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My Baby - Week by Week Pregnancy

Week 42 - Keeping Baby Safe, Comfy and Healthy

Although your baby may still be safe, comfy and cozy in your womb, there is an increasing chance that your baby could be at risk as your pregnancy extends beyond the 40th week.

Your placenta is a temporary organ, only designed to function for approximately 40 weeks so it will begin to shut down and deteriorate as it ages, which means the level of amniotic fluid will begin to decrease and your baby may not receive sufficient oxygen or nutrients. In addition, there is a risk that your baby could inhale meconium, the tarry substance that builds up in your baby's bowels and is usually expelled soon after birth, which can cause severe breathing problems at birth. If either of these problems occurs, your doctor may recommend inducing labor or delivering your baby via c-section.

There are several ways to check the health of an overdue baby, including doing regular kick counts (counting the number of movements you feel during a specified period of time), conducting a non-stress test, performing an ultrasound evaluation of the baby, and measuring the amount of amniotic fluid with ultrasound. If these tests are inconclusive or if your doctor has any concerns, he or she may also perform an amniocentesis to determine the maturity of your baby's lungs.

Learn more: Stages of Labor

How is your body changing this week? Find out: My Pregnant Body Week 42

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Popular Pages:

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