It seems like your baby has opted for a late checkout, quite a popular option judging by the numbers. Fewer than five percent of babies are born on their actual due dates — and around 50 percent decide to overstay their welcome in Hotel Uterus, thriving well into the tenth month.
Remember, too, that most of the time an overdue baby isn’t overdue at all — it’s just that the due date was off. That’s okay — there’s still work to be done at 41 weeks pregnant.
So week 40 has come and gone. That’s frustrating to put it mildly, but it’s certainly not unusual. Lots of pregnancies last into week 41, or even 42. The truth is, fewer than 5 percent of babies are born on their due date, and about half of all babies don’t make their debut until well into the 10th month.
But babies can overstay their womb welcome, and after 42 weeks, they are considered postmature. What does that mean? It means a baby’s skin may be temporarily dry, cracked, peeling, loose, or wrinkled because the protective cheesy vernix was shed weeks ago. He may have longer finger and toenails and also longer hair. He’ll have none of the fuzzy lanugo coating, and he may be born more alert. He is older and wiser after all!
Because being postmature could also mean that the placenta is functioning less well and levels of amniotic fluid are dropping, you’ll be closely monitored to make sure that Hotel Uterus is still a welcoming place for your guest. Any indication that it’s not hospitable anymore, and your practitioner will likely recommend labor induction. One thing is for sure: That sweet little bundle of baby is coming any day now.