Most pregnant women go beyond the expected due date. A prolonged pregnancy is when it lasts longer than 42 weeks. A baby’s due date is decided upon by calculating 280 days from the first day of the mother’s last menstrual cycle. This works only if you have regular periods.
Most gynecologists worry about post maturity delivery since a small percentage of babies die while still inside the womb. Most doctors advice induction after forty one weeks. Your doctor can decide after an internal examination is done to check whether your cervix is ready for labour. The doctor may suggest sweeping of membrane to see if that will trigger labour naturally.
If you decide against induction, you can ask for your pregnancy to be monitored every two to three days to check that everything is fine with the baby. After 40 weeks of pregnancy, instead of waiting for anything to happen, go about your normal routine; you can even go out but do not venture too far. Keep your friends and relatives posted about yourself and inform them that you will call them if help is needed. Spend time with your spouse; you may not get much free time together once your baby is born.
Take ample rest; if you find it bothersome to sleep at night, take short naps during the day. Listen to your favorite music, pamper yourself and put your feet up. Gradually build up your energy reserves for labour. If you feel that your labour has started, get in touch with your doctor immediately.
Go for daily walks. The pressure of the baby’s head on your cervix can stimulate the release of oxytocin, a hormone that causes contractions. A gentle stroll is the best bet and once contractions commence, stand upright and move around slowly as this can help labour to progress. Walking also encourages the baby to move into a better position.
Use this overdue period to finish up those last minute things you require for the baby. In order to keep you relaxed, take some time to meditate. Take slow deep breaths and relax your muscles. The most important thing is to keep yourself busy without getting yourself unduly tired out and stressed. Do something nice for yourself, go for a massage or a manicure or take a trip to the hair salon. After all, you need to look good for your baby!