It can be nerve racking waiting for your body to go into labor, especially when you are already past your due date. By this point, you’re probably researching home remedies to induce labor. However, before you commit to any of these remedies make sure to consult your doctor. You don’t want to injure yourself or your baby. What most women don’t know is that overdue pregnancies are quite common. Most babies arrive between 36-42 weeks of pregnancy. It is after 42 weeks that the baby considered late. It’s normal to be overdue if this is your first pregnancy or if you have delivered late in previous pregnancies. So, for the most part, don’t panic about being overdue until you reach week number 42. If that happens and you haven’t visited with your doctor yet, do so immediately!
Risks of Delivering Late
Delivering past 42 weeks of pregnancy can have its risks and complications. The amniotic fluid levels that surround the baby for protection begins to drop around this time. This may cause fetal distress. Fetal distress is when the baby doesn’t receive adequate oxygen. It can cause the baby’s heart rate to drop and show other signs of trouble. Due to lack of space, the baby’s growth may slow down. Once labor does kick in, the baby might breathe in its first bowel movement upon exiting the wound. You may experience some delivery complications as well. Late deliveries can result in severe vaginal tearing, infection, and postpartum bleeding.
When to Induce Labor
If you are already running behind schedule, your health care provider will give you two checkups a week to make sure the baby is okay. Your doctor may also run a few tests. You will start off with the Non-Stress test. A fetal monitor is used to track the baby’s heart rate. An ultrasound is used to check the baby’s growth and movement. The doctor will also measure your amniotic fluid and evaluate your cervix. Your cervix is examined to see if it has thinned out, widened, softened, or opened at all. Depending on your baby’s health and your original due date, the doctor may decide to induce your labor.
There are a few ways to induce labor. Your doctor may administer you a medicine or special device to soften and open the cervix. A small opening will be made in the amniotic sac to break your water. Or your doctor may give you Pitocin intravenously. Pitocin helps to start contractions. After a short while, Pitocin helps to make your contractions stronger and more regular.
In Due Time
Nearing the end of a pregnancy can be a relief. At this point, you’re tired of having swollen feet, ankles, and hands. Or you’re tired of not being able to see your feet. Whatever the problem may be, don’t rush into labor without consulting your doctor first. There are a lot of home remedies on the internet to help you induce labor, but be mindful. These home remedies are not proven or science based. You could potentially harm yourself or your baby. You might even hear your family and friends tell you some home remedies to try. A few common home remedies are eating spicy food, having sex, or taking long walks. Always check with your doctor before you do anything to induce labor. Your baby will be here in due time. Trying to speed things up could ultimately extend your hospital stay. In the meantime, make sure you have your hospital bag packed and ready to go. Relax and kick your feet up. This will be the last bit of relaxing you get before “Showtime”!