when your baby is overdue
If your due date arrives and you have not yet gone into labor, your pregnancy is referred to as post-mature or overdue. About 45% of women are still pregnant at 40 weeks, but the majority deliver during the next week and only 15% go beyond 41 weeks.
The first thing that your midwife and doctor will do is to check the accuracy of your expected delivery date, using a combination of last period dates and early screen measurements.
If the head is down and the cervix sufficiently soft and dilated, your caregivers will usually offer to "sweep" the membranes around the baby at the top of the cervix to release chemicals called prostaglandins, which may help start uterine contractions. If this is not an option, your doctors will discuss the pros and cons of induction versus waiting a little longer.
If you decide to wait, you will probably be asked to visit maternity outpatient unit for a post-maturity assessment. If there is no problem, you may wait and your baby will be assessed again at two-days interval until 42 weeks
If you decide to induce: nearly 70-80 % of inductions result in vaginal delivery, but the procedure increases the risk of an assisted delivery with either forceps or vacuum extraction.
Methods of inductions:
-prostaglandin gel or pills into your vagina. Best done overnight, in the hope that the woman will wake up refreshing and will start to go into labor or be better be prepared for the next part of th einduction process
-amniotomy- when the cervix is dilated 2.5-5 cm, it is usually possible to artificially rupture the membranes.
-oxytocin-via IV drip, the starting dose is always small and gradually increased until effective uterine contractions have been established.