Late-term & Post-term Pregnancy: When You're Still Expecting After 41 Weeks Pregnant by 30Seconds Pregnancy

Late-term & Post-term Pregnancy: When You're Still Expecting After 41 Weeks Pregnant

Forty weeks of pregnancy has come and gone, but you still have a (huge!) baby bump. You’ve walked the mall, eaten spicy food, had sex, did nipple stimulation – all those old wives’ tales to get labor kickstarted – but nothing. Welcome to late-term pregnancy.

The average pregnancy is 280 days, or 40 weeks. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “a pregnancy that lasts 41 weeks up to 42 weeks is called ‘late term.’ A pregnancy that lasts longer than 42 weeks is called ‘post-term.’”

While the causes of post-term pregnancy are not known, the ACOG says there are many factors that can increase your chances of having a post-term pregnancy, including:

  • First baby.
  • Having a boy.
  • Had a prior post-term pregnancy.
  • You are obese.

A few health risks can occur with post-term pregnancies, including stillbirth, meconium in the lungs of the baby, postmaturity syndrome and decreased amniotic fluid, which can cause the umbilical cord to pinch and lessen oxygen flow to the fetus. But know that problems occur in only “a small number of post-term pregnancies,” states the ACOG.

If you are still pregnant at 41 weeks, your doctor or midwife may recommend testing. These tests can include:

  • Electronic fetal monitoring: Two belts are placed around your abdomen to hold sensors, which measure fetal heart rate and the frequency of your contractions.
  • Non-stress test: Measures the baby’s heart rate for a specific amount of time.
  • Biophysical profile: Fetal heart rate monitoring as well as an ultrasound exam to check heart rate, breathing, movement, muscle tone and the amount of amniotic fluid.
  • Contraction stress test: Monitors the baby’s heart rate changes when the uterus contracts. You may be given oxytocin to help the uterus contract for this test. 

Your doctor may recommend that your labor be induced at 41 weeks. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns. 

The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.

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Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
Great information here for post-due moms!

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