What It’s Like Being Pregnant After Your Due Date

When you’re awaiting your little one’s arrival, the last month can feel like an entire year. All you want is to hold your baby and feel that pregnancy swelling go away. So what happens if your due date arrives … and then passes, with no baby in tow? It can feel confusing, and a little like your body betrayed you — we get it! But you’re not alone, did you know that only 5 percent of babies are actually born on their due date? Most babies are born somewhere in between 37 and 42 weeks, making your due date just an educated estimate. In fact, you aren’t even technically in overtime until you hit 42 weeks, and many women in their first pregnancies will go over the estimated 40 weeks. Hang in there, here’s a little bit about what you can expect in the coming days.

Plenty of Doctor Appointments

After you hit the 40-week mark, your doctor will want to begin keeping a closer eye on you and your growing little one, so expect a few extra appointments. The doctor will be keeping a watch for things like:

Glucose Metabolism. Babies born after 40 weeks do begin to see a higher risk for problems with their glucose metabolism. What this means is that your little one may experience higher or excessive birth weight, so your doctor will want to keep an eye on the growth progression.

Amniotic Fluid. As your body prepares for the final stretch, your amniotic fluid levels can drop, which would mean it’s time to get baby out. Your medical provider will be sure to keep you in the loop on any changes.

Placenta Viability. After 42 weeks, your placenta won’t work quite as well, which is why your doctor will likely suggest inducing you before that time to keep your little one safe.

Being Induced — It’s Baby Time!

Around the 41-week mark is likely when your doctor will begin discussing inducing you. As your little one continues to grow in your oven with no intention of leaving, you’ll all want to discuss your options.

If your little one grows to more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces, your doctor might mention the use of forceps or vacuum to help you give birth — at that size, you’ll have a much harder time pushing your little one out on your own. Rest assured — your doctor has your little one’s best health and chances in mind. Additionally, after 41 weeks, your chance of being moved to the NICU increases, giving medical professionals another reason to try and induce labor before that point.

What Can You Do?

Waiting on your baby after the due date can make you feel a little helpless and a lot frustrated. Instead of dwelling, try a few different ways to take your mind off of it and keep busy.

Guess your “next” due date. Your due date can certainly hold a specific significance, as it signaled the arrival of your little bundle. When that doesn’t happen, busy yourself by trying to guess your new due date. It will give you another date to mark on your calendar and look forward to.

Have a due-date date. Whether it’s with your significant other or a great friend, go out for a nice meal. Even if your due date wasn’t actually your due date, it can still be a great day for you.

Craft a family and friends message/voicemail. Have the calls and texts started flooding in? “Is it time?” “Are you on the way to the hospital?” It can get exhausting fielding them all! Put together a voicemail or draft a message to send to everyone — something like, “Baby isn’t here, but we’re all doing just fine and waiting patiently. We can’t wait to tell you the good news once the baby’s here!” is a great place to start.

Eat anything you want. Forget the guilt and have another slice of pizza. Or a scoop of ice cream — we’re not judging! Now is a great time to give into your cravings. You’ll have plenty of time in the upcoming weeks where you won’t have the time to lounge around and enjoy your snack.

Netflix and chill. Put on your favorite tv show for a good binge-session.  Nothing quite takes your mind off waiting like a good cliffhanger.

Enjoy these last few days of your quiet house and life. It’s a great time for you to finish your home and mind for having a new family member cross the threshold. And trust us, once the baby arrives, it’s all more than worth it. 

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