a Newborn baby boy breastfeeding for the first time in hospital, directly after a caesarean section
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Are Boy Babies Usually Late? Signs Your Baby May Be Born Late

It’s a total guessing game, but it’s a fun one.

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No matter how much you love being pregnant, there comes a moment in every woman's journey when she is officially done with this "mommy-to-be" nonsense. She's exhausted, she's hot, she's tired of having to sleep on her side because she can't get up from her back at 40 weeks pregnant, and she really wants to meet her baby. Hearing the words, "I think you're going to go past your due date" is basically torture. But are there signs your baby might be late — like the popular belief that baby boys are usually late — so you can prepare for those extra days of pregnancy? Or will your child's punctuality skills be a mystery until they finally decide to make their entrance?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) defines “postterm” pregnancy as a pregnancy that goes past 42 weeks — cringe, we know — but (breathe) only about 5% of pregnancies last beyond 42 weeks. That sounds like a long time to be pregnant, doesn't it? Pregnancies that go past 42 weeks are typically associated with complication or risk, though, so most doctors conclude that going past 41 weeks of pregnancy means you're overdue and at that point, they’ll usually intervene to get things moving along.

So what makes some babies overdue and some arrive on time or early? There's no exact answer, but there are five signs that could potentially mean your little one won't show up on their due date.


Your baby is a boy

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The running joke in society is that women are always late and men are always waiting on the girl in their life to hurry up and get it together. But are baby boys usually late? The jury is out on this one — like with so many pregnancy myths. Remember, your due date is just an estimate. We know it’s tough, but try not to be too attached. Boy or girl — it’ll happen when it happens.


Overdue pregnancies run in your family

I'm pretty sure all three of my mom's kids were late, which could've caused my own daughter to go past her due date if I hadn't been induced. According to the Mayo Clinic, if overdue pregnancies run in your family, there's a higher chance of you going past your own due date. Those pregnancies also count any previous ones you've had. If your first child was late, there's a good chance your second baby will be, too.


You aren’t 100% sure when you had your last period

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Before I was pregnant with my daughter, I got really vigilant about marking when I had my period and keeping up with my cycles. But if you've forgotten when you last had your period or you aren't exactly sure how many days your cycle lasts, it can throw off everything. So, when you're thinking you're overdue? It may simply be that you have not even reached 40 weeks of pregnancy yet.


This is your first baby

You've probably heard before that your first baby won't arrive on time. While that may or may not be true, it might be comforting to learn that about 60 out of 100 women deliver on or before their due date, meaning you’re likely to deliver by around 40 weeks.


Your due date was not confirmed

And, in the same vein as not being sure of your menstrual cycle, having an unconfirmed due date can also make your baby be considered late. Once again, although we often think of our due date as hard and fast — the most exciting deadline of our adult lives — it is really just a ballpark. Comforting, right? Basically, your due date is an estimate — the official term for it is actually “EDD” meaning “estimated delivery date” — so you can never really be sure if you're overdue, right on time, or early.

Every person who has ever given birth understands just how hard those last few weeks are. But deep breaths. The baby will come. And in the meantime, try to enjoy a little quiet before the wonderful storm.

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