The 4 things you should do when you’re past your due date

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What happens if you go past your due date? Should you worry?

Are you past your due date? Take deep breaths, and keep calm. “No woman should feel nervous or anxious if she’s still pregnant after her due date,” maternal-fetal medicine researcher and practitioner Dr. Alex C. Vidaeff told Fit Pregnancy. “Due dates can be off by a week in either direction.” You could even be off by two weeks! Here are some things that you should do when you’re past your due date.

1. Don’t stress

While it’s important that your doctor monitors you closely as you pass your due date, you shouldn’t stress. Here are some of the things you should do to keep you busy, as suggested by PopSugar:

  • Get started on those books you’ve never had time to read—and not just baby books.
  • Get your nails done.
  • Write a letter to your baby about your hopes and dreams for him or her.
  • Go on a nice date with your partner.
  • Talk to your mom and ask her about your own birth story.
  • Choose an outfit for your time at the hospital. Choose an outfit for your baby too, while you’re at it!
  • Spend time with your friends.
  • If you already have kids, spend quality time with them.
  • Rest as much as you can. You’ll need it.
past due date

Photo: Shutterstock

2. Remember that your due date is just an estimate

It takes around 38 weeks from conception for your baby to fully develop in your womb, but very few moms-to-be know exactly when they became pregnant, according to BabyCenter. That’s why doctors just usually count from the first day of your last menstrual cycle and add 280 days or 40 weeks to that.

According to WebMD, you are also more likely to deliver late if:

  • This is your first pregnancy
  • You have delivered late in the past
  • Other women in your family have delivered late
  • You were born late yourself

Read more about what to do when you’re past your due date on the next page.

3. Know the risks of giving birth late

When you reach 40 weeks, your doctors will probably start monitoring your pregnancy more closely, as delivering two weeks after your due date have risks. After 42 weeks, the stillbirth and early neonatal mortality rate is twice than at term. Other problems of a late delivery include breathing problems, fetal distress, and slowed growth.

past due date

4. Talk to your caregiver (your doctor or midwife)

Should you induce? Most doctors won’t recommend induction until you’re 41 weeks, but you might want to wait until 42 weeks. Ask your caregiver for advice and take your own circumstances into account. In the end, it is up to you whether you want to induce labor or not, but make sure that you get monitored every other two to three days.

READ: How can you tell if you’re going into labor?

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