Due dates. Fact or Fiction?
Due dates are really maybe dates. Right? We all know that babies come when their ready, but when are they ready? Unfortunately, they don’t have a “timer” that pops up when they are done (now wouldn’t that be a great invention), and as the date gets closer, everyone starts to get a little crazy. What else do we need to do? OMG in two weeks we will have a new family member. Do we need more diapers, less diapers, more clothes, what about meals in the freezer, didn’t someone say to do that as well? OMG What about co-sleeping? What about a car seat? What about _____ (fill in the blank). Yes, it gets hectic. And don’t forget that someone in your family may be coming out 2 weeks ahead of your due date to “help.” Oh, and did I mention their staying until at least 2 weeks after your new addition comes home. OMG. Hopefully this person is someone that doesn’t watch you like a hawk like you’re going to blow up in a minute or even decides that you need to be “induced” so they can go home in the next couple of weeks. If that’s the case I would really suggest pre-natal yoga every day, or every other day. That will help. Also find a place to meditate and talk to your baby that’s quiet. And don’t forget to book that pre-natal massage you’ve been wanting. Book two messages if you can.
Now let’s address everyone else on social media, your relatives, your friends and the grocery checker that asks when your due and you tell her your due date. They all have ideas on what to do to make you go into labor. They all know your due date and ask you every day “are you in labor yet? Did you eat that pizza (sushi, milkshake, whatever) that I told you about? It helped Suzy (or Judy or whomever) and she went into labor the next day.” Well almost everyone. If you don’t see the grocery checker again, she won’t ask you. That’s one. This scenario is most likely to happen about 2 weeks before your due date. It’s going to happen 2 or 3 days before your due date and everyday your “late.” (Which is BS. You’re not late. Just not ready yet. By the way, my opinion only about the “late” part.) But hang in there. Post this message on your social media accounts “I promise you will know when my baby is born so (fill in the blank).” And don’t hide out because you are sick and tired of people giving you advice on what and what not to do. Your baby, your birth, your choice. Don’t forget. And if you start yelling at someone because it’s the 10th person in one day that has given you advice regarding “how to get your labor started” know that it’s totally normal. Go home, take a hot bath, cry, and talk to your baby. Tell him or her or them that it’s time to come out and see you because your feeling miserable and tired of being pregnant. Your baby just might listen this time. You just never know. 😊
So, let’s talk evidence so you know the odds of actually having your baby on-time. Ok. Maybe on-time. A great article on “due dates” hit my email in-box today. It has a lot of information about the likelihood of having your baby on-time or around your due date. It says that about 50% of babies are born before 40 weeks and 5 days. The other 40% are born before 42 weeks. Okay. So that’s 90% of babies. What about the other 10%? Well they are super comfy cozy and want to stay longer than 42 weeks. Most of them, I believe, are evicted via induction by that time.
Let’s address a couple of items that may not be on your list to worry about. What about getting a caesarean section. What is the likelihood of that with induction. According to the article, there is a lesser chance of caesarean section if your induced when your 41 to 42 weeks pregnant. The study was done in the 1980’s but may be relevant today. Ask your care provider about this. You may also want to ask your care provider about the possibility of “stillbirth” and how it can rise slightly after 40 weeks. The risk of stillbirth, according to the article, states the possibility at 39 weeks is 3.5 percent per 10,000. It rises after that. At 42 weeks it can be as high as 10 percent per 10,000. So yes, another decision you need to make. Just click here for a copy of the article.
Not that you have to take this advice, but I would suggest telling people your birth month. If your due, let’s say February 28th you may want to say your due in March. You may get less advice. That will definitely help you cope with everyone that knows what to feed you or what you should do to get your labor started.
As a doula I do have some tips and tricks to help you get labor started. Or if you need someone to call and just vent, you can do that too. Just contact me and I’ll give you some tips and I promise not to ask you when your baby is due and I won't tell you to eat the "pizza" at the pizzeria down the street with some kind of meat and veggie combo. If you live in the Sacramento area, I also know of a great massage therapist that does pre-natal massages. I also specialize in amazing births to help you have a beautiful birth story. It’s never too late to hire a doula. Happy “Birth” day.
You won't regret it. Just remember, I'm here for you, no matter what kind of birth you choose.