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What if My Baby Isn't Born by My Due Date?

What happens if my due date comes and goes, and my baby still shows no signs of appearing?

Very few pregnant women deliver on their estimated due dates. Many first-time moms find themselves waiting up to 2 weeks after their due date for their baby to arrive.

If you don't go into labor within a week of your due date, your doctor may recommend a nonstress test. This monitors fetal heart rate and movement to see how the baby is doing. Talk to your doctor to find out more about this test.

Sometimes moms need a little help to get their labor going. If your health or your baby's health requires it, your doctor may induce labor. This can be done by:

  • stripping the membranes: The doctor can rupture the amniotic sac by sweeping a gloved finger over the thin membranes that connect it to the wall of the uterus.
  • breaking your water (also called an amniotomy): The doctor makes a small hole in the amniotic sac with a special tool.
  • giving a hormone such as prostaglandin or oxytocin

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date Reviewed: Aug 26, 2019

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