What should you do if you're already past your due date?
For all expectant mothers, the days leading up to their due date can be the most exciting and nervewracking time of their pregnancy. As the days keep closing in, the excitement builds up and they're eager to see finally see their beloved baby.
However, what happens if your due day comes and goes, and you still haven't given birth? Should you be worried? Can you do anything to induce labor?
Is it normal to be past your due date?
You'll be surprised to find out that only 4% of babies, are born on their due date, so going past your due date is normal. Most babies arrive within 37 - 41 weeks of pregnancy, so it's really hard to pinpoint the exact day that you're going to give birth.
You have to remember that your due date is only a rough estimate of when you'll be giving birth. It's usually calculated as 40 weeks after the first day of your last period.
However, pregnancies that last for more than 42 weeks are already considered prolonged pregnancy, and this happens to roughly 5-10% of pregnant women.
In cases of prolonged pregnancy, labor is usually induced by the doctor
Are there any risks of going past your due date?
For moms who are under a few days or a week past your due date, there shouldn't be anything to worry about.
However, for moms who are already past 42 weeks, since there is a chance that the baby will die while inside the womb, or shortly after giving birth.
Additionally, the risk of being stillborn or die after birth also increases during 39-42 weeks and sharply increases after 42 weeks.
What options do you have?
For the most part, if you're a few days past your due date, then the only thing you can really do is to wait. There's really not much else to do but keep yourself preoccupied since you can't really know when your baby is ready to come out.
Some moms recommend various home remedies such as teas or food that can help induce labor, but these haven't been confirmed to induce labor. Some moms also swear that having sex helped kickstart their labor!
If you're already weeks beyond your due date, it is recommended that your doctor induce labor. It's important to consult your doctor in order to figure out a plan so that you can safely give birth.
Your doctor should also be able to know if there are any complications regarding your birth so that your baby will be born safe and healthy.
This article was first published on The Asianparent Philippines