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Going overdue

Even though you know that 19 of 20 women won’t give birth on their due date, you still may feel a bit down when you realise that your baby is “overdue”. Remember, it is normal for pregnancy to last anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks - only when pregnancy goes past 42 weeks are you considered post-term.

Early term - between 37 weeks, 0 days and 38 weeks, 6 days.

Full term - between 39 weeks, 0 days and 40 weeks, 6 days.

Late term - between 41 weeks, 0 days and 41 weeks, 6 days.

Post-term - after 42 weeks, 0 days.

If you are having your first baby, chances are you will go past your due date. After 41 weeks, your midwife or doctor might want to check on your baby more often, or may ask you to monitor baby’s kicks. This can help make you feel better about how your baby is doing, but it also might be stressful. Talk to your midwife or doctor to see how you can make this as stress-free as possible - after all, most babies will be healthy and happy and for the vast majority, labour will begin before 42 weeks. At some point, you may be offered an induction of labour. Remember that the evidence does not show clear benefits of induction versus waiting for labour to begin on its own. Make sure you get all the information you need to make the choice that is best for you.