Childbirth, Pregnancy

Why You Need to Forget About Your Due Date

There are few events as anticipation-worthy as the birth of your child. You’ve been growing your little nugget for many months, wondering if they’ll look like you or your partner, if they’ll adore you or ignore you, if they’ll be smiley or stoic… so many “what ifs” to discover. And now, you’re almost there. You’re so close your heart can taste the sweet flavor of that first meeting.

But wait, when will that meeting occur? On your due date, right? Maybe. Maybe not.

According to a study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences there is a variation of 37 days in pregnancy length of women who conceived naturally and knew the date of their conception, “even after excluding women with complications or preterm births.” A 37-day range!

This study suggests that fetal development rates are unique to each mother and baby, proving there is no way to determine exactly when you will go into labor, unless you need artificial induction or a cesarean section because of special circumstances.

So, you’re required to sit pretty and not so patiently wait for Baby to give the signal that he’s ready to come out.

To make the waiting game a little easier, try out the following suggestions.
1. Relish the Last Days In Your Current Life

You deserve to experience joyful anticipation as you near the unknown birth date of your baby- not increasing anxiety because Baby didn’t come on the day she “was supposed to.”

So, instead of trying to force Baby out by dousing your meals in hot sauce, slipping some Castor oil in your orange juice, or lunging up and down your street while eating dates, lie on the couch with your partner and binge on a show that’s wildly inappropriate for children, get a pedicure, or, if you already have a child, take them on a date.

When you give your mind something to focus on (besides the fact that you haven’t gone into labor) it’s easier to enjoy the final days of spending time with the current makeup of your family and self – because as you might have heard, everythingchanges after Baby emerges.

2. Distract Yourself With Relaxation

Feeling bummed after your due date has passed not only negatively impacts your mental state but can cause your body to kick into a “fight or flight” response. In this state, your body floods with stressor hormones, your muscles tighten, your breath becomes shallow, and your blood redirects to your defense organs (the uterus is not a defense organ.) These unfavorable conditions can block your uterus and baby from flicking on the green light of labor.

To get into a Zen zone ripe for the onset of labor, practice relaxation techniques like meditation, a soak in a warm bath, deep breathing, yoga, or a prenatal massage.

Distracting yourself from laboring thoughts may be all you need to move into it.

3. Stop Telling People Your Due Date
I’ve seen women dis-invite mothers, sisters, best friends, and others from their child’s birth because they became so annoyed with these folks hassling them on their due date, and every day thereafter.
If you’re asked over and over and over again if you’re in labor (when you’re not in labor) you may begin to feel like you’re doing something wrong–that your body doesn’t know what it’s doing–that your baby doesn’t want to come to you. These are untrue thoughts, but thoughts that can send you into labor uncertain about your birthing abilities and frustrated with your supporters.

The best way to fend off the “are you in labor yet?” calls and texts, is to share the general time of month you’re due, instead of the exact date your care provider offered.

If, for example, your care provider gave you the due date of May 18th, say you’re due “mid-May.” If you’re given the due date of January 27th, you could say, “I’m due the end of January/ beginning of February.” Or, you could just share the month, without further details.
If you’re pressed for an actual date, fib and say your doctor had trouble determining an exact date, so they gave you a range instead.
As you, and those you share deets of your pregnancy with, shift focus from a number on the calendar, to a trust that Baby will come when they’re supposed to, you’ll find more enjoyment in the final phase of pregnancy, your body will relax enough to go into labor when it’s ready, and annoying “check ins” on The Date won’t happen.
Hey girl, don’t be afraid to be vague.

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