Throughout your pregnancy, people may have liked to guess if your baby was going to come by your due date or keep you waiting for a little longer. While you might have had your due date circled in your calendar for months now, Dr. Allison K. Rodgers, reproductive endocrinologist, obstetrician, and gynecologist at Fertility Centers of Illinois, US, suggests looking at the last days and weeks of pregnancy as more of a due month rather than a specific date. At 42 weeks, you may be around two weeks past your due date and are officially considered to be postterm.
While it isn’t uncommon to give birth after your due date, many health care providers don’t suggest carrying beyond 41 or 42 weeks. You’ll likely have spoken to your doctor about induction. But what does this mean? From looking for signs of labor and delivery to the different methods of induction, here’s the lowdown on being 42 weeks pregnant.
Your baby at 42 weeks pregnant
Your baby is ready to be born
At 42 weeks, you’ll likely feel very ready for your baby to arrive, and your baby is ready to be born. Throughout your third trimester, your baby’s organs and systems have developed and matured, and they’ve been gaining weight. However, by 42 weeks, the rate at which they grow slows a little.
You might remember that while in the uterus, your baby is covered by the vernix caseosa (a creamy protective layer) and lanugo (tiny, downy hairs). They protect your baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid. Most babies will lose both the vernix caseosa and lanugo either partially or fully by the time that they’re born, and some babies who are postterm lose it early, meaning they can be born with red, dryer skin. This isn’t something to be too worried about. They will naturally lose this top layer of skin in the few days after they’re born, and the skin underneath will be soft.
How big is a baby at 42 weeks?
Length (crown to heel): 52 cm or 20.5 in
Weight: 3.8 kg or 8.3 lb
Size: Equivalent to a watermelon
All measurements are approximate and vary within the normal range.