You’ve had your due date in mind all these months, and then in passes…
Being overdue is actually way more common than you might think. More than 70% of women deliver past their due date as only 5% of babies are born on the actual due date. 95% of women give birth spontaneously before 42 weeks. In France and New Zealand they‘ve set the due date at 41 weeks. Which actually makes sense as it’s a much more accurate due date than the 40 weeks.
Starting at 41 weeks of pregnancy we will do a checkup averagely every other day to check your blood pressure, the growth, position and heartbeat of the baby and we offer to conduce a membrane sweep.
A membrane sweep is a way of trying to bring on labour to avoid going too overdue. During an internal examination, we will try to insert a finger into the opening of your cervix (neck of your womb) and then gently but firmly move the finger around. This action should separate the membranes of the amniotic sac surrounding your baby from your cervix. This separation releases hormones (prostaglandins) which may kick-start your labour. A membrane sweep increases the likelihood of labour starting within 48 hours. It has a higher chance of succes if your cervix is already softening and preparing for labour. It can be uncomfortable, as the cervix is often difficult to reach before your labour begins. You may experience some slight spotting of blood, cramps or irregular contractions immediately afterwards.
At every checkup between 41 and 42 weeks together we decide when an induction is necessary. However if you’ve reached 42 weeks, your labour will be induced in hospital. There are different ways to medically induce labour. The hospital wil advise which type of induction is preferred depending on whether your cervix has already softened and if there is some dilation.