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Week of gestation: 41 weeks
Equals to the month: 9 months and 6 days
Equals to days: 281 to 286 days of gestation
At the 41st week of pregnancy, all organs are fully formed, the baby continues to gain weight and is ready to be born. The baby's skin tends to be redder and drier, as it has already lost most of the vernix caseosa, which covered its skin.
During this week, a woman may have difficulty sleeping due to the size of her belly which makes it more difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position, which can also lead to excessive tiredness. In addition, it is normal that at this stage of pregnancy, the woman feels more anxious because of the proximity of childbirth.
After 41 weeks, the doctor may opt for induction of labor or cesarean section, because as the pregnancy progresses beyond 9 months, the risk of complications for the baby increases.
At the 41st week of pregnancy, all organs are fully formed and the baby continues to gain weight. In this week of pregnancy, the baby's skin tends to be redder and drier, as it has already lost most of the vernix caseosa that covered the skin, which is a thick white covering, similar to wax, and which has the function of hydrating. and protect the skin from amniotic fluid.
Some areas of the baby's skull bones, called fontanelles or soft spot, are still separated to allow the head to compress enough to pass through the birth canal. These areas of the skull will remain soft until a year after birth to allow the brain to continue developing.
Baby size and weight
The size of the fetus at 41 weeks gestation is about 51.7 centimeters measured from head to toe, equivalent to the size of a pumpkin. The baby's weight this week is about 3.68 Kg.
Changes in a woman's body
At the 41st week of pregnancy, a woman may experience symptoms of excessive tiredness, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, and/or swelling in the legs and feet. In addition, the woman may feel more anxious for the birth of the baby.
Contractions can start at any time and tend to get stronger and more painful. If a woman wants a normal birth, eating spicy foods, if they don't cause heartburn, or having sex can help speed up labor.
As soon as contractions begin, note the time and frequency they arrive, to assess the progress of labor. Check for signs of labor.
If labor does not start spontaneously this week, it is possible that the obstetrician chooses to admit the woman to the hospital for monitoring and induction of labor. In some cases, the obstetrician may indicate a cesarean section. Understand how induced labor is performed and when it is indicated.
This is because, as the pregnancy progresses beyond 9 months, the risks of complications for the baby increase, as the placenta can age and calcify, and the amount of amniotic fluid can reduce, compromising the supply of oxygen and nutrients for the baby.
In some cases, it is possible for the pregnancy to last up to 42 weeks, but it must be constantly monitored by the obstetrician.
Care during the 41st week
At the 41st week of pregnancy, some precautions are important to help alleviate the discomforts that may arise, such as:
- Excessive tiredness: Resting during the day, if possible, going to bed a little earlier at night, can help reduce fatigue and increase mood;
- Difficulty sleeping or insomnia: Sleeping with a pillow between your legs and lying on your side or in a position that the woman is comfortable with helps reduce discomfort that makes it difficult to sleep sleep. In addition, it is important to create a sleep routine and a calm and comfortable environment to sleep, and avoid sleeping during the day so as not to disturb your night sleep;
- Swelling in the legs or feet: not standing too long, and placing your feet higher than your body, supporting your feet when you need to sit, help improve blood circulation in the legs and helps relieve swelling in the legs or feet. However, if the swelling doesn't improve, starts suddenly, or has swelling in your hands and face, you should seek medical help right away, as it could be a sign of preeclampsia. Learn more about preeclampsia and how it is treated;
- Anxiety: getting some sleep, finding ways to relax, such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, or listening to relaxing music, can help reduce anxiety.
During this week of pregnancy, women should continue to follow medical recommendations and be aware of signs of labor such as rupture of the amniotic sac, regular contractions that increase in intensity and do not improve with body movement, and presence of vaginal discharge.
In addition, she must have constant follow-up with the obstetrician to check the baby's he alth.
From the 41st week of pregnancy to the 42nd week, the pregnant woman should be monitored by the doctor every 48 to 72 hours. For this reason, your doctor may advise you to be hospitalized to monitor your baby's blood pressure, heart rate, amount of amniotic fluid, placental he alth, baby's weight and movements, and uterus height. and the cervix.