42 weeks of pregnancy is the time when they start talking about overcarrying the fetus. On average, a normal pregnancy lasts from 38 to 41 weeks. If the pregnancy is not resolved by the birth of a child after 42 weeks of pregnancy, this is overgrowth . A pregnancy that develops after 42 weeks can be true or false. False overgestation occurs when the pregnancy seems to be prolonged, that is, the fetus is normally developed and full-term.
At 42 weeks of true pregnancy, the pregnant woman herself and the fetus are in a rather dangerous state.
With delayed birth, the fetus is still inside the mother’s womb. However, the vital organs and fluids – the amniotic fluid and the membrane of the placenta – can no longer provide it with all the necessary nutrients and oxygen. The situation is even more aggravated if the fetus is very large, and even in time it would be difficult for him to move along the birth canal.
How to define overgrowth ?
At the 42nd week of pregnancy, it is rather difficult to establish true overgestation , since immediate signs occur quite rarely. Obstetricians leading a woman’s pregnancy, monitoring her condition and the intrauterine development of the child, can state at the 42nd week of pregnancy that the child’s growth has stopped or a decrease in the girth of the pregnant woman’s abdomen. Such manifestations are often related to the reduction of amniotic fluid.
A post-term pregnancy is characterized by an increase or decrease in the movement of the baby inside the uterus, which is evidence of oxygen deficiency due to circulatory disorders. The mammary glands can begin to produce full-fledged breast milk. Postponement of pregnancy is diagnosed by the presence of an “unfinished” cervix for a period of more than forty weeks. Most often, when the pregnancy is overdone , very large children are born.
Examination of post-term pregnancy
After 42 weeks of pregnancy, the expectant mother is placed in a hospital in the ward of the maternity hospital, after which tests and examinations are carried out. In the process of examining the fetal sac during a post-term pregnancy, you can determine the color and density of the amniotic fluid, the density of the lubricant flakes. Ultrasound examination shows the presence of oligohydramnios and transformations of the placenta. In addition, diagnosing a post-term pregnancy is facilitated by puncture of the fetal sac with amniotic fluid sampling. Often an oxytocin test is done. Sensors that display data on the monitor analyze the following indicators:
- fetal pulse;
- the number of uterine contractions caused by oxytocin injected into the amniotic sac.
In the case when the gestation of the fetus is confirmed, artificial stimulation of labor is performed, preparing the uterine cervix for childbirth.
Causes of prolongation of pregnancy
Most often, at 42 weeks of pregnancy, the following are delayed:
- with violations of the endocrine glands, for example, with thyroid diseases, diabetes;
- women who previously had artificial abortions and inflammatory processes in the pelvic organs;
- with an irregular menstrual cycle;
- with kidney diseases, diseases of the stomach or intestines, since in this case the metabolic process is upset;
- for a long time in bed or suffering from hypodynamia, since the head of the child is not able to sink into the small pelvis in such a situation and does not affect the uterine neck;
- experiencing strong emotional disturbances.
At risk, among other things, are women who have a pelvic intrauterine position of the fetus, overdue previous pregnancy, or the age of the expectant mother over thirty years.
Pregnancy at 42 weeks has been carefully studied since the beginning of the last century, and ways to prevent complications during childbirth go back several centuries. Accordingly, the experience of medicine in this matter is significant.