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.

Moms Expertise
    Comment deleted
      I was induced with all of my pregnancies. Only 1 was after my due date. I was also working and it was easier for me to give a leaving and returning date. Luckily I was induced with my son. I was going to just wait until I went into labor on my own since I wasn't working but my doctor insisted I be induced since he was going on vacation when I was due and I was almost ready to go on my own. Turns out the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck which made me start to think what would have happened if I waited. I'm not saying that I believe its the safest method or everyone should do it. I actually believe that its what cause me to have such long labors since my body obviously wasn't ready to do it on its own and was being forced into labor.
        My first 2 were 16 hours and my last was 8 hours which seemed like a breeze compared to the other 2.
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