Post # 1
I am 40 weeks and 3 days today. No big deal, right? Then why are so many people, co-workers, even neighbours, acting like “where’s the baby?!”
First of all, I never told any of these people my due date, I only ever said mid-September. Sheesh.
Apparently, approximately 50% of pregancies end before the 40 week “due date”, and 50% after. So there you go. I seriously think our due dates should be 42 weeks, like a “best before date” or expiry- since that’s when it’s time to get concerned. And even then, plenty of women carry their healthy babies to 43 weeks. My brother for example.
I am glad that I am under the care of calm, confident midwives who tell me my cervix is ripening wonderfully and that we don’t need to be concerned until we are nearer to 42 weeks. I know my options now for natural vs. hospital induction- but I’m praying it won’t come to that. I think if more women were educated on this, and Doctors used less fear tactics (on healthy women with no concerning conditions of course), there’d be less medical inductions.
i guess all I’m wanting to say is, so many people know that babies are rarely “on time” and many “come late”, and this is exactly why you should NEVER tell anyone your actual due date- lie and say it’s later than it is. The constant questioning at the end is very challenging.
“To say a baby is late is an insult to God. Nothing so Divine can ever be ‘late'”.
Post # 3
- Wedding: March 2012 - Father's Vineyard Church/ A Touch of Class Banquet Center
I should start telling people that my due date is on New Years then! Though most people are saying that it will be awesome if baby comes Christmas Day (so I’ll be 40 +6), so they are wishing me late!! Bah! LOL.
I hope baby makes their grand appearance soon! Happy labor and delivery thoughts your way!
Post # 4
I dot know if it matters if you tell them your real due date or not. I have coworkers who see me and are like “That baby should be here by now!” or “You look like you’re ready to pop!”…and I’m only 30 weeks. I think people just don’t really understand either way.
Post # 5
Post # 6
@mtnhoney: Our estimation of the due date is wrong, babies come on time 😉 (usually)
Hang in there, your baby will be in your arms soon! And….people are dumb. Ignore the stupid comments.
Post # 7
I just read recently (sorry cant remember where or how accurate) that the average first time mom (I assume obviously without intervention) isn’t until 41.5 weeks!
Post # 8
My baby was born this summer and she was almost 2 weeks “late.” The “have you had the baby yet?!?!?” questions began around 37 weeks and just got more and more insane as time went on. I had to laugh about it. I agree with you; I think a lot of people just don’t realize that the due date is not an expiration date but a guess at the delivery date, based on an average.
Anyway. Hang in there! Exciting times ahead.
Post # 9
@mtnhoney: I am jealous of your wonderful midwife experience! My Mom was telling me about how she was never allowed to go more than a week late. So I’m terrified I’m going to get bullied into an induction I don’t want or need in February!
Post # 10
@BrandNewBride: My doctor will only let me go 10 days past my due date. I’m okay with this, as I wouldn’t want to go to 42 weeks.
Post # 11
Going past 41 weeks can have serious health consequences for both mother & baby; I think you’re being very dismissive of these risks. Most women who deliver in their 42nd week or later (does that really happen?!) had a miscalculated due date to begin with.
Post # 12
The due date is just an estimated date. The baby will let you know when it’s ready to come out. When people asked when I’m due I just say sometime in Feb.
Post # 13
@mtnhoney: I am taking prenatal yoga right now and a couple of weeks ago there was a mom there who was 40w6d. I was beyond proud of her for getting her yoga on and just embracing her pregnancy.
I’m hoping to have a long and healthy pregnancy & that baby comes when s/he is ready.
Post # 14
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
My OB will let me go 41+5 before inducing. I feel like this is a good compromise– it gives me a good chance to do everything naturally and still be within her professional comfort zone.
I fully plan to go late, actually.
Post # 15
@MrsRugbee: If the placenta is being monitored (& it’s not aging), going past 41 weeks is *not* that risky. We’re just so trained to believe that going over a due date (which is usually just an estimate) is a bad thing. Most of what we’re fed on this is because it’s more conveinant for everyone involved to induce.
Post # 16
The average-pregnancy-length-is-40-weeks rule of thumb was set in the early 1800’s and isn’t based on good data (plus, it comes from a time when the population didn’t have the public health advantages we have nowadays – better nutrition, cleaner water, etc.). Better, more modern data demonstrate that the true median length of pregnancy for first-time mothers is 40w 4d (meaning half will have given birth by then, and half will not) and for women who have already given birth, between 40w 2d and 40w 3d. Population data often show a lower average because induction is currently so prevalent and it pushes the median downward, but there are a handful of studies designed to control for this and they consistently demonstrate median lengths above 40w.
In the population as a whole, about 25% of women are still pregnant by 41w (which is not a defensible cutoff point for establishing the definition of “overdue”). At 42%, about 10% of women are still pregnant (a more defensible definition). The biggest concern in going past 42 weeks is that the placenta may deteriorate, which would be dangerous for the baby. It’s true that you also see increasing levels of meconium staining as babies get later and later – but that’s not automatically a sign of fetal distress: as time goes on, the babies’ digestive tracts mature and they may begin to pass meconium as a natural indication of their development. Meconium staining in younger, less mature fetuses is much more likely to be a true indication of distress, but closer to 42 weeks, it becomes less worrisome unless accompanied by other signs of distress.
I’d be cautious about going past 42, but I think it’s alarmist to say that 41 weeks is highly risky. If you want a great breakdown of the data around this, Chapter 7 of Henci Goer and Amy Romano’s Optimal Care in Childbirth (especially pp. 139-141) goes into it in detail. She also has good information about meconium in the Appendix and an analysis of the flaws in the Hannah study (the largest and most representative of the studies typically cited in support of the 41-week cutpoint; see pp. 133-134)