Pregnancy Week by Week – Week 41-42

What Happens When You Go Past Your Due Date

Mothers who pass Week 40 of pregnancy may be interested in finding ways to naturally induce labor and discuss medical labor induction options with their providers.

Many mothers reach their due date and then eventually go past Week 40 of pregnancy. You may be very frustrated to be waiting and wondering if everything is actually okay. Here are answers to questions you may have about your baby and you if you watch your due date come and go.

What is Happening with Your Baby?

After Week 40 of pregnancy, many babies are still doing well and are quite healthy. One thing that can occur however is that the placenta, which has a life span of 9 months, begins to show its age. For some babies, this means that going into labor sooner rather than later is important.

Your baby’s supply of amniotic fluid may also diminish in the last weeks after your due date. In order to confirm your baby’s well-being, your provider may recommend non-stress tests or a biophysical profile to determine whether or not you can wait longer or that you might need to be induced.

It is important to remember that many mothers and babies can safely pass their due date by a week or longer!

What is happening with You?

Many mothers emotionally have a very difficult time passing their due dates. You might be filled with concern that your body doesn’t seem to be working effectively. Or you might be worried that you and your baby will have more complications.

The truth is that babies do not have a guaranteed time of arrival. In fact, some statistics indicate that only 5% of babies are born on their due dates and as many as 7 out of 10 babies arrive after their due date. So if you do pass your due date, you are in good company with the majority of pregnant mothers today!

Your provider may be discussing options for a medical labor induction with you including the use of pitocin. Keep in mind that some mothers find natural inducing methods to be successful, especially if your cervix is ripe, dilated a few centimeters and somewhat effaced. Also remember that if your non-stress test shows that your baby is doing well, you can ask your medical provider to give you more time before being induced.

To Do List:

1. Continue getting rest to prepare for birth and bringing baby home.

2. Discuss labor induction options with your provider, including natural methods.

3. Pack labor bags to take to your place of birth.

4. Schedule a non-stress test if recommended by your provider.