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What to Do When youíre Overdue

What to Do When youíre OverdueAs if nine months wasnít long enough to wait, having an overdue baby can cause a mix of emotions such as fear and anxiety. However, this is a common occurrence for pregnant mothers. If itís been a few days past your due date, follow these helpful tips to keep yourself cool, calm and collected until it is time for your little one to make an appearance.


Sometimes we can take the concept of a due date too literally. Most due dates are just educated guesses about when your baby may arrive - it definitely isnít a date that is set in stone. While many people think that being one or two days past the delivery date qualifies as an overdue baby, the truth of the matter is that it takes two weeks past the due date to officially be considered an overdue pregnancy. Even though missing your due date can be frightening for any mother, overdue babies happen all the time and isnít necessarily a sign that something is wrong. So before you panic, access your situation and plan accordingly with the help of your doctor.


If you are experiencing an overdue baby, your doctor will be sure to keep in constant contact with you and will monitor you as the days go by for any signs of an approaching labor. For pregnant women who are one week past their due date, the doctor will oftentimes check the babyís heartbeat using an electronic fetal monitor or have an ultrasound conducted to make sure that everything is functioning properly inside. However, if you have been pregnant for two weeks or more past your due date, the doctor will most likely suggest inducing your labor so you can have your baby sooner. It can be dangerous for a baby to stay inside of the mother too long. For one, as the baby gets bigger, it doesnít have as much room to grow and can make it increasingly uncomfortable for the mother. As space becomes tight, an unborn baby can also be at risk of inhaling its own waste, which can lead to a lung disease or infection.


To induce labor, medication is often prescribed to help the cervix soften and open in preparation for delivery. Other methods include bursting the amniotic sac, which is basically what happens when your water breaks. These two methods work to trigger contractions within the body so that the baby can get ready to come out.


During the time that youíre overdue the best thing you can do for both you and your child is to remain calm. Donít let your emotions get the best of you and make you an emotional wreck. Instead, accept your situation and just know that everything will turn out fine. Use the extra time to get more rest and work on things around the house without overexerting yourself. Make phone calls to friends and family and let them know how things are going. Try to avoid any suggested home remedies for inducing labor, since many can actually be harmful. Only follow your doctorís orders and stick to what he/she suggests. Be sure to keep your doctorís number handy and on speed dial so that if you experience any signs of labor, everything will be ready for you when you reach the hospital.


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