42 Weeks Pregnant: Symptoms & Baby Development - Babylist
42 Weeks Pregnant
May 16, 2019

42 Weeks Pregnant

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42 Weeks Pregnant.
42 Weeks Pregnant

Your baby is 20.3 inches long and weighs 8.1 pounds this week. That’s about the size of a punch balloon.

Your Baby at 42 Weeks

  • Postterm: This week, your baby is considered later than late and officially “postterm.” This means the risk of birth complications increases a bit this week. This— plus the fact that the placenta starts to age and may not carry nutrition and oxygen to your baby as well as it did—may cause your doctor to recommend an induction.
  • Fattening up: Your baby is still putting on a little weight. Babies born later do tend to be a bit bigger than full-term babies.
  • Super alert: Postterm babies also tend to be more alert at birth, thanks to all that extra baking.

Fun Fact

Many cultures honor a 40 day “lying-in” period when a mother stays at home to recuperate from birth.

Pregnancy Symptoms at 42 Weeks

  • Contractions: At this point, it might be harder than ever to decipher whether or not you’re having Braxton Hicks contractions or if your body’s heading into active labor. Remember to time the contractions—both how long they last and how far apart they are. Many doctors tell patients to head to the hospital when the contractions are about five minutes apart, lasting 60 seconds each for about an hour. Of course, it all depends on how close you are to the hospital and how many babies you’ve delivered before, since first-time labor sometimes can take a little longer than subsequent ones do.
  • Stress: You might have an overwhelming sense of stress and anticipation for baby’s arrival. After all, you’ve been waiting two weeks longer than you thought you’d have to, and everyone and everyone keeps asking you where that baby is! Try not to let yourself stress; so long as your doctor is watching baby closely with nonstress tests, and you’re doing kick counts and all is normal, things should be OK. Try to relax and perhaps try some meditation or practice any labor relaxation techniques you’ve learned.
  • Fatigue: You’re understandably probably tired of being pregnant at this point, but you may be physically exhausted as well. After all, you’ve been carrying around extra weight for a while, and you might be having trouble sleeping since you’re uncomfortable and stressed.

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Your 42 Weeks Pregnant Belly

Wondering what happens when you’re postterm? This week is probably it. If you haven’t already started labor, your OB likely will recommend inducing you this week since risks of complications go way up for babies born past 42 weeks.

In the meantime, you’ll probably get another nonstress test and/or an ultrasound to check on baby’s well-being.

In addition to Pitocin and cervical ripening creams, there are other methods of medical induction that your hospital team may offer like breaking your water or using a balloon (yep, a balloon). Brush up on the details before you head in, and ask as many questions as you can about the process, so you can make informed decisions.

Top Tip for 42 Weeks Pregnant

A Dependent Care FSA can save you about 30 percent on childcare! If your employer offers one, put in as much money as you need for childcare this calendar year (up to $5,000). If they don’t, look into the Dependent Care Tax Credit, which covers up to $3,000.

Congrats—It’s A Tax Break!

Parenting is expensive, but Uncle Sam wants to make it easier on you.

Once you have a child, there are tax benefits you might qualify for: Child Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. There’s a special adoption credit too! Even if your child is born on December 31, you get the tax benefits for the entire year. (Get more specifics from TurboTax.)

In order to add your child to your tax form, you will need their social security card. You will probably apply for this at the hospital when you fill out the birth certificate paperwork. If you had a home birth, here are the directions on how to get your child’s SSN. They generally take between one and four weeks to process.

Partner Tip

Help out with this paperwork while she’s cluster feeding.

42 Weeks Baby Bumps from Real Moms


42-weeks-pregnant-bump-@ashley nichollee






42-weeks-pregnant-bump-@ina iam


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Week 42 Pregnancy Checklist

  • Go to your week 42 prenatal visit.
  • Go to your ultrasound and/or nonstress test appointments if your doctor recommends them.
  • Schedule your induction if you and the doc decided you should have one.
  • If you’re having an induction, pack a few extra magazines, download some podcasts and have other things on hand to occupy your mind, since you might be waiting for a while for labor to really kick in.
  • Grab that hospital bag and go. It’s time to meet your baby!
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