Birth Doula Blog
What's Wrong With Going Past 40 Weeks?
Help, I'm Past 40 Weeks!
First off, relax! Due dates aren't an exact science and when your little one makes her debut can't really be predicted. In fact, only 5% of babies are born on their due date. What triggers labor isn't entirely clear but many studies show that when baby's lungs are developed she releases a hormone that begins labor. So if she hasn't come yet, chances are she's not ready. In fact, most first-time mothers deliver up to a week after their due date.
Forty weeks is a pretty good guess but isn't one size fits all. If you're feeling great and baby is healthy then take a deep breath and enjoy your extra "alone time." If you haven't had any signs of labor starting, don't worry. Sometimes all the things happen within one day! That is, you lose your mucous plug, have bloody show, begin contractions, efface, and baby drops within hours of each other.
If the wait is just killing you or you're over being pregnant then reach out to support groups to vent or you could try safe, non-chemical ways to induce.
Although it may feel like it, you won't be pregnant forever!
If your physician is recommending an induction before 42 weeks, you have every right to decline, assuming you and baby are healthy. Ask them to provide you with evidence-based reasons as to why an induction is necessary, get a second opinion, retake tests, and listen to your intuition.
Use BRAIN to help...consider the Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, what does your Intuition say, and what if you do Nothing. A pregnancy greater than 42 weeks does carry risks so be sure to keep that in mind.
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