What Causes A Baby To Be Overdue? They're Not Just Fashionably Late

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Nine months of pregnancy might seem like a long time, but those last few weeks can seem longer than all the rest put together. If you're inching past your due date with no baby in sight, you might be getting a little tired, anxious, and confused. After all, what causes a baby to be overdue? Is it something you did, or something you didn't do? Are certain women more prone to carrying past their due date? What factors can contribute to a baby being overdue?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), the reason that a baby is overdue is largely unknown. Genetic predisposition can be a factor, but it's actually more rare for a woman to go into labor on their due date. And, thankfully, having an overdue baby is rarely a cause for concern. As the NLM mentioned, unless there are any specific problems, the baby is probably doing just fine.

According to the Mayo Clinic, since your due date is actually just an educated guess, it's perfectly normal for women to carry one or two weeks past their due date. There are a few things that could contribute to baby being overdue — if your baby is a boy, if you are overweight, or if this is your first pregnancy, you might be slightly more likely to have an overdue baby.

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As Mayo Clinic noted, in very rare instances, overdue pregnancy could be related to problems with the placenta or baby. More than likely, an overdue baby will just cost you some extra aches, pains, and sleepless nights.

While you're waiting for your sweet little one to arrive, take advantage of your extra time. Sleep, finish the nursery, sleep, address birth announcements and thank you cards, or make some freezer meals. (Did I mention sleep?) As the NLM mentioned, 90 out of 100 women who are past their due dates go into labor on their own within the next week or so. And, according to Fit Pregnancy, most doctors will induce labor at around 41 weeks or just after.

Your baby is on the way, and though there may be no telling why they're late, their arrival will make you soon forget those extra days of pregnancy pains.