Pregnancy is a very special phase, not just for the mother to be, but all the other family members too. However, at times, the birth may get delayed due to various factors and surpass the due date. Waiting for labor can be an anxious and stressful phase for the parents as well as other family members.
Due date is usually calculated based on the last menstrual period and by estimating the growth of the baby through ultrasound. Normally, the length of pregnancy is taken as 40 weeks (the period of 40 weeks starts on the first day of your last menstrual period). Due to fluctuations in menstrual cycles and other factors, many women do not exactly remember the last menstrual period and hence, the birth estimate is not always exact.
Due to various factors, though the due date is estimated at a length of 40 weeks, many women give birth before or after the estimated date, which is known as preterm or post-term delivery.
The due date is usually 40 weeks from the first day of the last menstrual cycle. Usually, most babies are born in the interval of 38-42 weeks. However, if the birth takes place before 38 weeks, it is termed as preterm delivery. On the other hand, if the baby is not yet born at the end of 42 weeks, the baby is overdue.
Each pregnancy is unique in its own way, and hence it is hard to determine the exact cause of delayed delivery. However, there are certain factors which increase the chances of post-term pregnancy. Some of these are:
According to research, post-term pregnancy is linked to certain health risks in the baby like:
There is nothing to worry about, as post-term pregnancy is quite common and can be managed easily in most cases. If the baby is overdue, the doctor will carefully check the baby’s health, and then decide if it is better to wait or to induce labor.
The tests most commonly used to check the baby’s health are:
After a thorough checkup, and if you still have not gone into labor at the end of 42 weeks, the doctor may decide to induce pregnancy. In this case, you might be given a medicine to ripen the cervix and the doctor may break the fluid if the amniotic sac is still intact. Pitocin, a synthetic version of oxytocin is usually given to kickstart the contractions.
Bottom line being, post-term pregnancy is very common and there is nothing to worry about. It is totally fine to wait for a few more days if the baby is healthy and if the doctor says so.
Trusted by tens of thousands of mothers all over the country, we at Cloud-nine are dedicated to providing you with the best treatment and care. At Cloud-nine, our expert team of doctors and specialists are proficient in handling overdue pregnancies. Besides, our well-trained staff and state-of-the-art facilities ensure that you get the utmost comfort and assistance.
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