When you’re past your pregnancy due date, you probably feel tired of waiting and anxious about childbirth. Your back may hurt more and your ankles may be swollen. You may even be struggling with haemorrhoids, heartburn and have trouble sleeping. However, try to enjoy these last days or weeks of your pregnancy as well. It’s the end of a beautiful journey and soon you will be very busy with your little one.
Here is some important information about being overdue.
Although your pregnancy due date is calculated, it is perfectly normal to give birth one or two weeks before or after. In fact, your pregnancy must continue two weeks after your due date to earn the real label of ‘overdue pregnancy’.
What are common reasons to deliver past your due date?
- The due date was incorrect assigned (e.g. due to irregular periods)
- This is your first pregnancy
- You have a (family) history of overdue pregnancy
- You are obese
- Your baby is a boy
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
1. Keep a close eye on your pregnancy
When you’re past your pregnancy due date, it’s important to increase the frequency of your prenatal care. Your health care provider will need to look out for possible complications and check your cervix frequently for thinning and dilation. If you are more than a week past your due date, your baby’s heartbeat and movements, and the amount of your amniotic fluid, will also be closely monitored.
2. Give your baby a nudge
If your pregnancy continues two weeks past your date, the chance of complications increases. His size may complicate a vaginal delivery, the amount of amniotic fluid decreases and the placenta starts to age. Therefore it won’t harm to try some natural ways to bring on labour. Try eating some spicy food or pineapple, go for a walk, try nipple stimulation or if you still feel like it have sex. These are all natural ways to bring on labour.
If the healthcare provider suspects any complications, you will probably be given medication to help soften and open the cervix in order to induce labour. Your health care provider may also break your water, or if necessary, give you a medication to start your contractions, such as Pitocin.
3. Hang in there.
Enjoy your pregnancy by accepting your emotions and taking advantage of the extra time. Enjoy watching a movie, going out for dinner, and reading a book.
As long as there are no complications, it’s best to let nature do its job. When your baby is ready to come out, he’ll come out!
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).
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 2018. All rights reserved.