How "late" is safe for a due date? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-07-2010, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There is so much fear based stuff out there to filter through about the baby gestating "late".
I am 41 weeks +4 days today. I still feel great. I know my exact conception without a doubt as I was charting for many months and the month I conceived.

Every day I feel totally like- the baby knows the right time, the creator knows the right time, my body knows the right time.
But then also every day I find I am filtering the fear thoughts- and the ideas of monitoring or testing or anything involving the baby going "too long".

So what is the real deal? Up to what point can I still just relax and let it be? Is it up to 42 weeks?

Also- any stories of people who went as far as this and had good outcomes appreciated. It is amazing how when one is vulnerable how hard I must work to keep the fear thoughts away. So I would like to have a clear idea of what you all think is a safe gestation to go "late".
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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hmmmm... honestly in a couple days-- I might go and get an u/s to make sure the placenta still looks healthy. If yes, I would just wait it out.

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Old 03-07-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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I was just logging on to check on you Katie!

Having your mw check you out now might be a good idea, not because you *should* be worried, but for everyone's peace of mind and just to connect with where the baby's at. Are you noticing more BH contrx or any other differences? How's the LO's movement?

FWIW, I was almost 3 wks late and was a natural birth, and my sister was 2 wks late, a VB with some pain meds.

Since I'm a first timer, I'm sure others will have better advice, but sending lots of

Proud Mama to Liam Greenleaf 5/31/10
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I saw the midwife at 40 wks + 6 days and all looked well.
I have tons of movement- more than EVER. the baby moves more than it doesn't at this point and the movements are huge. I am scheduled to see the midwives again on Tuesday if I am still pregnant which is 41 weeks+6 days.

I spoke with the midwife on the phone and they say up to 42 wks is fine. I don't like my midwives very much though, but I still do trust their opinions on things like this.
aLso- I know so many people who have said their babies were 2 weeks "late" including my husband;s mom with his birth, as well as my husband's step mom with his half sister's birth- and they are all great!
So I know it is fine. I just find it annoying that I let myself get nervous at all!
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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Until recently, it was standard practice not to induce until after 42 weeks. Although there are some women who should be induced before that time, I think the numbers are very small. For first time mothers of mostly European genetic stock, the average time to go into labor is something like 41 weeks, 2 days. If your family tends to go later (as mine does) you are probably fine waiting until the full 42 weeks have passed. I insisted on that with DD, knowing that I had been born at something like 44 weeks (in an era of fewer interventions), and went through a 4-day on-and-off induction starting at 42 weeks, 2 days. It was fine, but exhausting.

I did go in for an ultrasound etc. at 41 weeks, 3 days (which is when they like to induce now) just to check that all was well, and i think it was fine. The hospital was a little anxious about letting me go over, but as long as they were monitoring the baby closely they didn't freak out.

So, yeah, I say hold off on the induction until 42 weeks.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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I can totally understand the temptation to buy into all the fear that goes with being past due, but really if everything else is healthy which it sounds like it is - I would try to be fine with it. FWIW, my mom delivered my brother at 45 weeks and my other brother at 43.. I think that's right, might have been 44 and 43, either way - she got a TON of crap for it but everything was fine, she just cooks them longer...

Charlotte wife to B momma to Q 2/22/09
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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I was told that the average first baby in Canada cooks for 41 weeks 6 days. That's the average so lots go over that. The stat alone obviously doesn't tell us what happened to those that did go over but to me it is an indication that you are still well within the range or normal.

Happy mumma to my boys Henny Tom (Nov 30, 2008), Arlo Odie (Oct 5, 2010), and baby SISTER! due mid-Dec 2014.
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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Personally, I probably wouldn't think twice until 42w. Then would have whatever options of testing to check fluid level and placenta, just for peace of mind. I was born 23 days after my EDD, date was dead on (my mom was an avid cycle tracker) and I was just perfectly healthy.

Good luck!
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:58 AM
 
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i went "41-4" with my son, and "41-2" with my daughter. i put the numbers in quotes because he was 8 1/2 lbs, she was 8-3 and MW said she looked, felt, seemed right at 40 weeks, even though i (thought) was pretty sure about my dates. Keep trusting your baby, your body, and creator ~ have a blessed & beautiful birth!
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:38 AM
 
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I had my DD at 41-5. No problems, and like a PP, midwives thought she didn't look "overcooked" at all, at 8lbs6oz, and 19". Had a BPP scan at 41 weeks just to make sure there was no obvious reason not to just keep waiting.

This time, I feel pretty strongly that I know when we conceived, yet an early US said I was 1w 4d earlier than I "should" have been, placing me at 5w instead of 6w4d at the time. I had a very similar sense about exactly when I conceived the first time, too, and interestingly, it's looking like it might be exactly the same discrepancy.

Point is, I'm under the impression that up to 42 weeks is not remarkable. My midwives were certainly un-flapped by my timing, and willing to keep being patient. I did have some acupuncture in the couple of days just prior to delivery to "prime" things. Totally harmless and worth a shot if you have access to an acupuncturist.

Co-sleeping, Breastfeeding, EC'ing, Baby-wearing, Homebirthing mama to two fabulous girls 6/2007 and 8/2010
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:06 AM
 
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I also had acupuncture and recommend it.
I delivered DS at 42 wks which is 'normal' for the UK but we were then living in the US and my friends thought I was crazy to wait that long.
At 41+4 I had a non-stress test and everything was fine.
My Sister delivered 2 babies at 42 wks. My Aunt has delivered 4 at 42 wks. So I will not consent to induction before then without a good medical reason.
Good luck!

Emma - Welsh Wife to DH and Mummy to DS, Lloyd 13/08/07 and Cerys 15/07/10
Living in Russia
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:14 AM
 
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I went to 42 weeks. I'm in the UK, & at 41 w 5 d my (NHS) midwife sent me to see the obstetrician to have a chat about continuing with our homebirth plans, & he said that he wouldn't be concerned until we went to 43 weeks. I was booked to have an ultrasound for placenta/fluid levels etc at 42 w 2 d but I went into labour before then.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:58 AM
 
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A friend of mine recently had her baby at 44+4. She was perfectly healthy and so was bub. I would have a check done after 42w, but as long as you feel fine, I think the EDD is a really rough estimate...

Shelly (34), mumma to H (01), C (03), and M (05), and A (10).  Crunchy, co-sleeping, cloth, babywearing hippy!!
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:21 AM
 
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My doc has a comfort level of 43 weeks. He does an u/s at 42 to check in but otherwise he doesn't worry much. That also applies to VBAC moms.

Amy, Army wife living in S. Korea, mama to my inverted t c/s baby 04.05.08 and my VBAC with inverted t baby 07.24.10
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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Mine have all come after 41 weeks. My OB (who did my first vba2c and is doing this one) basically said that as long as I have a nst once or twice a week, I can go as far past 41 weeks as I'm personally comfortable. So with my last baby I had a nst at 41 weeks and everything was fine, and had her 3 days later.

For me, I'm comfortable up to 42 weeks. After that I'd start to get concerned and would want to be closely monitored (induction isn't an option since I'm a vbamc mom, unless baby is low enough to safely arom). The majority of babies go past 42 weeks with no problems, but the reality is that the chance of stillbirth or serious problems with the placenta *does* increase.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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My second came at exactly 42 weeks. I had a U/S to check for fluid levels and had a NST at 41.5. I chose to have my m/w sweep my membranes at 41w6days because (for insurance reasons) I would have had to transfer to hospital care at 42w3d. Not sure if that did it or baby came on his own but I went into labor that night. Had a great birth and a healthy baby.

Lisa, mama to A (3/05) and R (11/07) and L (8/10)
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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My OB schedules a NST and ultrasound at 41 weeks, and if those are fine then she says 42 weeks is OK. I'm not sure about later than that - both times I went into labor a few days past 40 weeks, so the tests were scheduled but I never needed to have them.

DH was 15 days late, so I was worried about being that late myself, but I don't know if it's really genetic.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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Here is a decent article about which risks are real, and the rates of complications.

http://www.obgyn.net/fetal-monitorin...s/postdates_pg

A few items that stand out to me are:

Quote:
With the advent of antenatal testing which became available in the late 1970's, Eden (1987) demonstrated a significant decrease in the perinatal mortality rate; at 40 weeks gestation - 1.5/1000, 43 weeks gestation - 2.0 /1000, and at 44 weeks gestation - 6.9/1000.
The risk of stillbirth raises from .0015% at 40 weeks to .002% at 43 weeks. That is a tiny increase in risk. There is, however a bigger jump after 43 weeks. However, that is assuming that you go for the testing.

Quote:
The lowest perinatal mortality and morbidity was seen in the scheme in which semiweekly NST/weekly AFV were performed. However the intervention rate was the highest in this group.
So, it seems that these tests were able to pretty accurately predict which babies would do well, and the article also says to start testing around 42 weeks.

Quote:
The results reveal the same morbidity (oligohydramnios, cesarean section for fetal distress, NICU admission) in patients with testing initiated at 41 or 42 weeks. Therefore if testing is begun too early (i.e 40 or 41 weeks gestation) a patient may receive 3 - 4 additional tests without reducing the risk to the fetus.
Quote:
The conclusion drawn from the evaluation of a total of 4869 patients suggest that there is no difference in the mortality or morbidity between routine induction and conservative managment of the postdates patient.
So, this is mainstream (obgyn.net), and much more interventionist than many ladies here would reccommend, but it is also WAY less interventionist than many OBs would recommend. (Don't know why they didn't know this stuff )

One other thing I wanted to add, I know you are sure about your dates, but for others reading this, the article also said

Quote:
The incidence of postdates ranges from 3 - 12% of all pregnancies. If the pregnancy is dated using ultrasound criteria, the incidence of post-dates is lower and ranges from 3 - 6%.
So MANY cases of "postdates" are due to incorrect dates.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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Ds1 was born at almost exactly 42 weeks (half an hour before midnight, so not quite a full 42). I always thought his due date was off because it was based on LMP and my cycles are always long. But, he had a little bit of wrinkling on his ankles and wrists, and I remember my doc saying something about some calcification on the placenta. So, who knows. He was perfectly healthy, however, and his birth was really fast for a first birth.

Ds2 was born at 41 weeks 5 days. I was charting, so my date was accurate. He was covered in vernix, and looked term, not overdue at all. His placenta was perfect. This birth was even faster.

And both babies were right around 8 pounds, so not huge.

Can you get a copy of Henci Goer's The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth? There is a whole section that goes over postdates babies, and analyzes the research behind standard induction policies at 41+ weeks. Understanding why the docs recommended induction, and knowing logically why I did not agree with that analysis, based on the research helped me be really confident in refusing induction with my oldest. I was going to refuse after 42 weeks as well, so long as NSTs and ultrasounds showed baby was healthy.

I know a handful of homebirthing women who have gone to 43 weeks with healthy babies.

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Old 03-09-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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I had my DD at 42 weeks. We did do some induction methods including ultimately pitocin. I still had a great vaginal, pain med free birth. They saw some calcification on the placenta on the ultrasound. She was born and was definately overcooking. The placenta didn't look great and she had peeling skin and long nails.

I really think every situation is different. Without the ultrasound showing the calcification, there was no indication that anything was wrong- i felt great and she was moving around a lot. What I don't know is how quickly the placenta can actually fail...something to research.

Good luck!

Meghan, Married to Scott, Mother to Audrey- 2, and Expecting Nov 10th
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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I went 42 weeks 1 day with my 4th child. I had a MW appt that morning at 9:30 and she checked me, finding me dilated to a stretchy 6cm. She didnt sweep my membranes or poke and prod, just checked and joked with me if I went much longer he'd simply "fall out". Lol. He was born UC after an undramatic 8.5hr labor(things kicked in once I got home and started mopping and vacuuming) and weiged 8lbs 14oz, the biggest of all my babes so far, but not super-huge by any means. His placenta was big and other than one small calcification, looked great. So he was definitely ready to come out, but not overcooked. His nails were fine, no mec etc.

Your heart is the best judge in this mama. Sounds like your instincts tell you all is well with you and babe, and that counts the most. I wouldnt even begin to worry till you get to 43 wks. Your LO will come when he, and your body are ready. Best of Luck!

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Old 03-10-2010, 03:56 AM
 
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Trust your body and your baby. All babies are eventuall born, they know when to be born, they aren't on a time clock.

Remember normal gestation is from 38 TO 42 weeks, you aren't even overdue until AFTER 42 weeks.

That said I've had all of mine at 42 weeks and my last came at 43 weeks. All perfectly healthy and fine. Your placenta just doesn't magically stop working at 42 weeks either, I don't care what anyone says! (had pressure to be induced before with that comment)

Good luck! Don't feel you have to do anything you don't want to do. Your OB/midwife work for YOU, you don't have to answer to them or feel pressured. Always follow your instincts!

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