My due date came and went – with no baby! What now?

September 20, 2011 12:00 AM by

A typical pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks, but it's not uncommon for babies to arrive a couple of weeks early – or even a couple of weeks late. Every baby develops differently, even before birth, and errors in calculating your last menstrual period can result in due dates that aren't exactly accurate. However, being overdue by more than one or two weeks can lead to complications for you and your baby.

Babies born at 42 weeks and beyond are often overweight and sometimes have dry, parchment-like skin. Plus, hanging out in the womb for too long poses a serious danger to your baby – your uterus could become infected, leading to a stillbirth and possibly jeopardizing your own health.

But don't fret – if your little one doesn't seem to want to come out, doctors have plenty of ways of making sure he arrives healthy and on time. If your pregnancy seems to be dragging on, your doctor may schedule you for an induction. You'll receive drugs designed to jumpstart your labor, and before you know it, it'll be time to push.

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