Once due dates come and go, people start getting rather nosy about what is happening in your uterus. You may start getting texts, emails and voicemails (always let it go to voicemail! I explain why below…) asking rather personal questions.
“Have you had that baby yet?” (share this link with them!)
“No? Why not?!”
“How long will they let you go?”
“Should you still be working?”
“Are they going to induce?”
It can be annoying and likely puts undue stress on an already tense situation.
Save yourself some trouble. Log off of social media, change your voicemail to answer all these questions, and ignore calls without guilt. (There’s your answer why…)
Due dates are arbitrary. Menstrual cycles vary in length and women gestate at different lengths.
Take comfort in knowing that in my doula experience, most first time mothers will typically go into spontaneous labor on their own by 41 weeks and one day.
Some folks really enjoy being pregnant, their journey has been healthy and uneventful. They have felt fantastic through all three trimesters, and they are excited about their baby being able to choose when they are born. Thats awesome!
However, a lot of people will get to that point in the pregnancy when they are D-O-N-E.
They can’t take it any longer.
Their bodies are tired, their minds are exhausted, and they just want those sweet babes in their arms.
In 2016, the ACOG agreed that inducing at 39 weeks was ideal for most patients in order to avoid the baby being too large, or the potential for the placenta beginning to age and not be as effective.
In this situation, a family can ask for a non-stress test (NST) and/or a Biophysical profile (BPP). These are simply an ultrasound and extra monitoring to ensure the health and well-being of the baby by measuring fluid levels a placenta function. Unfortunately, in some cases, the pregnant person’s body may also begin to shut down for any number of reasons (preeclampsia, cholestasis, Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), low fluid levels, sick babies, etc), and that is when care providers begin talking more seriously about the induction process.
When it comes to getting babies out, there is no magic eject button. If a baby isn’t ready to be born, or a woman’s body isn’t ready for labor- things won’t happen as quickly as parents or care providers would like for them to. In those instances, being open to further interventions that will help labor progress, and preparing for the possibility of a surgical births can help your experience be fantastic!
If you are unsure about how to prepare for those situations, a doula can help you navigate these situations.
There are qualifiers that help to determine how favorable a woman’s body is for induction. These factors are given a numerical value and added together. This is called the Bishops Score.
The higher the score, the lower the higher the chance of a successful induction. It’s not a perfect science, and we are all individuals. Just know, that your experience can be awesome no matter how or why your baby is being born.