what your fears, be sure that you face them and find a way to cope with that specific fear. For instance, if you’re afraid it will hurt too badly then strategize a way to deal with the pain whether by deep breathing techniques, visualization, or even medication.
Learn what happens to your body when you give birth. Read the stories of other women and what they used to cope with any birthing pains.
The more you know and understand about birth the less you’ll fear it as an indefinite unknown.
Prodromal Labor – Also named false labor or pre-labor, prodromal labor is actual labor, but it doesn’t result in the birth of your baby.
More than anything, they are frustrating and annoying bouts of contractions.
Unlike Braxton Hicks contractions, these contractions might actually progress then suddenly stop before hitting that point of active labor. It can be tough to tell the difference.
Read our guide here to get the full scoop.
At 31 weeks, you are officially seven months and one week pregnant, mama!
This third trimester can often go by faster than the rest, so make sure you recruit help to prepare if you need it. Remember to slow down when you feel overwhelmed or tired, too.
Your baby has been packing on the pounds for several weeks now and is about ready to head into another growth spurt this week.
As well as growing, he/she will be doing as many somersaults as possible before there’s no more room.
Now that your body is gearing up to give birth, those notorious Braxton Hicks contractions might come to visit more often.
Although they can be annoying and decide to show up at the most inopportune time, they are a part of the journey.
It could be tricky to tell the difference between real contraction and Braxton Hicks contractions. Just remember that Braxton Hicks contractions don’t increase in strength like the real ones.
Plus, if you change your position, then Braxton Hicks contractions typically stop.
Mood Swings – The first trimester was likely plagued with intense mood swings as your body got used to the rush of hormones.
The second trimester probably gave you a break in terms of mood swings. But, the third trimester might welcome mood swings more than ever.
Let’s face it. You’re uncomfortable, pressured to prepare for birth and bringing baby home, and your energy (and patience) are probably running on empty.
So, your mood is bound to bounce up and down. Be sure to accept that mood swings are a normal part of pregnancy and make sure you take time out to take care of you.
Feet – Your feet are the foundation of your body. So, as you gain pregnancy weight, you can expect your foundation to widen a little bit.
Sometimes this widening is only temporary and caused by swelling. Other times, your feet get bigger and stay bigger. Because of all the bones and ligaments in each foot, it’s common for hormones to relax the ligaments causing the bones to spread apart permanently.
Some ways to avoid this are to wear supportive shoes, wear compression socks, and avoiding excessive weight gain.
Shortness of Breath – The bigger your baby grows, the more crowded your insides become. This doesn’t leave much room for your lungs to expand to take a full breath often leaving you short of breath.
When your baby changes positions (head down) in preparation for birth, your lungs will have more room to expand. Until that happens, you might experience shortness of breath.
Since you’re carrying more than one baby, there’s a strong possibility that you won’t carry your babies past 40 weeks or even to 40 weeks.
They’re very strong now and are only in there to put on more weight. And, you’ll definitely be feeling this extra weight.
With typical pregnancy symptoms at full force, you’re probably more than happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
One more symptom that might kick in a little more than it has before is leaky breasts. The closer it gets to delivery the more likely your breasts are to leak.
To battle the leakage, you can always line your bras with nursing pads. This might just save a few of your shirts from staining, too.