Your due date has been and gone. Your pregnancy app congratulates you for giving birth. You are feeling heavy and irritable so the last thing you need are people asking if baby has arrived yet and saying that you look big. Here are some tips about what people can do for or say to an overdue woman.
Your due date has arrived and gone, you are now overdue. Baby is still inside your belly with her elbows scraping under your rib cage.
Each day past your due date feels like it is 50 hours long. Waiting for some kind of twangs or signs that baby is starting to make its move.
What’s more, your baby App on your phone is already congratulating you on the birth of your child.
Baby Magazine explains that it is quite normal for women have an overdue pregnancy and not go into labour on their due date. Only 5% of women have their babies on their due date.
Both of my pregnancies were 10 days overdue. Ten very long days.
With my first I tried out all of the suggested methods to naturally induce labour to convince my son that it was time for him to get a move on: pineapple, spicy food, walking, massaging the acupressure points above my ankles, stimulating my nipples. Check out Emmas Diary for a list of methods for naturally inducing labour.
However, for me, alas no, nothing, nada. My son was happy and cosy inside of me.
A typical overdue mama is most likely feeling:
Big because her belly is full size and still not ready to pop
Restless. Not knowing what to do with herself – should she go out? What if her waters break?
Tired because she can’t sleep properly
Irritable as a result of all of the above
Hungry but can’t eat because her stomach is squashed to the size of a pea
Fed up of going to the toilet every five minutes, especially during the night
Fed up with people pointing out that baby is not here yet
I didn’t want to go out anywhere with my first because it felt like everyone was staring at my belly. I avoided talking to anyone because, seriously, everyone was just going to say the wrong thing to me and make me more irritated.
The threat of induction
Every second day I visited the gynaecologist to get connected up to the heartbeat monitor to ensure baby was happy and healthy.
Each time my doctor would start advising me about how risky it can be to have an overdue pregnancy and that I would be better off inducing. From a doctor’s point of view it is understandable why they are concerned about the high risks with overdue babies and that they would rather have a healthy mother and baby. Mayoclinic talks about the risks around a postterm pregnancy and why regular prenatal checks are important.
There was no way I was going to induce. I was against inducing and believed firmly that my son would make his way when he was ready, without anyone forcing him. What’s more, according to other mums who had induced, it sounded like a long and painful method. Nevertheless, constantly hearing that I was taking a risk made me more and more nervous as the number of days past my due date increased.
“The One Where Rachel is Late” Method
There was however one natural method to encourage the baby to start moving that we hadn’t tried yet.
By the evening of the 9th day past my due date I was ready to give this a go. You know the episode of Friends where Rachel wants Ross to help her get the baby to start moving? “The One Where Rachel is Late”. Yes we tried it. With my massive belly we managed to have sex.
Literally 5 minutes later there was a popping sound and my waters had broken. Ta da. It had worked for us. Even if it took about a day after this to fully dilate, at least things had finally started moving.
With my second pregnancy I didn’t bother with any of the suggested methods to naturally induce labour. I had kind of accepted that he would also arrive late. What irritated me the most were friends, or people that I knew but was not close to, texting me and asking if baby was there yet. I think this is possibly THE most annoying thing anyone can do when a baby is overdue.
Here are the 3 top No Go‘s you should never say to an overdue woman:
1. Wow you are big!
Never, ever tell a pregnant lady that she is big. I mean like „duuuhhhh, really, thanks a lot”. Please tell your pregnant friend how beautiful she looks and what a gorgeous bump she has. She will be hugely offended if you say she is looking big.
2. Is baby there yet?
I couldn’t believe that people who I hardly ever heard from were texting me and asking if the baby had arrived. Even better, after my son did arrive I never heard from them again for about a year! Majorly irritating. Do people really think that I would keep the arrival of my baby a secret? I ended up putting a status on my Social Media profiles along the lines of „baby is not yet here and I will be sure to tell you all once he is, thanks.” I tried to be nice about it but I was fed up by that point.
3. What? Still waiting?
Still waiting? „Well erm yeah…what else?“ Stupid thing to say really isn’t it. Waiting? Yes I am waiting. I am pacing up and down and jumping around because I don’t want to wait any more.
Although I was against inducing, there was really only one window of time for my second son to be born because our babysitter (Grandma) was going on holiday. I booked an induction for the tenth day of being overdue as Grandma was going away on what would be my twelfth day overdue. I was supposed to be going in for it at 9am but thankfully my second son must have decided he didn’t need any extra help and started making his moves at 5am.
5 Signs a Baby Could be Overdue
According to Romper, there are 5 clear signs that your baby could end up being overdue:
It runs in your family
Your are expecting a boy
You aren’t 100% sure when you had your last period
This is your first baby
Your due date was never confirmed
What can or should you say or do for a woman that is overdue?
My personal recommendations are:
Things to Do:
Bring her a funny book to read to give her something to laugh about
Offer to watch a film together (at home or go out)
Ask her if she wants to go out for an ice cream
Suggest going out for a walk together
Ask her if she wants to go for a swim together
Treat her to a pedicure – she hasn’t seen her toes for months
Bring her some essential oils or scented candles for relaxation (try lavender, chamomile or ylang ylang)
Things you Could Say:
What is the one thing you would have loved someone to have said to you or have done for you during the days when you were overdue? Post your comments below.