The term "due date" is short for ESTIMATED DUE DATE.
Some mothers go into labor a day or even a week early, while others are left watching the clock, awaiting the moment when their baby decides to show up to the party.
It's been a long, long pregnancy and you've finally had enough.
You may begin thinking...
"I have passed my due date, now WHERE IS THIS BABY?!"
Going past your due date is actually normal. It's not unusual to exceed 40+ weeks, however risks do increase in post term deliveries.
Not to mention a mom is just plain uncomfortable at the end of her pregnancy.
What are the risks involved with post term delivery?
Once your baby reaches full term they have several increased risks that mostly pertain to their size. At 40 weeks, the baby is huge and there's not much room for them to wiggle around. Despite the limited space and constriction, many mother's can confirm that baby wont stop trying to make moves through their last day in utero!
Amniotic fluid levels may drop once your pregnancy hits the 40 week milestone, because there's just no more room! This tends to concern care providers who will start attentively monitoring your baby's heart rate, amniotic levels, weight and any symptoms the mother might be experiencing.
As your little butterball turkey gets bigger and bigger, it also makes natural and intervention-free delivery a little more challenging. This prompts many mothers to pursue induction at various dates surrounding their "official due date."
What should you do while you're waiting?
At this stage of the game it's all about patiently waiting and staying as comfortable as possible.
A watched bun never bakes.
So take the time to relax as best you can and catch up on some of the sleep that you'll be missing very soon. Little tasks around the house will keep you busy and your mind off your delivery. You'll have time to finish up the nursery, organize and sterilize baby items and color code the dressers!
Use your time wisely and think ahead!
Start prepping some meals ahead to help you out on those upcoming sleepy postpartum days.Your family will appreciate a pre-cooked meal they just need to heat up, taking the pressure off them to make dinner... and possibly destroy the kitchen!
A voicemail update is the perfect way to keep in touch with family members calling you to check up on you. Updating your voicemail along the way and encouraging them to keep checking for updates will keep you from having to reach out individually.
It can be as simple as "Resting at home, no signs of contractions yet but our bags are packed for the hospital, keep checking our voicemail for updates."
What should you avoid?
Avoid DIY labor inducers or old wives tales about how to encourage your water to break or start going into labor without consulting with your care provider. Most of these methods are either unsafe or involve some side effects that aren't too comfortable for an already uncomfortable mom. Spicy food is might just give you heartburn or encourage your stomach do a some strange unpleasant things. Castor oil can dehydrate you which may make you throw up.
Unfortunately lots of these DIY tips and tricks to induce yourself at home are just too risky unless recommended by a professional with proper instruction.
Don't feel trapped!
With the holidays right around the corner you might feel the urge to get out and pick up some dinner supplies or do some light gift shopping. Going out and about is fine in moderation and a little movement might actually help relieve some pain in your legs and back. Whenever possible, running errands should be an activity you do with someone else just in case something goes wrong or you finally go into labor!
Bring your spouse or friend along if you need to go to the store and don't over-do yourself.
Know your limitations and leave when you begin feeling uncomfortable standing or walking.
It might feel like this baby is never going to show up.
It's ok they definitely will, and it'll be soon!
Communicate with your birth team and care provider about the procedure for your pregnancy exceeding 40 weeks and your induction options.
Take this golden opportunity to rest and relax before your crazy postpartum days ahead combined with the insanity of the holidays.