What to do when you’re past your due date

When you are past your due dateWhen you are past your due date provided by your ob/gyn at the beginning of your pregnancy, it’s not a big red flag unless advised by your ob/gyn. Based on my experience, I know expectant mothers look for ways to help initiate the labor. I want to share some of the things you can do, if your due date has passed.

Having experienced this once (edit 2008: It happened for the second time with my second pregnancy), I would like to remind that the due date is an estimated date and labor is expected to start before or after 2 weeks of this date. Unless your doctor decides that this is not healthy, passing the due date is something highly common. Because my doctor recommended to allow things to develop naturally, I gave birth to my son 9 days  after his expected due date (edit 2008: my daughter was 3 days late).

Passing your expected due date puts more of a psychological pressure on the expecting mother, than imposing physical health issues. If you’ve spreaded the word on your due date, you’ll start receiving calls two weeks in advance, from people asking you whether you have given birth yet or not. Even if you tell them you will let the whole wide world know when your baby arrives, and ask them to be patient so that they can leave you alone, they’ll keep on bugging you.

Then as you pass the expected due day, they start asking you why?  I really wanted to blurt out “ I’ve crossed my legs and I am holding him/her in, just out of spite.”  Then you start feeling like, you are not even able to give birth on time as if this is the only important thing.

Please don’t upset the expecting mothers by asking them senseless questions such as “WHY HAVEN’T YOU STILL GIVEN BIRTH?

In addition, you start worrying whether this delay will cause you to have a C-section. {I was scared of C-section. Couldn’t even look at the video during the class} Time frame the doctor gives is two weeks. Then you will have to get an appointment from the hospital for induction. The only risk of induction is that the labor might happen so slowly, that it might take over 24 hours. {I was still induced even though my water broke. My labor lasted 12 hours.}

During this time, you may receive various welcomed and unwelcomed advice and tips to help the labor to get started. Do your own research. Some of them do have a certain logic and reason to them. Some of them are beliefs or things we heard from our grandmas.

Methods that “might” help start labor naturally:

  • To drink certain herbal teas.
  • To go out on long walks.  Don’t walk on remote areas where there are no cabs in case the labor starts right there then.
  • To eat foods with eggplant or spice.
  • To get the hump below your big toe massaged and stimulated.
  • To stimulate the nipples.
  • Having sex (You should consult your doctor. Remember that what starts the labor is not the sex itself but prostaglandin found in the semen)

When I told my doctor that I have been walking all the time and expecting the labor any time, she plainly said that other methods than sex have not been proven to be successful to induce the labor as much.

There is another medical method called stripping or sweeping the membranes. This is what worked for me. My doctor’s appointment was in the morning.  I was walking along the Lake Shore, when my water broke that afternoon. Because I did not have natural contractions, they had to give me pitocin, but my labor happened as the same speed as of a natural birth. You need to consult with your ob/gyn to find out this method or other methods are suitable for you and your baby.

Remember, there isn’t a single woman on earth, who stayed pregnant forever. As long as passing the due date does not pose a health problem, don’t worry about it and don’t answer your phone.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or a certified expert. This article intended for informational purposes only and is based on my experience. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. For any medical issues, please consult your doctor or pediatrician first.

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