41 weeks pregnant – what to expect

Wow, your due date has come... and gone. Find out how to kickstart labour and whether you need a sweep (and we're not talking about cleaning your chimney)

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Watch our video to see what your baby looks like this week

So, your baby’s still loitering wombside like the last guest to leave the party? Well, not the last, actually: about 50% of babies stay put past week 40. But yours really won’t be long now…

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So what’s happening to your body this week?

Gone past your due date? We feel your pain as those ‘haven’t you had it yet?’ texts ping in. Your midwife may offer you a ‘sweep’ (or a ‘stretch and sweep’) to try to help bring labour on.

OK, there isn’t a nice way of explaining a sweep but by this stage, you may not care if it gets things going. We won’t go into details right now, but it involves a midwife and her finger. Nuff said.

And sadly, it doesn’t always work, but it’s a bit more reliable than old-wives-tale DIY induction techniques such as superhot-curry-eating and nipple-tweaking. Do try those too, though: there aren’t nearly enough laughs when you go overdue…

Our MFMer’s 41-week bump of the week

Still taking pics of your bump? Check out other MFMers’ belfies in our 41 week bump gallery.

Did you know? Your baby’s now the length of… a stack of 86 (yes, 86) Scotch pancakes

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This week, your baby measures around 51.7cm from head to heel (although it probably feels like more!)

And is around the weight of… a gallon of milk or water

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Your baby now weighs around 7lb 13oz (3.6kg)… or, er, a gallon.

4 things you might need to know this week

MFMers’ tip of the week from our forum

“I think the most fed-up I’ve ever been was when I was overdue. Have a good cry, if you feel like it: it might make you feel better. And get as much rest as you can – you never know, you might be in labour tomorrow! And I know it’s a cliché but it really will all be worth it as soon as you hold your baby.” – Sunflower81

Is it safe… to have sex at this late stage?

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Yes, you’ve got a very big bump, yes, you may not be feeling your sexiest, but yes, it IS safe to have sex right up until your waters break – if you fancy it.

And yes, it might help to kickstart labour, but the sex will need to be on more of a bunny frequency than a single quickie. And you’re going to have to be a bit imaginative. Let’s face it, that large bump can be a bit of an obstacle.

Nature’s latest pregnancy joke is that your body becomes more flexible as birth-day nears. But before you start conjuring up bedtime acrobatics – it also means you won’t be able to hold a position for very long. Don’t dwell on that one. 

Our preg recipe for week 41 – Date and raisin muffins

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Why dates are great for you and your baby

Sweet and sticky, dates, like most dried fruit, are packed with vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.

But what’s particularly fascinating about date-eating in late pregnancy is the suggestion from an (admittedly) small study in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology that eating 6 dates a day in the final weeks of pregnancy can make you less likely to need an induction and more likely to have a shorter labour. Well, it’s certainly worth a try, eh?

See the full recipe… and get someone else to bake them for you!

Baby namer – what do you think of these names from Roald Dahl books?

Getting the nursery bookshelves stocked up with stories to read to your baby? Why not take inspiration from this children’s author – who wrote wonderfully imaginative books loved by kids and adults alike – including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

James
Take a leaf from James and the Giant Peach, James is an old Hebrew name that means he grasps the heel.
Celeb baby name check: Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds named their first daughter James – cementing its use as a unisex name.

Charlie
Inspired by the brave Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie is from the old English word Ceorl meaning simply, man.
Celeb baby name check: Gary Oldman named his 3rd son Charlie.

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That’s all, folks! We’ve come to the end of our week-by-week pregnancy info, but there’s plenty more helpful expert advice and top tips for you once your baby is born…

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