Your due date is creeping closer and closer until it passes and your baby still isn’t here. What are you supposed to do when your pregnancy goes past your due date? The first thing to do is remember that due dates are simply a calculated estimate of when your baby will be 40 weeks. Your due date does not mean an exact date of when your baby will come and it’s normal to give birth before or after your due date.
Should I get tested for my post-term pregnancy?
Prenatal care will continue after you pass your due date. During these visits following your due date, your OBGYN will continue to check baby’s heart rate, position, and your baby’s movements. If you’re over your due date, your OBGYN might do fetal heart monitoring, non-stress test, and in some cases, labor induction may be recommended.
What is labor induction and how is labor induced?
Labor induction is the stimulation of uterine contractions during pregnancy to achieve a vaginal birth, before labor begins naturally. There are a few methods used to induce labor and these methods include:
Cervical ripening balloon: Your OBGYN will place a small inflatable balloon-like device into your cervix to mechanically dilate it and prompt labor
Prostaglandin analogs: These are a type of medication that is placed in your vagina to start cervical ripening
Rupturing the amniotic sac: Your OBGYN will make a small hole in the amniotic sac to release the fluid (“break the water”)
Oxytocin: Oxytocin can be given through an IV tube causing the uterus to contract
Stripping or sweeping the amniotic membranes: Your OBGYN sweeps a finger over the thin membranes that connect the amniotic sac to the wall of the uterus
What are the risks associated with labor induction?
There are potential risks associated with labor induction which include: changes in fetal heart rate, infection, contractions of the uterus that are too strong, or induction not working. You and your fetus will be monitored throughout the entire process to ensure you are both tolerating it well.
Written By Tidewater Physicians For Women
Tidewater Physicians for Women is a division of Mid-Atlantic Women’s Care
with offices in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia. Our practice takes comprehensive care to a higher level with a large team of experienced and qualified physicians, nurse practitioners, and two licensed counselors.