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Highlights this week

Why newborns look so funny

Your baby's head may look pointy from squeezing through the birth canal, and her skin may be peeling from her long bath in amniotic fluid.

Don't try this at home

By the end of this week, you may need to be induced. Note: It's not safe to try to get your labor going on your own.

Text, tweet, or update your status

How will you announce your baby's birth? Most use social media or their phone, and others get more creative.

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Baby development at 41 weeks

It's getting snug in there

For safety reasons, your doctor or midwife will talk with you about inducing labor if your baby isn't born in the next week – or earlier if there are any problems. Most providers won't let you wait more than two weeks past your due date to give birth because it puts you and your baby at increased risk for complications. After 42 weeks your labor is more likely to be prolonged or stalled, both you and your baby have an increased risk of injury during a vaginal delivery, and there's a greater risk of stillbirth.

baby now weighing close to eight pounds
Your baby at 41 weeks Tap the plus for more details
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Almost there!

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Pregnancy symptoms during week 41


It's hard not to be anxious when your due date comes and goes and you're still hugely pregnant (especially when well-meaning family and friends keep calling to check on your status!). But don't fret – you won't be pregnant forever. There's a good chance you'll go into labor on your own this week, and if you don't, you'll be induced by 42 weeks or earlier if you or your baby has any problems.


Keep paying attention to your baby's movements, and let your doctor or midwife know right away if they seem to decrease. Your baby should remain active right up to delivery, and a noticeable slowdown in activity could be a sign of a problem.

Leaking fluid?

Also call if you think your water may have broken. Sometimes there's a big gush of fluid, but sometimes there's only a small gush or a slow leak. (Don't try to make the diagnosis yourself. Call even if you only suspect you have a leak.) If your water breaks but contractions don't start soon, you'll be induced.

Don't see your symptom?
Wondering about a symptom you have? Find it on our pregnancy symptoms page.

baby in womb at 41 weeks awaiting possible induction
Your body at 41 weeks Tap the plus for more details

Pregnancy checklist at 41 weeks

Get support if you're still pregnant

Fed up with the waiting game? Check in with other moms-to-be in your Birth Club who are feeling stalled too.

Do something nice for yourself

Whether it's a mani-pedi, a prenatal massage, a movie night, or something else, go ahead and treat yourself.

This week's video


BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

AAFP. 2016. Labor induction. American Academy of Family Physicians. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/pregnancy-newborns/labor-childbirth/labor-induction.html [Accessed May 2019]

ACOG. 2011. FAQ066. What to expect after your due date. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/What-to-Expect-After-Your-Due-Date [Accessed May 2019]

Merck Manual. 2016. Postterm pregnancy. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/abnormalities-and-complications-of-labor-and-delivery/postterm-pregnancy [Accessed May 2019]

UpToDate. 2016. Patient information: Postterm pregnancy (beyond the basics). http://www.uptodate.com/contents/postterm-pregnancy-beyond-the-basics [Accessed May 2019]

Wang M, et al. 2014. Common questions about late-term and postterm pregnancy. American Family Physician 90(3):160-5. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0801/p160.html [Accessed May 2019]

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Kate Marple is a writer and editor who specializes in health, pregnancy, and parenting content. She's passionate about translating complicated medical information into helpful pregnancy and parenting advice that's easy to understand. She lives in San Francisco with her family.
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