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When you signed up to have a baby, you may not have signed up to carry your baby for more than nine months. But if you’re over your due date, and your baby is late, that might be exactly what has happened. Cast aside how excited you were to have the baby arrive on time. Now, you are uncomfortable, fatigued, and ready to get on with the show. Let’s figure out how you can go back to comfortably waiting for your newest arrival, and put yourself at ease until your baby arrives.
Move into Position
Finding a comfortable position when you are pregnant can be difficult, especially so if your baby is late. For many people though, it is helpful to move regularly to encourage circulation and help in reducing the swelling of the lower extremities (hello cankles!).
Some women find kneeling on all fours and letting the belly drop down to be comfortable, while others who experience back pain find comfort in moving around on top of a roller or tennis ball. Experiment with different movements and positions as you cope with your late baby blues and see what works best for you.
A warm bath, a hot shower or simply letting warm water run down your back in the shower may just be the reprieve you need to get you through the days of your baby being late. Some women find relaxation in sitting in an Epsom salt bath, while others go for the full spa experience and add bath salts and candles. Whatever you need to do to make you feel more at ease is totally acceptable!
It may not be any surprise that what you eat affects how you feel. This is just as true when your baby is late as throughout the rest of your pregnancy. In these uncomfortable overdue days, however, you may find yourself losing your appetite because you are so uneasy, or from feeling like your stomach is so compressed.
Eating smaller amounts of food is a good way to compensate for this, and it is important to still focus on consuming foods that are high in protein, iron and rich in folate and B vitamins. While there are no foods medically proven to induce labor or with clinical studies behind them, there are a few that some overdue mothers have vouched for:
Pineapple – This sweet fruit contains an enzyme called bromelain, which can assist in digestion. If your baby is late, however, bromelain may help trigger contractions as well.
Castor Oil – Research has indicated that consumption of castor oil can help kick-start contractions. Proceed with caution, however, as castor oil is also a potent laxative.
Eggplant – This one may be a bit more of folklore than the others, and certainly has no scientific proof behind it, but in one restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, when pregnant women eat eggplant parmesan, they go into labor within two days!
Whether you soak in a tub, eat eggplant or drink Castor oil, the truth is your baby just might arrive on its own terms. In the meantime, take comfort in knowing you’re almost there! Just a few more days . . . hopefully!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do babies go overdue?
We can joke around and say, “They just like it!” or “They’re not ready yet!” but in the back of our heads, we can’t help but worry and think that something must be wrong. But the truth is, there are different reasons why babies go overdue. Some say it’s hereditary, while others say the due date might be wrong. Irregular periods and taking birth control pills may be considered, too.
How late can you deliver a baby?
It shouldn’t be over 42 weeks so don’t be surprised if your doctor/midwife recommends an induction.
Are first babies usually late?
Not in particular. It mostly depends on whether it’s in your family’s history or your own health.
Is it dangerous to go past your due date?
Yes. When you go past your due date, different complications may arise which may put you and your baby at risk.