Whenever you research how long a pregnancy lasts, you will commonly hear the following:
– just over nine months
– approximately 280 days
– 37-42 weeks
So as you can see, the range is quite vast and wooly. So think about it…if you’re pregnant, the chances are your medical caregivers have given you an exact date as to when they think your baby will be born. Wow, they’ve managed to pinpoint it to on single 24 hour period…amazing!
No, it’s not.
By you being given one single day to pin your hopes on baby arriving can have a multitude of knock-on effects. It puts pressure on you as a mum, as you wait for the signs of labour to show; you will no doubt have friends and family checking in on you and you’ll also have your medical caregivers suggest a ‘date for induction’, even before you’ve crossed the 40-week mark.
The NICE guidelines state that inductions for pregnancy should only be done if there is a medical reason. Being ‘overdue’ is not a medical reason on its own.
Take a look online and you’ll read of many 10-month mamas. Women who have confidently chosen to let nature take its course and go spontaneously into labour. There is even one woman who’s pregnancy lasted 375 days* (yes that’s longer than 12 months).
So what I want to convey is, pinning your expectations on a single day is perhaps not the right thing to do. According to research, only about one in 25 (four per cent) of babies are born on their exact due date . About one in five babies are born at 41 weeks or after. So rest assured, this is totally normal.
You’ve done a fabulous job growing your baby and trusting in nature. Now let your body decide when to give birth.
*this was the number of days from menstrual cycle to birth.