Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 15) - When You’re Overdue

- Give Up Coffee For Beautiful Breasts
- Welcome to your First Trimester
- Welcome to your Second Trimester
- Welcome to your Third Trimester

When You’re Overdue

You’ve been counting the days to your due date, but it’s come and gone—and still no baby! You’re not alone—nearly 10% of all babies are born more than 2 weeks late. Each year, healthcare providers induce labor for about 450,000 births. Labor is induced for a number of reasons, including overdue babies, chronic high blood pressure in the mother, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, intrauterine-growth restriction and Rh-isoimmunization.

A pregnancy is considered overdue (postterm) only when it exceeds 42 weeks or 294 days from the first day of the last menstrual period. (A baby born at 41 weeks, 6 days is not considered overdue!)

Your healthcare provider will determine if baby is moving around in the womb and if the amount of amniotic fluid is healthy and normal. If the baby is healthy and active, you are usually monitored until labor begins on its own.

Tests may be done as reassurance that an overdue baby is fine and can remain in the womb. If signs of fetal stress are found, labor may be induced.

It’s often hard to keep a positive attitude when you’re overdue. But don’t give up yet! Eat healthfully, and keep up your fluid intake. If you can do so without problems, get some mild exercise, like walking or swimming. You may feel better.

Rest and relax now because your baby will be here soon, and you’ll be very busy. Use the time to get things ready for baby so you’ll be all set when you both come home from the hospital.

Inducing Labor

There may come a point in your pregnancy when your healthcare provider decides to induce labor, which means labor is stimulated for the purpose of delivering your baby. It’s a fairly common practice.

When your healthcare provider does a pelvic exam at this point in your pregnancy, it probably also includes an evaluation of how ready you are for an induction. Indications for induction of labor include the following:

pregnancy 2 weeks past the due date

indication baby isn’t thriving in the uterus (from biophysical profile, nonstress or contraction stress tests)

pre-eclampsia

Inducing labor increases the chances of having an emergency Cesarean delivery.

signs the placenta is no longer functioning as well as it should

acute or chronic illness that threatens the well-being of mother-to-be or baby

pregnancy-induced hypertension

premature rupture of membranes

the bag of waters breaks but contractions do not begin in a reasonable amount of time

chorioamnionitis (infection of the uterine membranes)

Your healthcare provider may use the Bishop score to evaluate you. It’s a method of cervical scoring used to predict the success of inducing labor. Scoring includes dilatation, effacement, station, consistency and position of the cervix. A score is given for each, then they are added together to give a total score to help the healthcare provider decide whether to induce labor.

There are reasons not to induce labor, including a previous classical uterine incision (from a Cesarean delivery or other uterine surgery, such as fibroid removal), placenta previa, vasa previa, fetal malformation, such as hydrocephalus, umbilical-cord prolapse, an active genital herpes infection in the mother-to-be, invasive cervical cancer, multiple pregnancy and breech presentation. Your healthcare provider will keeps tabs on you and your baby so if induction is necessary, it can be done.

 
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