Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Guide to Being 42 Weeks Pregnant

Don't Worry If…
What took so long, little baby?
What took so long, little baby?

Once you go a week beyond your due date, some concerns come up simply because you're carrying longer than the typical gestation period. When that happens, problems can arise, so your caregiver will most likely step up the baby monitoring. This does not mean your baby is trouble. It's simply a way to make sure everybody is still healthy and happy until labor starts.

At 42 weeks, your doctor may want to increase the frequency of:

  • Ultrasounds, to look at the baby
  • Fetal monitoring, to check the baby's heart rate
  • Vaginal exams, to check on the status of your cervix

The point is to make sure everything is OK and to find out immediately if it's not so that your labor can be induced. And if it does come to induction, don't sweat it. Your baby is fully baked by now, and the best thing for everyone is to bring him or her into the outside world so the adventure can really begin.

Preferably right now. Lazy little munchkin.

For more information on pregnancy, parenting and related topics, look over the links on the next page.