I am past my due date. Will my baby be okay?
Babies usually arrive between 37 and 41 weeks into the pregnancy. You should go into labour within a week of the projected delivery date. However, sometimes, baby can come a little later than predicted.
Possible causes of an overdue pregnancy
There is really no known cause for an overdue pregnancy! Sometimes, the baby simply takes longer to arrive. There is no cause for alarm.
Risks in having an overdue baby
There are risks to having an overdue baby, although overdue babies can also be perfectly healthy. One risk is that the baby may not get all the nourishment it needs past its due date. This is because the placenta, which gives the baby oxygen and nutrients, starts to deteriorate.
Another risk is that the baby may have to be delivered surgically via a caesarean section delivery, which is a surgery that carries its own risks. This is because the baby may become too big to pass through the birth canal naturally. Of course, all these are just possible risks, and many overdue babies are eventually born perfectly healthy.
Steps to take in an overdue pregnancy
If you are more than a week past your due date, your doctor will monitor you even more closely than before. Your baby’s heartbeat will be tracked with a fetal doppler and your baby’s movement watched through ultrasound scans.
You will probably find a lot of suggestions online for how to induce labour. Some of these might do more harm than good. Always seek your doctor’s advice if you feel tempted to try out home remedies.
Your doctor will probably advise you to simply wait for your baby to arrive. It can be frustrating to wait, but hang in there! While you are waiting, you could do things you aren’t likely able to do once the baby comes. For example, you could rest, read a book, or if this is your first baby, go out for a romantic meal with your partner, just the two of you.