It’s that all important date we are given at our 12 week pregnancy scan which we become slightly fixated on (or maybe that’s just me?), it’s the date that we count down to, 10 weeks to go, 2 weeks to go, 1 day to go etc – yep it’s our baby’s DUE DATE! But in reality only 5% of women give birth on their due date, making that all important date, well, not so important! Of course a proportion of women give birth early, but a large percentage of mums, especially first time mums, will go past their due date. So after fixating on a date for months, what happens when it comes and goes?
I know it may not seem a big deal and, at the end of the day, a healthy baby is the most important thing, but as a mum who went 16 days overdue with my first baby and 14 days with my second, believe me I know just how frustrating it can be to go overdue. I remember when I was 13 days overdue I called the hospital and begged them to take me in as I said I just couldn’t take it anymore, I had such bad heartburn I was drinking Gaviscon like it was water, I could barely sleep as my bump was huge and I felt so uncomfortable and also I just really wanted to meet my baby! With my second pregnancy, although I was still frustrated going two weeks past my due date, I did a few things which helped me cope a bit better so I thought I’d write this blog to share some of my tips for coping when you go overdue. I mentioned that I was doing this post over on our @MilkyTeeCo instagram page a few days ago and asked mums to also share the things which had helped them when they had gone overdue. So I’ve included their tips and advice in the list below, as well as some things which helped me.
Keep busy: You may worry that as you’re overdue you can’t do too much incase you happen to go into labour in the middle of Tescos but the truth is, labour and birth is rarely as speedy as it is in films and most labours take a few hours (or even days!) so you should have plenty of time to get home to get your hospital bag and get to the birth centre or hospital. So don’t feel you have to stay indoors constantly. Instead make plans to see friends, go for lunches and even have a wander round the shops (and if you do end up giving birth in Tescos at least you may end up getting your groceries for free!!)
Watch a good box set: Being overdue is the perfect time to get into a good boxset. I watched 24 when I went overdue and in the end I was so engrossed in it I was telling the baby the stay in my tummy a bit longer as I needed to know what happened in the next episode!
Prepare and freeze meals: Once the baby arrives that last thing you will want to do is cook so preparing some meals in advance can really help. It will keep you occupied and also means you’ve got some tasty dinners you can just stick in the oven once your baby is here.
Go for walks: With a giant bump you may not feel like doing anything too strenuous but a leisurely walk will not only help to take your mind off the fact your little one hasn’t appeared yet, being active can also help to bring on labour. And instead of getting cabin fever at home it’s good to get out and breathe in some fresh air.
Pamper yourself: Once your baby arrives, finding the time to have your hair or nails done is pretty impossible so being overdue is the perfect time for a bit of pampering. So make an appointment with your beautician or hairdresser and why not book in a pregnancy massage for a bit of extra relaxation!
Read a good book: If you’re a fan of reading then being overdue is a great time to get into a new book. It’ll help to keep your mind distracted – and you can also read parts of it to your baby!
Do small household tasks: That drawer that needs fixed, or that squeaky door that needs oiled, now is the perfect time to get those little things done. Clearly don’t over exert yourself or do anything dangerous but if you can do a few odd, small jobs, you will feel a sense of satisfaction and it will help to make the time pass a little bit more quickly.
Use sarcasm to rebuff any annoying messages: So one of the worst things about going overdue is the messages from people asking”No sign of the baby yet”. Even though most people mean well, when you’re overdue you just want to scream”IF THE BABY WAS HERE I’D BLOOMIN’ WELL LET YOU KNOW IT’S HERE”. So feel free to tell friends and family that you will let them know when baby arrives so not to keep asking, and if they keep asking then feel free to think of a sarcastic response to their messages!
Sleep: Oh yes, sleep, that human need which all parents of newborns become deprived of! So before baby arrives try to get as much of it as possible. And if you’re feeling too uncomfortable to sleep, at least try to get lots of rest.
Know you’re not alone: When you go overdue you can sometimes feel like everyone else has their baby on time and that there must be something wrong with you that your baby hasn’t appeared yet but the truth is lots of people go overdue so you are definitely not alone. Due dates really are just an estimate and in other countries they have due windows and some countries even calculate pregnancy at 41 weeks. So it is very normal to go overdue and know that it does not mean there is anything wrong with you or your baby and that he or she will make an appearance once they’re ready.
So those are some of my top tips and as well as some tips from some lovely mums on social media. And if you have any tips you’d like to share please leave them in the comments below and feel free to share this with any pregnant ladies you know, especially if they’re currently overdue!
About the blogger: Lauren is a mum-of-two, originally from Northern Ireland but now living in Kent with her husband Andrew. She is also the owner of The Milky Tee Company, which sells unique and stylish breastfeeding tops. You can check out the range of Milky Tee tops here www.milkyteecompany.com