As your due date approaches, you become very excited and maybe a bit anxious about the birth. Then the day comes and nothing happens and nothing happens the next day and the day after that. This is frustrating to say the least...
Since the day you discovered you were pregnant, you’ve been counting the days until your due date. As the date approaches, you get excited and maybe a bit anxious about the birth, but mostly excited. Then the day comes and nothing happens and nothing happens the next day and the day after that. This is frustrating to say the least.
As frustrated as you feel, it’s important to remember that the due date is really just an estimate. In fact only about five percent of all babies are born on the actual due date. This means that ninety five percent of them will not arrive on that day. In the vast majority of the cases, the baby will come within two weeks of the due date, either before or after.
If the baby isn’t here by your first visit after the due date, the doctor may want to do a bit of monitoring to check on the baby and assess his condition. An ultrasound may be done to check the baby’s heart rate and general health. The placenta can also be checked during the ultrasound to be sure it is still functioning properly. The amniotic fluid will be measured to be sure the level is sufficient.
The doctor may want to do a non stress test. This is usually done in the doctor’s office. You will be hooked up to a monitor and will sit there for a while. The non stress test measures contractions and the baby’s heart rate. Further testing may be done based on the results or you may be sent home to wait some more.
A biophysical profile may be done to give more information about the baby. This uses the results of an ultrasound and a non stress test to determine how the baby is faring in the womb. The biophysical profile assesses the level of amniotic fluid, the baby’s movements, muscle tone and breathing. The test may be done twice, with a few days in between.
The days after your due date passes seem to stretch out endlessly. Keep yourself occupied to avoid obsessing about when labor will begin. Take some time to do something nice for you. Go to a spa for the day or have lunch with a friend. Eat dinner in a quiet and romantic restaurant with your husband or partner. You know the kind of place you won’t be able to enter for the next five years? Make reservations there for tomorrow night!
You will be tempted to spend the extra time scrubbing the house or cleaning out the closets. This is sometimes referred to as nesting and is totally normal. It may actually be a sign that things will happen in the next few days. Try to avoid the temptation to clean all day. You will wear yourself out.
Do some organizing or cleaning, but be sure not to over do it. You don’t want to be exhausted when labor starts. This is when all that energy will be needed, so conserve it. Take a nap in the afternoon or put your feet up and rest. Keep in close contact with your doctor or midwife, and remember that resting is important in order to have as much energy as possible when you do go into labor.
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