I'm not an OB-GYN or a scientist or whatever, but in my experience the third trimester lasts roughly 3,000 weeks. And not only does it seem to last forever, but it's filled with worries, back aches, Braxton Hicks contractions, and that aching feeling that accompanies the sheer anticipation of meeting your mini-human. So, in my experience, it's worth knowing the signs your pregnancy is going past your due date, if only to help you and your loved ones set realistic expectations.
To find out more about late pregnancies, Romper spoke to Lise Hauser, DNP, APRN, CNM, an assistant professor of obstetrics in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola University of Chicago, Illinois., and Dr. Huma Farid, MD, an OB-GYN at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts. The good news? They know what they're talking about. The bad news? They agree there's no real way to know for sure if your baby will be born early, on time, or late.
"The due date is just a rough prediction of when a baby will be born. Less than five percent of babies are actually born on their due date," Farid tells Romper. "I counsel my patients that there really are no great signs to predict when people will go into labor, as in pregnancy, things can change so quickly — you can go from having no contractions one day to going into labor the next."
Hauser notes that there are a few signs that you are going to go past due, though, including making it to 40 weeks without your baby dropping, and some risk factors that make it more likely that your pregnancy will last longer than nine months. To find out what you should look for, and when you should worry, read on: