A good friend of mine told me at my baby shower that “[doctors] really should call it a due range, instead of a due date.” Some come early, some come late, and very few come right on time. Approaching 41 weeks (tomorrow), I definitely fall into the late category, or do I? Maybe I am just on the end of the due range, so I could in essence, still be on time. That’s sort of the way I’m looking at it, so I don’t get frustrated. Also understanding just why some women are overdue is just as important.
The Mayo Clinic has a great summary as to why some pregnancies are overdue and also highlights the steps a medical practitioner will take in monitoring one. For example, this is my first pregnancy and I’m having a boy, which are reasons I might be more likely to have an overdue pregnancy. Previous overdue pregnancies, overdue pregnancies that run in the family, and obesity, are also other reasons a woman is more likely to be overdue.
An overdue pregnancy is not just a waiting game but a watching game too. An overdue mother is monitored closely to ensure she’s not at risk of preeclampsia (high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine). Midwives (or doctors) also continue to monitor fetal heart beat and may even schedule an ultrasound to check out how the baby is moving and the level of amniotic fluid.
There may come a time to induce labour and while inducing labour isn’t always on the to-do list for mothers-to-be (especially those with specific birth plans) there are sound medical reasons to do it to protect the health of both baby and mum. For more information on inducing labour, check out this information page on the Baby Center Canada website.
So at the end of another day, with no signs of labour, I can take comfort knowing that I meet some of the criteria for an overdue baby and that my midwife (who has already booked an ultrasound just in case) is monitoring my progress. Plus, I’ve got a little baby inside me who is moving regularly, which makes me confident and lets me know just how much he’s enjoying his extra long stay in the belly hotel.