Pregnancy lasts for about 280 days or 40 weeks. But what if 40 weeks have already passed? What to do when the baby’s overdue? You had already started preparing for the welcoming of the baby. But the baby has not arrived yet. Undoubtedly, last few days of your pregnancy are an exciting time. Now you due date has passed and you’re waiting for the labor to start. The exciting time has turned stressful now.
You’re ready but your baby is still not in the world. Overdue pregnancy will put you in a confused state of mind. However, it is important that during pregnancy a woman should not take much stress. Do not worry, overdue pregnancy is somewhat common. Pregnancy calculator can be wrong too, and sometimes calculations can be off by a week or two. Have you checked out Chinese birth calendar?
What is Overdue Pregnancy? When is ‘Baby Overdue’?
Usually, a baby is born between 38th and 42nd week of pregnancy. A baby born before the 37th week is premature and a baby born after 42nd week is considered as late and termed as post-term. This is, however, a rare case, only one in ten babies is born post-term.
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Why is Baby Late?
No one is sure of the reason behind the delay of the baby during pregnancy. There are actually no stated reasons behind overdue pregnancy and overdue baby. There are no real reasons for what causes your baby to extend its seat in your uterus. However, the following can be the likely reasons if you’re delivering late.
- First-time Mother: It’s your first pregnancy.
- You were yourself born late.
- History of previous overdue baby: You had babies who were also born late in the past.
- Hereditary: There are women in your family who delivered past due-date.
- Errors in calculating Due-date(Especially when you forgot the last date of your period; Always remember each and every pregnancy announcement made during pregnancy.)
- Climate: Please note that climate too plays a role in pregnancy. Pregnancies in summer season usually tend to be longer than the pregnancies in the winter season.
- Maternal Weight Gain
- A position of Baby: The position of the baby affects the start of the labor. If the baby is in ‘breech position’, the labor pain is generally slower.
What can you do if your Baby is Overdue?
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- Monitor the Baby and Count Fetal Movements.
- It’s high time that you should start monitoring the baby closely. You may monitor the baby’s heart rate with CTG test. This will help you to ensure that the baby is healthy.
- Take a test for Amniotic Fluid Index: This index will help you examine whether the placenta is functioning properly or not. If a good amount of amniotic fluid is present, then placenta is functioning appropriately.
- Low Amniotic Fluid Value can be a sign of an overdue pregnancy.
Can Post-Term Delivery Affect The Health of My Baby?
There are numerous health risks associated with post-term pregnancy. Post-term pregnancy can affect you as well as the infant. It can affect the infant in the following ways:
- Baby may have breathing problems.
- Slow growth of the baby.
- A decline in the level of Amniotic Fluid.
- Risk of C-section (cesarean section) or forceps delivery because the baby is big.
- Risk of Meconium Aspiration
- Other complications such as vaginal tears, bleeding or serious infections.
Labor Induced in Overdue Pregnancy
The doctors usually suggest labor induction during the period of post-pregnancy. The labor is induced in order to avoid any further complications which can risk both the life of the baby and the mother. There are various methods of labor induction, including, membrane sweep, oxytocin, breaking the waters or artificial rupture of membranes. However, there are risks associated with it too. There are a few ways through which labor can be induced naturally.
Ways to Induce Labor Naturally
- Having Sex
- A walk will exert pressure
- Stimulation of Nipple
Don’t Stress and Sweat An Overdue Baby
Try to relax. Birth will happen when the time is right. Don’t stress. Worrying is not going to help you anyway. So better relax, stay stress-free and enjoy whatever time remains of your pregnancy.
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