At week 42, you're anywhere from seven to 13 days past your due date, and everything might be perfectly fine. However, many caregivers will recommend labor induction by the end of this week or the beginning of next, either because a problem comes up or a problem might come up.
So this week, you may want to learn about what's involved in inducing labor, so you can come to the decision from a place of knowledge. Your doctor or midwife will be able to explain in detail, but basically, you're looking at a couple of possible approaches to getting things moving, including:
- Breaking your water -- Your doctor or midwife ruptures the amniotic sac, which could trigger labor to start.
- Administering Pitocin -- This medication is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin, which your body releases at the start of labor. This artificially triggers the process.
- A third, called "sweeping of the membranes," is less common. In a woman whose cervix is thinned and ready, the caregiver may recommend a procedure that detaches the sac from the cervix, which may (or may not) help start labor.
Whether you and your caregiver decide to induce or not, you should know this: While the prenatal testing may dramatically increase from here on out, that doesn't mean there's a problem …