How Long After Due Date Will They Induce (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 weeks

Pregnancy is a blessing in the life of a woman. Pregnancy and birth are very special phenomena to a woman’s body. Pregnancy consists of nine months and it is the most sensitive period. The labor which is followed by delivery is filled with many physical changes as well as many psychological changes. There are also lifestyle changes. And one of the most synonymous and relative terms with pregnancy is the due date or expected date of delivery.

Now let us know what is the due date for a pregnancy.

The due date which is also known as Estimated Delivery Date (EDD) or just date of delivery is the approximate date of the big day. On the day of delivery, the baby will arrive from the womb. It is observed that in actual cases, almost all the pregnancies last between 37 weeks and 42 weeks. 

Now let’s get familiar with the term inducing labor or labor induction.

Inducing labor is the scientific method of stimulating the uterus for uterine contractions. It is done during pregnancy. In some women the labor delays at the onset. So this process of stimulating your uterus is done artificially before labor naturally commences on its own to achieve a birth by the vagina. This technique is used for many reasons, but the main cause is when there are concerns regarding the condition of the health of the mother or the baby.

How long after the due date will they induce?

Less than 37 weeks37-42 weeksGreater than 42 weeks
Premature BabyNormal BabyOverdue Baby
Delivery by the process of induction is not required.
Delivery by the process of induction might require in some cases.
Delivery by the process of induction is just after 2 weeks

The exact answer to this question is two weeks. Mother nature prepares the cervix in a woman for delivery in a way that is very efficient and comfortable. However, in certain cases, if the gynecologists or the obstetricians are worried about the condition of the mother’s health or the health of the baby, or if the pregnancy passes the two weeks mark and continues to go on without showing any signs of labor, then labor induction is the best possible option for both the health of the mother and the baby.

Now the question arises of how the process of induction is performed.

The induction procedure is performed mainly in these subsequent ways. The steps or methods are discussed below–

  1. Uterine membranes inside your uterus with the aid of medical procedures are peeled off like onions.
  2. The water which we used to refer to the fluid surrounding the baby i.e. the amniotic fluid is torn.  This process is known as amniotomy.
  3. Your gynecologist will prescribe and deliver the hormone known as prostaglandin for the artificial ripening of the cervix. It is one of the most effective of all, though it has some complications too.
  4. Your doctor will prescribe and first give in a small amount of dose the hormone known as oxytocin for stimulating contractions.
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Why after the due date they will induce?

To answer this question we have to see why there is a need for inducing artificially?

  1. Many times it happens that your labor has not started naturally though you have crossed the general 42 weeks mark. At that time you need to be induced and your gynecologist will induce you. 
  2. Sometimes it happens that the water-like fluid or sac surrounding the baby which is also known as the amniotic fluid has been crushed, but your labor process has not started yet. 
  3. Sometimes in your uterus, there is an infection. At this time a woman needs to get induced.
  4. The baby has stopped showing signs of fetal growth suddenly.
  5. The amniotic fluid or the amniotic sac which is surrounding the baby inside the womb is not enough. It is decreasing. 
  6. You are a patient with obesity or diabetes or high blood pressure and have a kidney-related disease.

Now let us come to the question of why after the due date the doctors will induce?

This is because when some pregnancies continue to keep going longer than the 42 weeks mark, the water inside the womb which is also known as the amniotic fluid or the amniotic sac starts to decrease in quantity. This might increase the danger of having a baby whose overall size is larger than the average.  There are also possibilities that the fetus will inhale fecal waste. It is referred to as meconium aspiration. 

Conclusion

Pregnancy is the growth and rapid development of the baby inside the womb of the mother.  The mother’s body changes itself physiologically for the growth of the fetus. Pregnancy is also a very sensory experience. Some women may experience hardships during pregnancy. But today’s medical science is very advanced and there are modern techniques like inducing labor for women whose delivery is not happening or is delayed due to complications. 

Complications during pregnancy are not very rare. One out of four moms-to-be faces this complication. But with the help of modern techniques of medical science nowadays, one can deliver a healthy baby without any worries. 

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0085253815323413
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/inducing-labor/art-20047557#:~:text=Nature%20typically%20prepares%20the%20cervix,the%20concern%20after%20two%20weeks%3F
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