Late Babies – When You’re Past Your Due Date

Being past your due date can be worrisome, uncomfortable, and frustrating. However, in most cases there are absolutely no reasons to worry. While it may be uncomfortable, pregnancies extending one to two weeks past the expected due date is common and absolutely normal.

There are several reasons you may be going past your due date. The most common reason is that the due date is not one hundred percent accurate. Your due date is calculated based on the date of your last normal period, as well as the development of your baby during the first ultrasound. There are many problems with this calculation that leave room for error.

First, some women have a period after they are pregnant. It may be lighter than normal, but if you give that date to your doctor, your due date could be calculated as much as a month off. Second, this is based on the precipice that you have an exact 28 day cycle, with a precise number of days for ovulation. Unfortunately, most women are not textbook cases, so this can leave room for error of up to one week. Finally, ultrasounds do not provide a fool proof method of determining gestation, because the size, weight, and developmental measurements used to determine your due date are variable by pregnancy. There is a relatively wide range of normal for different stages. This can cause an error in calculating your due date of up to two weeks.

For all of these reasons, doctors do not become concerned until you have reached two weeks past your due date. At this point, the doctor may begin talking to you about inducing labor. This is not actually necessary in most cases. Babies have been born overdue without inducing labor up to one month after their due date for millennia, usually with no complications. The only real concern is that the baby will continue to grow in size as long as it is in the womb, making delivery harder on your body. In short, unless the doctor sees some type of stress in the baby, the decision to induce is entirely up to you.

There are some things you can do to try to induce labor naturally at home. Walking tends to help bring on, intensify, or increase contractions, and progresses labor. Taking long walks can really make the difference between contractions lasting a few seconds twenty to thirty minutes apart for days, and getting those contractions to a point that constitutes labor.

Many women have also found that sex can induce labor. The movement of intercourse alone has an effect on your body. However, the real stimulator for labor here is the pleasure of sex. It causes your reproductive muscles to contract, which includes the uterus, and can induce labor very effectively. Of course, this method will only work if you can get past the discomfort of being so very pregnant to enjoy the experience and get those contractions going.

Your doctor may be able to give you more advice on how to induce your labor naturally, although you should not take any herbal supplements without your doctor’s approval. There are some very old “remedies” for being overdue that are not necessarily safe for you and your baby.

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