What Happens When A Pregnant Woman Is Overdue? Here's All You Need To Know

Pregnancy overdue: Do you know the mode of delivery needs to be decided on the dependence on how the baby is laying?

Tavishi Dogra
Written by: Tavishi DograUpdated at: May 13, 2020 08:25 IST
What Happens When A Pregnant Woman Is Overdue? Here's All You Need To Know

Overdue pregnancy symptoms: It is undeniably true that the last few weeks of pregnancy tend to feel like the lengthiest phase, mainly if past you have gone ahead of your 40-week due date. This is because you are impatient to meet your bundle of joy and with all the phone calls and texts from anxious family and friends to know when you are ready to pop, playing the waiting game in the final weeks of pregnancy is tough for the couple. But this waiting becomes all the more challenging when the forty weeks tend to turn into forty-one or forty-two. The moment you cross your due date with no signs of approaching labor, expecting parents tend to get nervous and worried. But the foremost thing to understand is that your expected delivery date is just a rough estimate. Only five per cent of babies are born on their due date. You need to bear in mind that due dates are not set in stone. And pregnancy is considered full-term any time between thirty-nine and forty-two weeks.

Below mentioned are some essential guidelines by Dr Anagha Karkhanis - Senior Gynaecologist, Infertility Specialist and Director of Cocoon Fertility that you must consider when you are playing the waiting game:

Weekly appointments

ivf appointment

Once you have crossed your due date, you must expect to visit your healthcare provider at least once a week. They will be all the more watchful about checking the overdue baby. Your prenatal care team will make use of ultrasounds to measure the expanse of amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby. Generally, nobody is allowed to go ten days over their due date. If this is the case, some plan of delivery is put into action. At least by the fourteenth day over their due date, the baby should have been delivered to have a satisfactory outcome for the mother and the baby.

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Monitoring kick count

kick count

A kick count is a record that you keep of how frequently your baby has been moving. Your skilled medical expert will guide you to contact him instantly if you witness your baby suddenly reduces his or her movements. This could be an indication of fetal distress, which would require instantaneous testing to understand your baby's condition and to evaluate whether delivery should be started quickly.

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fetal monitoring

Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM)

Once you go past your date, your doctor may also conduct a non-stress test, which is a method of checking the baby’s movements and heart rate with the help of a fetal monitor. This facilitates the doctor in determining if your baby is in distress. The same monitoring of the baby’s heartbeat can also be done when labor starts and the uterus contracts. The response of the heartbeat variation in relationship with the uterine contraction gives the medical expert an idea of how healthy the baby is.

Frequent ultrasounds


When you are overdue, on an ultrasound, your doctor will look for the amniotic fluid index, which is the amount of water around the pregnancy. As long as AFI remains good, we can be reasonably happy that the baby should be all right. The second thing that we take a look at this ultrasound is Doppler studies for the baby. So as long as the umbilical artery Doppler’s are healthy, the baby does not have any distress. The healthcare provider will also take a look at the placenta and consider the ageing of the placenta. There are grades of placenta like Grade 0, 1, 2, and 3. Grade 3 depicts an aged placenta, the more aged the placenta is, the lesser will be the blood supply to the baby. Hence that is a vital aspect that we take a look at. Lastly, through ultrasounds, we look at which way is the baby laying, is the baby head down, bottom down, oblique, or transverse.

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