Over due pregnancy is not a disease. It is also very common. In fact, as many as half of babies will go past their due dates. This is something many women don't adequately prepare for during pregnancy. So when their due date comes and goes...it's annoying. On top of being annoyed that the baby is incapable of reading a calendar, they have to deal with most well meaning people who say things to them that are likely to get them in trouble. Here is what you don't say:
- Now, when was your due date?
If someone says this to you, try not to bite their heads off. This may actually be valid. So many times, the due date is thrown off by a late ultrasound or how your baby is measuring, which are the least accurate ways to determine when your baby is due.
- Your belly sure is huge.
Ouch. The size and or shape of a pregnant abdomen has nothing to do with when the baby is due and may not have anything to do with the size of the baby.
- Are you sure it isn't twins?
Of course you're sure. Now please don't hurt them...
- Have you tried...
Insert a long list of comments and old wives tales on induction methods to be used at home. These, like their medical counterparts, are as great as they sound, particularly in how well they work.
- When will you be induced?
The general answer from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is 42 weeks into pregnancy. There are medical reasons for induction of labor prior to this date.
- Don't sit there, your water might break!
The good news is that over 75% of the time your water won't break until labor is well established. In fact it only breaks before labor about 12-13% of the time. Sit wherever you like...
- Doesn't the placenta have an expiration date?
Nope. While the placenta is the only disposable organ that our bodies make, they aren't ticking time bombs. If your pregnancy goes to 41 weeks, you will likely have special testing to make sure that baby is doing well and so is the placenta, called a biophysical profile (BPP), complete with a non-stress test.
- Maybe they got your dates wrong.
Argh, see #1.
- When I was pregnant...
Regaling you with stories of their pregnancy may be entertaining. If it's helpful or entertaining, let them continue. If not, fake a contraction and leave.
- Oh, being over due isn't that bad...
It can be nice, but when you've got someone reminding you of it or asking why you haven't had the baby yet, it's annoying. The fun guessing game of when will I have the baby does eventually get old. I personally like to remind myself that no matter what I think during pregnancy, postpartum isn't exactly a picnic!