Bump Watch: What To Do If You Go Overdue!

One of the topics we covered on our antenatal retreat with expert midwife Nikki Khan is what to do if your pregnancy goes past 40 weeks.

This is particularly relevant for me at the moment as I await the late arrival of friends’ and family members’ babies.

A full term of pregnancy is actually anything between 38 and 42 weeks though our due date is always in the 40th week. It is therefore not unreasonable that people get frustrated if the day comes and goes and there is no baby to be found.

The due date that we are given is only an estimate worked out by our dates or from a dating scan. In reality just five percent of babies are born on their actual due date. As long as all is well with you and the baby you will be left for nature to take its course but will be closely monitored.

As you approach the 41 to 42 week mark, your midwife or doctor may decide to start the process of inducing labour. This involves kick-starting labour through intervention or with drugs.

The first step would be to try a membrane sweep. The midwife or doctor will try to separate the membranes around your baby from your cervix. This encourages the release of the hormones that help to trigger labour. If the sweep is successful labour usually starts within 48 hours.

Nikki Khan Top Tip
A clenched fist under each buttock can make internal examinations easier and less painful. Also gives midwfie easier access for sweep or trying to break waters while maximising comfort for the mummy to be in an awkward uncomfortable procedure. A tens machine can also be used to ease examinations and sweeps.

If a sweep is not successful then you will be offered gel or pessaries to medically stimulate the cervix.

Once the cervix begins to soften then a midwife might try to break your waters to bring labour on.

There is no guarantees with any of these procedures and it may be that a caesarean section becomes the best and safest course of action available for you and your baby.

Before things get that far though there are certain things that you can do if you do go overdue.

Things People Try

Raspberry leaf tea can kick start labour and should only be drunk from week 37 to avoid a premature birth.

It is thought that a hot curry will induce labour but what it actually does is cause diarrhoea which in turn sparks uterine contractions. It has to be a very hot curry!

It is also claimed that having sexual intercourse will bring on labour. In fact for this method to have even a slight chance of working you would need to have sex about 8 times to get the right amount of hormone from the sperm to stimulate the cervix and bring on a birth.

Gentle exercise and walking may help to bring on labour as being upright and moving around may encourage the baby to move down in the pelvis. This would also help you to relax which could help your body prepare for labour.

You can also have acupuncture to start contractions and labour.

Other ideas for what to do if you are overdue can be found in the book My Pregnancy. It is a great read and full of ideas for trying to get your baby out. It also goes on to give good advice on what to during the birth and once your baby is here. Definitely worth a look if you still have some time.

The ideas I have stated here were shared as part of the Nikki Khan Antenatal Weekend that we went on this weekend. It was fabulous and I learned so much that I know is going to help me through this pregnancy, labour and birth. You can find out more about the antenatal weekend here and I will be writing a full review of the weekend here at Edspire over the next couple of days.

I will also be writing a review of the book My Pregnancy which we were given as part of a very generous goody bag on the course.

Did you go overdue? What did you do? What tips would you give me to share with my patiently waiting friends?

Bump Watch: 32 + 3 = 5 Weeks More Than I Was Before

We are home from an okay week at Center Parcs and a wonderful weekend on the Isle of Wight at the very luxurious West Bay Club.

Arriving home I have realised that my bump has definitely grown and we are only 7 and a half weeks from D-Day!!!!

And I thought that this pregnancy would not go fast, now it seems to be zooming past and I feel like we still have so much to do!

It is also a generally busy time for us. David is busy with work, we have lots of family events to look forward to and Easter is not far away.

This weekend David and I are having a night away without the squidgers. My beautiful best friend is having the babies over night and we are going to her house for a quiet night alone and our last lazy morning for what I am sure is going to be a very very long time!

Matilda Bump seems to be very active at the moment.

According to my NCT email at 32 weeks pregnant, Baby is about 40.5cm long and weighs about 1.6kg. Over the next four weeks she will put on about a kilogram of weight as she lays down the body fat to regulate her body temperature when she’s born. Her skin is smooth and her arms and legs are getting ‘chubby’.

I cannot get used to the idea of having a chubby baby. I told the lovely couples we met on our antenatal retreat this weekend that Esther and William looked like very athletic old men when they were born and for the first few weeks of their life. Their skin was transparent so you could see every muscle and sinew and they looked like super toned miniature adults.

Baby Athlete

Cuddling a chubby baby will be very strange indeed.

When Esther and William were 32+3 they were 5 weeks old. William weighed 4lbs and Esther 3lbs 5oz. I wonder how much Matilda Bump weighs right now?

My NCT email says that as Matilda Bump puts on more weight I will find myself putting on weight too, by roughly 1lb a week. I have to admit that I have absolutely no idea how much I weigh or how much I have gained during the pregnancy. Perhaps I should have kept a better record? The reason that so much weight is gained in these final weeks is that I will need to consume more calories to share the energy and nutrients with Matilda May. I am going to be writing a series of posts over the coming week about healthy eating and exercise during pregnancy. I have had some great advice this past weekend from midwife Nikki Khan and physiotherapist Jo Hillier. I cannot wait to share it with you.

I am definitely feeling heavier now and also more tired. My 28 week blood tests came back showing that I am anaemic and so I am now taking iron supplements as well as Osteocare which was recommended to me by one of the lovely ladies on our antenatal weekend. I know that I need to be taking more calcium as my pregnancies have been so close together and because I breastfed the twins for so long and am desperate to breastfeed for a whole year again.

As part of the antenatal retreat I had an Espa prenatal treatment and I am planning to treat myself to another one in a few weeks time. It was so wonderfully relaxing and gave me some quiet time to focus on just me and the baby. It was heaven! (Watch out for a full review coming soon!)

Today I treated myself to my going to and coming home from hospital outfit from Vertbaudet. I am going to be wearing an orange floral dress to the hospital that converts into a skirt for coming home. What a great idea! Coming home I will add this white nursing tshirt which looks to be very flattering. I chose to order from Vertbaudet as at the moment they have a special offer code (3800) which gives you £15 off your order and a free baby changing bag which is just too gorgeous to pass up.

For my hospital bag I have a Pink Lining Twins bag (review coming soon!) and so this will be a bag of Matilda Bump’s very own.

Midwife Nikki Khan suggests having two very different bags for yourself and for the baby so that your partner or midwife can easily distinguish between the two after the birth. I think this is a great idea and over the coming weeks I will be talking about packing each of these bags ready for birth as well as packing a toddler bag for Esther and William in case I have to be away over night. There is so much to think about and blog about and do!!!

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