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Week 42 Of Pregnancy

Week 42 of Pregnancy: Approaching the Finish Line

Week 42 of pregnancy marks the official end of the gestational period, signaling the imminent arrival of your little bundle of joy. As you navigate this final stretch, your body and mind undergo significant changes in preparation for labor and delivery.

Physical Changes

  • Increased Braxton Hicks contractions: These practice contractions become more frequent and intense, helping to soften and dilate the cervix.
  • Lowered baby: The baby’s head may engage in the pelvis, causing increased pressure on the bladder and rectum.
  • Weight gain: You may experience a slight weight loss as your body prepares for labor.
  • Nesting instinct: A surge of energy and desire to prepare the home for the baby’s arrival.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty sleeping due to discomfort, anxiety, and frequent urination.
  • Leg swelling: Increased fluid retention can lead to swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet.
  • Frequent urination: The baby’s head pressing on the bladder triggers frequent bathroom trips.
  • Constipation: Hormonal changes and decreased physical activity can slow down digestion.
  • Hemorrhoids: Increased pressure on the veins in the rectum can cause hemorrhoids.

Emotional Changes

  • Excitement and anticipation: The excitement of meeting your baby soon can be overwhelming.
  • Anxiety and impatience: The wait can be frustrating, and you may feel impatient to hold your child.
  • Mood swings: Hormonal fluctuations can cause emotional instability and mood swings.
  • Fatigue: The physical and emotional demands of pregnancy can take a toll on your energy levels.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Some women experience a return of nausea and vomiting in the final weeks.

Medical Considerations

  • Weekly checkups: Your doctor will continue to monitor your progress and ensure the baby’s well-being.
  • Induction of labor: If you reach week 42 without going into labor naturally, your doctor may recommend inducing labor to prevent potential complications.
  • C-section: If labor does not progress as expected or there are any concerns about the baby’s health, a cesarean section may be necessary.

Preparing for Labor

  • Rest and relaxation: Get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activities to conserve your energy for labor.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration during labor.
  • Pack your hospital bag: Prepare a bag with essential items for you and the baby, including clothing, toiletries, and a birth plan.
  • Create a birth plan: Discuss your preferences for labor and delivery with your doctor and partner.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Learn breathing exercises, meditation, or visualization to help manage pain and anxiety during labor.
  • Consider a doula: A doula can provide emotional and physical support during labor and delivery.

Signs of Labor

  • Regular contractions: Contractions that occur every 5-10 minutes and gradually increase in intensity.
  • Water breaking: A sudden gush or trickle of fluid from the vagina.
  • Bloody show: A discharge of mucus tinged with blood from the cervix.
  • Back pain: Persistent and intense pain in the lower back.
  • Pelvic pressure: A feeling of pressure or fullness in the pelvis.

When to Call the Doctor

  • If you experience any of the signs of labor.
  • If you have a sudden increase in vaginal discharge.
  • If you have severe abdominal pain or cramping.
  • If you have a fever or chills.
  • If you have decreased fetal movement.


Week 42 of pregnancy is a time of both anticipation and preparation. As you approach the end of this extraordinary journey, embrace the physical and emotional changes that accompany this final stretch. Remember to prioritize your well-being, stay informed about your medical options, and prepare for the imminent arrival of your precious little one. With patience, excitement, and the support of loved ones, you will soon welcome your baby into the world.

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