If you have made it to 42 weeks pregnant and your baby is not making the signs that it is going to enter the world of its own accord, then it is likely that you will be induced.
At 42 weeks, your baby will be the same size as a punch balloon which equates to around 20.3 inches in length and 8.1 pounds in weight.
The 42 Week Baby
- Post-term: By the time 42 weeks is upon you, your baby is considered as being late which is the easier way of saying “post-term”. Birthing risks do increase a little this week which may lead your doctor to recommend that you consider being induced. This is because the placenta has reached the age where it is not able to give your baby the amount of nutrition and oxygen that it needs, as it was previously able to. This is common and there is no need to panic.
- Size increase: Even at 42 weeks, your baby is still increasing in size and weight, though the speed at which it is doing so has decreased. Later born babies are renowned for being bigger than full-term babies.
- Increased alertness: As your 42-week baby has had more time to develop in the sanctity of your womb, when they enter the world they are much more alert than the average full-term baby.
Symptoms of Your Pregnancy at 42 Weeks
- Complications with contractions – By the time you get to 42 weeks, it is going to be quite difficult for you to be able to distinguish between Braxton Hicks and real contractions resulting in active labor starting. The easiest way to be able to tell these apart is through timing the gap between the contractions. When contractions get to the stage when they are about five minutes apart, this is the sort of time when doctors recommend that the laboring mother heads to the hospital. This type of contraction will last for about 60 seconds each time and will have been ongoing for over an hour. This information about when to head to the hospital is generally quite accurate if it is your first baby, but if you have had multiple babies vaginally or if you live a considerable distance from a hospital, then these times should be altered as necessary.
- Stressful situation – As much as the arrival of a new baby is hugely exciting, it is also a very stressful situation with there being so much anxiety and anticipation surrounding the event. Adding to this stress, you have also had to wait for an extra two weeks longer than you thought you would be waiting to give birth. Try and keep yourself as calm as possible, though this is not always so easy when family and friends are constantly asking you when your baby is arriving. Your doctor will be keeping a close eye on you and your baby by doing non-stress tests and kick counts so there is no need to panic. Meditation and labor relaxation techniques can be a great way to keep yourself calm in this situation, especially if you have never given birth before.
- Total Tiredness – Having been pregnant for 42 weeks, you are likely to be very tired of being pregnant as well as generally being very tired. You have every right to be – you have been lugging around extra weight and using your superhuman mum powers to grow a tiny human. Sleep can be a common issue as birth anxiety and lack of comfortable sleeping positions prevent relaxation at sleep times.
Mum Tum at 42 Weeks
If labor has not begun naturally by 42 weeks, your obstetrician is very likely to suggest being induced. You will want to increase your consideration of this so as to decrease the likelihood of complications for your baby.
During this time, it is common that another non-stress test and ultrasound will be performed just to check that everything is well and good with the baby on the inside.
There are multiple different ways in which you can be induced if you choose to go down this path. These methods include:
- Cervical ripening creams
- Breaking your waters with a balloon
There is not one single method that suits every woman or every situation, so being well-read about each is the best way to make a healthy decision for you and your baby. Be sure to make a list of any questions or concerns you have about any of these methods so that you can raise these with your doctor.
Congratulations – your child has made it into the world! Now the expense of raising, caring and providing your little one with everything you could ever dream of just got very real. If you haven’t already discovered, having children costs a lot of money.
When your child is born, there are multiple different tax benefits that you may be able to qualify for that could help you to ease the burden of having a new family member, another mouth to feed and having time off work all at the same time, such as:
- Child Tax Credit
- Child and Dependent Care Credit
- Earned Income Tax Credit
- Adoption Credit
Applying for any of these tax benefits is straight forward but does require you to do certain things. You need to add your child to your tax form which needs you to be in receipt of their social security card. This is something you can and should apply for when you fill in their birth certificate at the hospital. The advantages of applying tax benefits can be substantial, even if your child is born on 31st December, as you will get the entire year’s benefits. The processing time for your tax benefits application takes between one and four weeks to clear.
Alternative tax benefits can be found for children who have been birthed at home.