You’ve been waiting 9 months for it – and now your due date has come and gone. Only around five percent of babies are born on their due date, most are born after this point. Knowing you are in the majority is unlikely to make you feel much better if you’re feeling sorry for yourself, and waiting for labour to start.
Your due date is simply an estimation of when your baby will be born. There are various reasons why your due date may be incorrect. For example, if you have an irregular cycle, or are unsure when conception occurred, your due date may be out by a few days or more. Even if you had a dating scan, it’s still possible that your confirmed due date could be inaccurate.
Another thing to remember is that your due date is just an estimation, and is based on the average length of pregnancies. In fact, there is not a one length fits all gestation periods, some pregnancies are slightly longer or shorter than others.
Pregnancy is categorized as follows:
- babies born before 37 weeks are considered preterm
- babies born between 37 and 39 weeks are considered late-preterm
- babies born between 39 and 42 weeks are considered term
- babies born after 42 weeks are considered post-dates, or overdue
What should I do?
Going past term can be frustrating. You may be desperate to meet your baby, in a hurry to stop being pregnant, or just ready to get labour out of the way. If you still have loose ends to tie up, now is the time to do that. Buying last minute items, tidying the house or stockpiling frozen dinners for after the birth are all useful ways to use this extra time.
If you are wondering what to do with your still pregnant self, take a look at these suggestions:
- Sleep – make sure you get enough rest. You will need your strength for labour, so try to get as much sleep as you can. If you are struggling to sleep, at least be sure to rest.
- Stay active – if you’re feeling demoralised about going overdue, it’s easy to waste your days on the sofa. Try to stay active, by going for daily walks or continuing with your pregnancy exercise routine if you have one.
- Talk – if you are feeling frustrated, tired or low, talk to your partner, friends and family for support.
- Ask a professional – talk to your healthcare provider if you are worried about being overdue. They will be able to reassure you and talk you through your options as the days go by.
Trust in your body, and have faith that your baby will come when he or she is ready. While you may be fed up with being overdue, your baby might be going through the final stages of development to be ready for life outside the womb.
Don’t worry, it won’t be long until you meet your baby.
Why not start reading up on what to expect when your baby is there? Whilst you wait for your baby’s arrival, download our new Baby App for iPhone / iPad or Android. Click Baby+ iOS or Baby+ Android to install the App, and prepare for the arrival of your little one(s).
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.