When a pregnancy lasts for 42 weeks or more it is referred to as a post-term pregnancy. While not many studies exist that prove why some women’s pregnancy lasts for 42 weeks, medical experts believe that factors such as hormones, genetics, and even obesity can be the cause. 

42 weeks pregnant in months

42 weeks pregnant is 9 months and 20 days. 

Your baby at week 42 of pregnancy

At 42 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is still growing. At this point, you may choose to wait until your baby comes out or you may choose to be induced. Keep in mind that the chances of stillbirth when a pregnancy lasts longer than 39 weeks are very high.  

How big is your baby at 42 weeks pregnant?

The size of your baby at 42 weeks of pregnancy is compared to that of a watermelon. That’s right! When you are at 42 weeks pregnancy your baby is the size of a watermelon measuring 20.3 inches (51,5 cm) and weighing 8.1 pounds (3.7 kg). 

This should not be a cause to worry as you can still have a vaginal birth. 

At 42 weeks pregnant, your baby is the size of a watermelon

Pregnancy week 42 fetal development

At 42 weeks pregnant, the fetus is still developing. In fact, studies show that post-term infants are bigger than term infants and they may weight about 4.5 kg (10 pounds).

Your body at week 42 of pregnancy

At 42 weeks pregnant, your body may feel like it is under strain. This is normal given that the fetus is still growing.

42 weeks pregnant belly

When a pregnancy lasts longer than 39 weeks, the belly at this point is quite stretched. Your belly may likely feel huge and heavy. 

42 weeks pregnant symptoms

Postterm pregnancy means that you are over 9 months pregnant and this can bring about some physical and emotional changes. Some of the changes you are likely to experience when you are 42 weeks pregnant include:

  • Swollen feet and ankles. You may even experience leg cramps. Walking or standing for too long may be difficult.
  • Your vulva region may be swollen and you may experience a feeling of heaviness in your pelvis area. This is expected given that the baby could be weighing 4.5 kg and is positioned down low ready to get out. 
  • You may find that you are urinating frequently because the baby is putting pressure on your rectum and lower bowel. This means that there is hardly any room for the urine to accumulate. 
  • You may notice that your vaginal discharge is bloody. This is because your cervix is preparing itself for the delivery. So you may notice some slight spotting, but not heavy bleeding. If you notice heavy bleeding, you should seek immediate medical help as it could be a sign of something serious. 
  • You may have trouble sleeping at night. Insomnia is very common in women who have prolonged pregnancies. The lack of sleep could be due to the physical discomfort you could be experiencing. Being worried, moody, stressed, frustrated, and anxious may also cause insomnia.
  • You may experience frequent diarrhea
  • You may experience back pain. This is quite normal as your body prepares for delivery.
Pregnant woman is walking on wood bridge in the park.

42 weeks pregnant ultrasound

When you are 42 weeks pregnant, seeing the ultrasound photos of your unborn baby may be exciting. In the photos, you will be able to see that your baby is completely developed. All of your baby’s organs, at this stage, are functioning and he or she is ready to survive on their own. 

Your baby’s skin at 42 weeks may appear thin and dry. This is because your baby has already shed the vernix caseosa or vernix, which is a waxy-like substance that covers the baby’s skin. 

42 weeks pregnant lifestyle and diet

It is important that you maintain a healthy diet for the sake of yourself and the baby. However, try to avoid foods that may cause constipation or bloating such as dairy products and red meats. 

Stick to eating white meat, fruits and vegetables. Also, avoid eating junk food and instead, snack on fresh fruits or vegetables. 

Sex at week 42 of pregnancy

It is possible to have sex when you are at week 42 of your pregnancy. However, given the size of your protruding belly and the symptoms that are associated with post-term pregnancy, it may be a bit difficult. But if you can wing it, then don’t let anything stop you. 

42 weeks pregnant checklist

When you are experiencing a post-term pregnancy, you can keep a checklist on what you can do to feel less uncomfortable. Here are a few things you may consider adding to your checklist:

  • take more walks
  • have sex
  • discuss the risks of your prolonged pregnancy with your doctor
  • relax more.

42 weeks 1 day pregnant 

At 42 weeks and 1 day pregnant, you may choose to be induced. However, if you would rather wait until the baby is ready to come out on its own, try and take long walks.

Pregnant woman isolated on white background

42 weeks 2 days pregnant 

At 42 weeks and 2 days pregnant, there is still a good chance that you can have a vaginal birth. But only if you are ready to be induced if the baby is not showing any signs of coming out. 

But if a vaginal birth is not possible at this stage, your doctor may suggest a cesarean section as a delivery option after you have been induced. If you want to continue to wait until your child is ready to come out, it is important that you take walks, but avoid standing for too long. 

42 weeks 3 days pregnant 

At 42 weeks and 3 days pregnant, you can choose to have a spontaneous birth as it is still possible or you can choose to be induced. If you choose that you would rather wait than be induced, make sure that you eat a healthy balanced diet. 

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Take walks, but avoid any strenuous exercise. If your legs, feet, and ankles are too swollen, this may make walking difficult. Instead, rest more and try to use compression stockings.

42 weeks 4 days pregnant 

At 42 weeks and 4 days pregnant, your chances of having a spontaneous birth are much lower. Your doctor may suggest inducing labor. But if you are still willing to wait until your baby is ready to come, make sure to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

At this stage, walking may not be possible as your feet and ankles may be extremely swollen. You may also experience leg cramps making it difficult to even take a short walk.

So rest more. Try to avoid feeling worried, anxious, frustrated or depressed. Stay positive and try to engage in things to take your mind off the pregnancy.  

42 weeks 5 days pregnant 

At 42 weeks and 5 days pregnant, your doctor may recommend inducing labor, but this does not mean that you need to undergo a C-section. However, the chances of having a spontaneous birth at this point are quite low. 

If you choose to wait until your baby is ready to come out, taking more rest may be advisable. Of course, at this stage, the symptoms may bring more discomfort, but try to do what you can to stay comfortable. Stick to a diet of fruits, vegetables and other foods that do not cause constipation or bloating.  

42 weeks 6 days pregnant 

At 42 weeks and 6 days pregnant, your doctor may more than likely offer an induction. But if you are not ready to be induced, then your doctor may suggest that you take a lot of bed rest. 

42 weeks 7 days pregnant

At 42 weeks and 7 days pregnant, it may be advisable to be induced to avoid losing the baby. Studies show that fetal mortality increases with post-term pregnancy. While labor induction at this stage comes with some risk, if you want your baby to survive, it may be the way to go. 

Your doctor may also advise against waiting for the baby to come as this may increase maternal morbidity putting your life and that of your child at risk.  

What to ask your doctor?

If you are experiencing a prolonged birth, this may cause you some concern. The problem with post-term pregnancy is that it comes with some risks and complications. 

When you are 42 weeks pregnant, the symptoms are more severe and you may experience a lot more discomfort. Which is why it is advisable to ask your healthcare provider all questions on labor and delivery that bother you. 

It is also important that you discuss with your healthcare provider on how to manage postpartum anxiety and how to avoid postpartum depression once your baby is born. 

Some women after giving birth experience postpartum depression or anxiety which can affect the baby’s health as well as that of the mother’s. 

If you have any concerns about labor induction, talk to your doctor. Make sure that before you are induced, your doctor has explained the risks that come with labor induction. 

Lastly, stay positive. Keeping a positive attitude can go a long way in helping you cope with the delivery and birth of your child. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991404/
https://www.weeksduringpregnancy.com/guide/42weeks.php
https://www.thebump.com/pregnancy-week-by-week/42-weeks-pregnant
https://spacefem.com/pregnant/charts/duedate13.php?w=42&d=5