The due date given by your doctor is a well-estimated day when your baby might arrive. However, it is still an estimate at the end of the day. It is natural for mothers to worry if their due date has passed and they haven't started labour yet. While in most cases, doctors and other healthcare professionals might wait for the labour to happen naturally, in some cases they might ask you or try ways to induce it. It might usually happen when labour hasn't started even after a week or two passing by.
In some cases, an extended pregnancy can be a risk for both the mother and the child. For instance, if there is less amniotic fluid around the baby, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, uterine infection and other conditions might make labour induction necessary at the time.
Ways of inducing labour
Contractions are an important sign that your labour has started and your cervix has begun to open. While there are some ways in which labour can be induced but it is always advisable to take a consultation with your doctor before trying out anything on your own. It is important that the method opted for inducing labour is safe and clinically correct. There are both natural and medical ways of inducing labour. The following are a few techniques used.
Studies have shown that eating dates in the third trimester of your pregnancy can increase cervical dilation at the start of the labour.
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Stripping the membranes is a way to induce labour. The doctor might slide their finger between the membranes of the amniotic sac in your uterus. This motion will separate the sac or they might just stretch the cervix which might help it to soften and dilate. It can trigger the release of prostaglandins that will initiate labour.
Rubbing the nipples can stimulate the breasts to release oxytocin which plays an important role in initiating labour and developing bonding between parent and the child. There is evidence that this method can help avoid a medical induction and has a low risk of postpartum haemorrhage.
Other methods could be to have sexual intercourse which is reportedly known to initiate contractions or to do some light exercise.
A slight delayed stay is not harmful
As per reports, it is best when labour is allowed to begin naturally. While in complicated pregnancies where other factors are involved, inducing labour is a call your doctor can take, in cases where there are no immediate dangers, the doctor might ask you to show patience and allow the labour to occur naturally. The following are a few benefits of a baby's extended stay in the womb-