Well, you've done it. You've managed to make a baby — not always an easy task — grow it for 39 weeks inside of your body, somehow creating a person out of food and magic, and now, your due date is a mere seven days away. The past few weeks have probably felt like dog years, so if you're wondering what you need know about the week of your due date, it's understandable. Preparation is important and your OB-GYN has the answers.
The last few appointments with your OB-GYN occur weekly, and they mostly consist of the same cautions and tests every week. Your OB-GYN will test you for group-B strep, they'll check your cervix at least once in the last five weeks of pregnancy, and monitor baby's position, your blood pressure, and your overall health at each appointment for the last few weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic. Overall, they're looking to determine how close you are to giving birth and any complications that might present themselves.
I remember feeling very tired of being pregnant late in the game, and all I wanted for my OB-GYN to tell me was that it would all be over, say, in the next 10 minutes. Alas, it turns out she couldn't do that, but she was encouraging, nonetheless. However, I didn't give much thought to what she thought I should know, because I was kind of obsessed with my own body at that minute, and maybe I really should have paid more attention to it.
It turns out, what your OB-GYN wants you to know about the week of your due date, isn't exactly what you'd think. Full disclosure: I asked a few OB-GYNs thinking that "no, that can't possibly be enough, he/she is a statistical outlier. There must be more to it than that." Also, again, in the interest of full disclosure, I tend to overthink things. You do not want to know how long it took for me to decide on themes for my kids' rooms, or even how long it takes me to pick out nail polish before getting a mani pedi. I make everything a mental chore.
As it turns out, it's really not that complex. I spoke to family physician Dr Julian Rivera of San Juan and Florida, currently, and he tells Romper what he really wants patients to know. "First, know that this might not be your last week of being pregnant. We don't induce as early as we used to, so it's common to see pregnancies which go a week or two past their due date." He noted that while some areas of the country are quicker to induce, most are delaying it, hoping the body does the work itself without intervention. "Also, there are some possible medical reasons to induce earlier than 41 plus weeks, but not as many as you think." Rivera tells Romper that mostly, they want moms to relax their minds that last week, stay hydrated, pack their hospital bag, and watch their body for signs of oncoming labor. "Watch for things like your mucus plug if you haven't lost it yet. Notice the intensity of your Braxton Hicks. Also, continue to monitor baby's movements as you have been," he adds.
Rivera points out that, by the last week, you've likely been told everything you're going to be told about pregnancy and childbirth. You're ready. You're educated. "Take long walks with your partner. Think about your baby. Spend lots of time with your other babies if you have them. Go over your birth plan if you have one. Call your doula. Buy a bottle of wine to enjoy after your baby is born if you want. My wife bought a lot of stuff on Etsy that last week — you could try that. Just stay aware of your body at the same time."
I can't compete with "troll Etsy for stuff." There's no better missive. Go forth and buy a custom print of your baby's name.
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