While it is quite normal to give birth one or two weeks after the due date, an overdue pregnancy can leave you anxious and exhausted. You might have a severe back ache, swollen ankles and heartburn. The tension about childbirth can also keep you awake at night.
Causes of Overdue Pregnancy
- If you were born overdue yourself
- It runs in your family
- You are overweight
- It is your first pregnancy
- You have had overdue babies before
Sometimes, it simply may be the case of miscalculated due date, if you didn’t remember the date of your last period correctly. In such a case, you aren’t technically overdue. Most times, the exact cause of going overdue remains unknown.
Checklist for an Overdue Pregnancy
If you are over 40 weeks pregnant, consult your obstetrician for suggestions.
- Check with the doctor to confirm your delivery date. This can be done by confirming the date when you had your last period or by physical and ultrasound scan.
- Get your blood pressure checked and a urine test done.
- Get your baby bump examined to check the position and size of your baby.
- In order to check whether your cervix is ready for labour, get your vaginal examination done.
- Your OB may try the membrane sweep to increase the chances of labour.
- Ask your doctor to check for any signs of complications such as preeclampsia.
Risk of Complications in an Overdue Pregnancy
- As you go overdue, your baby’s growing size might result in a complicated vaginal delivery.
- As your baby grows, the amount of amniotic fluid begins to decrease. This will eventually cause the umbilical cord to become pale as your uterus starts to contract.
- With time, placenta starts aging and affects your little one’s ability to thrive in your uterus. Being overdue can cause your baby to inhale fecal waste (meconium), which can cause breathing problems or an infection after his birth.
- Chances of stillbirth increase
- Chances of C-section delivery increase
You should understand that preparing yourself for labor and delivery is more than just packing your hospital bag. It is all about diligent pre-planning and proper execution, and we assure you that your labour and delivery will be a breeze.
Coping with the Stress of Overdue Pregnancy
- Plan your day and get involved in some activities. Avoid sitting at home wondering when will you have labour pains.
- Stock up the refrigerator with tasty freezable recipes.
- Take enough rest. If you feel uncomfortable sleeping at night, have naps during daytime. This will help you store energy for labour.
- Listen to some good music and read pregnancy books.
- Go for short walks in your locality to feel fresh and relaxed.
- Visit pregnancy websites to know about the things to take care of after pregnancy. Meet online mothers or join support groups to share your experiences with them.
- Pack your hospital bag and review the birthing plan
- Make an album of the ultrasound photos of your baby as a memory
- Make a music playlist for your newborn.
- Decide on the name for your baby
- Engage in some gardening and connect with nature.
- Make a movie collection that you would want to see with your child.
- Record a voicemail greeting to tell your close ones about your delivery news.
- Try a few labour induction methods that might help you trigger labour only after taking your doctor’s permission.
- Keep the records of kick counts and movements
Going overdue is not such a bad thing, and stressing over is not going to help. Just continue taking care of your health and let the nature or your doctor take control of the things. Congratulations for making it so far! Your baby will soon be in your arms.