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Pregnancies over 42 weeks are generally considered to be past the due date and they often come with increased risks for both mother and child.
Women who are pregnant even after nine months often wonder why their labour is delayed. Experts state that the due date sometimes goes off because it is hard to calculate precisely the date and time of birth. Around 7 percent of babies in the world are said to be born overdue. When you are past your due date, the best thing to do is not to get worried.
After 42 weeks of pregnancy, the once-ideal environment in your uterus will become less hospitable. This means that the placenta becomes less equipped with supplies such as nutrients and oxygen. After you have passed the due date and there is no signs of labour, the body's production of amniotic fluid may begin to drop. Hence, it could pose great risks to both mother and child.
Here are some of the things you should be aware of if you are past your due date.
If you are past the due date and there are no signs of labour, then there is a chance of a still birth. This means that the baby has passed away in the womb. The possible reasons could be lack of oxygen or the baby pooping into the amniotic fluid and then 'breathing' it in.
On The Way
Most babies arrive between 37 weeks and 41 weeks of pregnancy, usually within a week on either side of their expected due date. So, if you are just a week post your due date, there is nothing to worry about. But, make sure there are movements of the child in your womb.
When you are past your due date and there are no signs of contractions, you begin to feel a little tied down. Usually, doctors wait a few days after the due date, and will not offer to induce your labour for a while. Natural process is always the best way to go for.
Role Of The Obstetrician
Mothers-to-be who are scared about their pregnancy at this stage seek help from obstetrician. These professionals will check to see if your due date is correct by confirming when you had your last period. At times, they will also measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein.
Checking The Bump
In many cases, scans of the baby bump is done to check the position and size of the baby. Even when you are past the due date, a vaginal examination is done to find out if the cervix feels soft and stretchy and is ready for labour.
Baby Health Risks
With the increase of due date in pregnancy, comes a whole lot of risks for the child. Due to the lack of oxygen and nutrients, the baby will also show signs of foetal stress. This only means that the baby's heart rate is not beating at a normal pace.
Health Risks For Mother
Babies who are born past their due date are usually bigger in size. Due to the pressure in normal delivery, the size of the baby causes more trauma to your bottom during labour.