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What are the dangers of going past your due date?

Any woman who has reached 40 weeks of pregnancy will know how miserable it can be. It is not a pleasant time physically due to the changes in your body. The idea of going past 40 weeks without delivering your baby can be frustrating.

The Mayo Clinic explains that it is not always bad to go over your due date. Due dates are an estimate only and not an exact science. They can be off. There are really no concerns until you are two weeks past your due date.

Potential risks

Experts do state that once you reach 41 weeks, you have an increased risk for complications. Your baby may gain too much weight, which can lead to difficulties with a vaginal delivery. Your baby may have its first bowel movement before delivery, which can lead to aspiration issues.

Placenta issues are not uncommon for overdue pregnancies. Your amniotic fluid may get low, which can lead to issues with your baby’s health.

You are also at a higher risk for a C-section, infections, tearing and bleeding.

Prevention

Your doctor should continue carefully monitoring you and your baby once you reach 40 weeks and beyond. He or she needs to pay attention for complications or issues. At a minimum, your doctor should conduct tests to ensure your baby is still healthy and that your placenta and amniotic fluid are still functioning properly.

Your doctor should talk to you about inducing labor to move things along. You should be able to discuss your concerns and even seek a second opinion if you feel something is wrong or that you or your baby are in danger.