The overdue mother
The one thing we do know when it comes to being overdue, is that your baby will be born. Going over your expected date can be challenging. It’s been a long nine months, you are ready to have your body back and everyone is expecting a little person to meet.
However, a whopping 50% of pregnant ladies are still pregnant at 40 + 5, according to a 2001 study of 1514 women. Babies don’t have a concept of time and they just don’t know we are expecting them.
I have been past 42, to nearly 43 weeks twice and these are the things I would encourage any overdue mother to remember, remember and remember.
France vs England
If you were having your baby in France, your due date would be seven days later than your English due date. There is no difference between French and English women and babies.
The basis for calculating our due dates was based on a rule, Naegele’s rule, developed in 1744! Not only is that a really, really long time ago, but when the rule was written, Naegele said we should add 9 months and 7 days to our last period. But he didn’t say whether this was the first day or the last day of our last period. In the UK, we add it to the first day, but if we added it to the last day, you would be a whole week behind where you think you are now. You can found our more about calculating due date in Wikipedia.
What’s your due date?
Don’t tell people your exact ‘due date’. This is partly for your own benefit – if you don’t fix your expectations on a particular date, you won’t be disappointed if your baby isn’t here when you expect it. It’s also for well-meaning friends and family who want to know if your baby is earthside yet. How about trying a due month … ‘I am due in January?’
Tune and breathe
Notice how you feel. Tune into your body. Tune into your breath. Breathing sounds simple but it is so powerful. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4 and out for a count of 7 (or less if that seems too long, just keep the outbreath longer than the inbreath if you can. as this stimulates your natural calming reflex). It is really grounding, and helps to turn off the chattering part of your brain, the part trying to rationalise and work out what the ‘right’ thing to do is. There is no right or wrong, only how you feel. Calm app has a number of breathing exercises to keep you calm!
Remember your options
Know that you have options. If you are approaching 42 weeks or beyond, you will probably be asked, or told, you are being booked in for an induction. Know that this is a choice. Do your research into whether this is the right option for you.
Remember that your baby will come at the right time for you. You will not be pregnant forever. Go for a walk, a meal, do something you enjoy as a couple, or with other siblings, enjoy your days together before the baby does finally arrive.
AUTHOR: KATE SHIRLEY
HYPNOBIRTHING AND MINDFULNESS, SURREY
Kate Shirley is the founder of Effie + Ros which was set up to support, nurture and empower women on their pregnancy, birth and motherhood journey. Effie + Ros run mindfulness classes for kids and mums in Teddington and SW London/Surrey.