Being overdue


40 weeks plus

Pregnancy normally lasts about 40-41 weeks (that’s around 280-287 days from the first day of your last period). Some women go into labour a week either side of this date, but most women go overdue. If your labour doesn’t start by the time you are 41 weeks pregnant, we will offer you a “membrane sweep“. This involves having a vaginal (internal) examination that stimulates the cervix (neck of your womb) to produce hormones that may trigger natural labour. You don’t have to have this – you can discuss it with us during you antenatal check up at the practice. If your labour still doesn’t start naturally after this, we will offer you a second (or third) membrane sweep up to 42 weeks. We will keep a close eye on you and your baby by psychical assessment and checking your baby’s movement and heartbeat every other day after 41 weeks. If there are any concerns about you or your baby, we will refer you to the hospital and labour could be induced earlier.
Induction is offered to all women who don’t go into labour by 42 weeks. We will discuss all of the options available to you and assist you to plan the birth of your baby in line with your wishes and needs, preparing for a positive birth experience.

Induction of labour

If labour needs to be induced, this will happen in hospital and your will be guided through birth by the hospital staff (e.g. obstetric nurse, clinical midwife and/or doctor in training to be a gynecologist). Induction can be done in different ways, it all depends on if you already have some dilation or not. In hospital they will do an internal exam, CTG (to check the condition of the baby) and sometimes an ultrasound to determine which type in induction is needed.