Bump Update: Week 41
Few people understand what it's truly like to go past your due date unless they've experienced it themselves. Basically, no one loves those last few weeks of pregnancy because it's so uncomfortable, and going past your due date is no exception. Just remember that babies come on their own time and can't read your calendar clearly marked "due date!" Your time will come! Until then, here are some things to keep in mind.
Your weight should hopefully be plateauing at this point, since baby is fully developed. Still, some babies put on weight until the very end, so try to avoid simple carbs and sugars to avoid having a bigger baby than necessary. It's a difficult time for your body, since everything is stretched and crowded to its limit. The good news is that going over your due date isn't all that uncommon.
5% of babies actually come on their due date. Although OB-GYNS have begun to induce more often around 40 weeks due to worries about the placenta and increased birth weight of the baby, midwives tend to wait until 42 weeks before scheduling an induction. Whatever your situation, make sure your provider knows your preferences and that you feel good about whatever choice you make moving forward.
Labor contractions are something to watch for, especially if you've already lost your mucous plug. Talk to your provider about signs to watch for, such as not being able to talk through a contraction, or having contractions 5-7 minutes apart. By that point, it's best to head for the hospital to finally meet your baby!
To ensure that all is well with your baby in these final weeks, your provider may order what's called a nonstress test, or an NST. This simply monitors your baby's heartbeat, movement, and any contractions your uterus may be having. As a basic way to check up on baby, the test will let your provider know if an induction or other interventions are necessary.
Your baby may even start to release fetal stress hormones to jumpstart your labor--signifying to your body that the baby is ready for labor. Baby will also release hormones as he takes his first breath, helping it bond with you and vice versa.
Time is short, and even if you feel like you'll be pregnant forever, enjoy this time by getting all the sleep and pampering that you can!
Treat yourself. Go get lunch with a friend, get a pedicure, or just find ways to distract yourself and enjoy some "me" time before the baby comes. Your baby may be "late", but think of this as extra time to prepare and to do some much-needed self care.