The following information -- and much more -- can also be found in the free weekly email Lamaze Pregnancy Week by Week. Sign up now to receive helpful information for your stage of pregnancy. Subscribers will be given the opportunity to complete a Lamaze Parent Satisfaction Survey after their pregnancy and receive a Lamaze Toys coupon. We want to hear about your birth experience and the impact that childbirth education may have had so that we can continue to make sure parents have the information they need for the safest, healthiest birth possible.
You're in week 41 of your pregnancy!
The thought of caring for your newborn may intimidate you. Perhaps you wonder if you’ll know how to nurture such a little child. Be assured, you already know. When the moment comes, you will know how to feed your baby, keep baby warm and safe, bond with baby and how to parent your child. Listen to the voice deep inside you, to your instincts and do what comes naturally.
What's New with Baby
If your baby is still hanging out inside his little home, he is among the fifty percent or so that will be born past their due date (that’s the law of averages!). Rest assured your baby is happy and healthy and is continuing to develop and prepare for life outside the womb.
What's New with You
Being pregnant after your due date does not mean you are “late” or “past due.” It simply means that your baby will be one of many babies born after his or her due date. And it means that you are likely to have your baby very soon. One study has shown that the average length of pregnancy (when labor is not induced) is 41 weeks and one day for first-time moms. Pregnancy lasts an average of 40 weeks and three days for mothers who have previously had a baby. Since these are averages, some women give birth before this time and others give birth after this time.
Your body is still preparing for labor in the days after your estimated due date. Your uterus is gearing up, your cervix is softening, your breasts are preparing for nursing and your hormones are preparing to signal labor. Perhaps this additional time will help prepare you for welcoming a newcomer to your family.
Story from a Mama who has been there
“Through the process of natural childbirth, I gained a lot of confidence in myself. I left my comfort zone and the culture I had grown up with. I learned that I can work through scary and painful situations and be strong and present when I need to be. My fear of not knowing how to be a good mother has disappeared as my confidence in my intuition of how to love Grace has increased…. I have learned I can choose to focus on the darker side or the lighter side of all that is around me. I choose the lighter side and have the discipline to keep it up.”
– Kathryn, from Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth