Did you know there are large variations in length of time for an individual baby to mature fully during pregnancy?
Some babies are mature as early as 37 weeks (259 days), and others need 42 completed weeks (294 days) and sometimes a bit more to be fully ready.
The "due date" is just an estimate!
This general estimate is based on the first day of your last period, and it assumes all women have the same cycle length. It doesn't take into account longer cycle lengths, late or early ovulation. It isn't an exact science.
Early dating ultrasounds are generally pretty accurate when done before 12 weeks gestation, but still have about a 5 day variable and accuracy depends greatly on the technology being used, as well as the skill of the technician.
It isn't totally clear to me why medical practitioners are so keen to "get things moving" once you hit 40 weeks -- it is protocol to women that they will be induced at 41 weeks plus three days.
Some women totally don't mind this (it is a long wait!) but others may because using synthetic oxytocin to induce has risks associated with it and often causes a more difficult labour. It can also trigger a series of medical interventions that some women prefer to avoid, like the increased likelihood that an epidural will be requested or a higher chance of a c-section.
Sometimes medical induction is necessary, for example if you have high blood pressure or your baby isn't thriving, but often induction at 41 weeks and 3 days is just following a widely applied protocol. You may not even truly be at 41 weeks and 3 days because of the potential variability of your estimated due date!
Talk to your health care provider about your options.
If all is going smoothly and baby simply isn't budging, you could try alternative labour induction methods (like Acupuncture!) that have a gentler, less invasive effect.
Whats great about Acupuncture Induction is that it simply helps to speed up the natural processes of the body -- there is no synthetic oxytocin involved & therefore the normal risks involved with induction isn't part of it.
If you are pregnant, educate yourself about this kind of thing :)
I found this article to be a great resource.
I’m on maternity leave until July 5th — but you can book in with me for Acupuncture now and reserve your space! Click here to book or call my clinic at (613) 235-7243 for more info.