When Overdue Becomes Overwhelming

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With my first child, I went two weeks overdue and had to be induced. For me, it was a scary, painful and very long process, although ultimately the birth was reasonably straightforward and being able to hold my son afterwards more than made up for it.However, the whole experience made me promise myself that next time would be different, that there was no way I’d be overdue again. I’m not sure how I thought that was going to work, but in my exhausted post-birth state it seemed like a promise I could reasonably expect to keep.

Alas, I was obviously deluding myself. I am currently a week overdue with my second child, and the panic is setting in. And it’s not just being induced that scares me. I want to go out and go about my life as normal because maternity leave is very lonely, but at the same time, I’m terrified of going into labour away from home and having my waters break in the street, in a shop or in a cafe. Here are some tips on managing when you go overdue.

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Tips for Staying Comfortable When Overdue

While waiting for labour to begin naturally, it can feel like forever. Plus, you’ll likely start to feel very uncomfortable as you’re just ready for your little one to come out into the world!

It isn’t an easy time, but there are several strategies that might help you stay comfortable while waiting for your little one’s arrival:

  • Stay Active: Engaging in gentle exercises such as walking or yoga can help alleviate discomfort and promote relaxation. Nothing too intense, but just moving around a bit can help if you can’t get comfy sat down.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Practicing deep breathing, meditation, or asking your partner for a relaxing massage can help reduce stress during this waiting period.
  • Make Use of The Pillow: You might have packed them away, but pregnancy support belts or pillows can provide a great added comfort while sleeping or sitting, helping to alleviate pressure on the back and pelvis. Pressure that you’ll likely have a lot of right now!
  • Keep Hydrated: Staying hydrated while you wait for your little one’s arrival is really important to keep your body ready for when labour does start.

Tips for Bringing on Labour Naturally:

If you're getting tired of waiting and eager to encourage labour to start naturally, here are some methods that may help. Bare in mind that these aren’t all medically recommended, but instead just methods that others have reported success with over the years:

  • Stay Active: Continuing with light physical activity, such as walking or gentle stretches, can encourage movement and potentially stimulate labour.
  • Curb Walking: Some mums try curb walking. This is going for a walk with one foot on the curb, and one foot off. The movement is thought by some to get things moving and encourage your little one out.
  • Acupressure and Acupuncture: Some women find relief through acupressure or acupuncture sessions, which may help stimulate contractions and encourage labour to begin.
  • Spicy Foods: While not scientifically proven, some women believe that eating spicy foods can help trigger labour by stimulating the digestive system and potentially leading to uterine contractions. Keep in mind though that eating too many spicy foods might upset your stomach, which isn’t what you want during labour.
  • Nipple Stimulation: Gentle nipple stimulation may release oxytocin, a hormone that can help initiate contractions and encourage labor to start.

For now, I am trying to stay positive and focus on the extra rest I’m getting before the chaos starts again, and trying to look forward to baby arriving (hopefully sooner rather than later!). Head here for more on early signs of labour to look out for.

 

 

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