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Why won't they let you go over your due date by more than 2 weeks?

(21 Posts)
pruney1977 Mon 29-Aug-11 19:30:09

It's probably a stupid question but the baby surely won't stay in there forever, it will make its own way out eventually so why do they induce? Is it because the baby might get too big to deliver naturally? Or is there another reason like it's dangerous or something? I'm nowhere near my due date (I'm 23+5) but was just curious really.
Also, can you refuse an induction if you're, say, 2 weeks over?

mrsravelstein Mon 29-Aug-11 19:32:33

i'll let someone else medical answer the first bit, but yes you can refuse induction... the consultant obs probably won't like it, and when i said i wanted to wait for nature to take its course with ds2, he said i would have to come in for some sort of test (i think it may have been an ecg though i can't remember why) to monitor that the baby was doing OK. as it turned out, ds2 arrived exactly 2 weeks late so i was saved the bother!

RandomMess Mon 29-Aug-11 19:33:56

They are concerned about the placenta failing as this can happen quickly - ie hours.

Yes you can refuse to be induced.

Pregnancy and childbirth is a risky business, with few certainties.

My own opinion is that there is too much intervention in the UK however we have a much lower stillbirth and maternal death than we used to decades ago. We still have an appalling high stillbirth rate as we do not have placenta monitoring in later pregnancy and persumably there are other factors as other countries have much lower rates.

Carrotsandcelery Mon 29-Aug-11 19:34:14

I think it is because the placenta becomes less able to function at that point and the baby can struggle because of it. <disclaimer - I am not a medical person>

Carrotsandcelery Mon 29-Aug-11 19:34:56

Oh X post Random - and you know it better than me too blush

RandomMess Mon 29-Aug-11 19:37:49

I went 17 days overdue with my 2nd, still didn't go into labour, was told I wasn't big for dates. She was 10lb 6oz with huge placenta etc anyway it all went well.

I'm sure I would have gone into labour eventually but with the next 2 I just booked in at 14 days over. I didn't want to risk it - how much longer would my body have waited????????

warthog Mon 29-Aug-11 19:37:49

i don't think you'd want to refuse. it's pretty awful when the placenta fails. my dd3's placenta wasn't in great shape and she was a skinny little thing when she came out.

i've had 2 inductions - one a drip and the other a pessary. ultimately all you want is a happy, healthy baby.

Parietal Mon 29-Aug-11 19:41:36

Because the rate of stillbirth goes up dramatically if you wait too long past the due date. So you can refuse to be induced, but I think you would be foolish to do so.

RandomMess Mon 29-Aug-11 19:43:06

Not to mention that you feel like a beached whale, are knackered and just want the baby out at 40 weeks let alone 42!!!!

I had 4 inductions, all different experiences and I'm very very grateful that I had 4 healthy babies (no 2 had very thick meconium and had clearly been swimming around in it for days which can be serious if the inhale it in as you deliver)

pruney1977 Mon 29-Aug-11 19:44:56

Thanks guys. I was just curious really, after I posted I googled the question and the stillbirth rate appears to rise from 1 in 3000 births at 39 or 40 weeks to 8 in 3000 over 42 weeks.
I'm off to hospital tomorrow to discuss my risk factors because I have a high BMI, underactive thyroid and PCOS and one of my questions will be if I continue to be in good health with no GD and good BP, will they leave me to go to term or will they want to induce me early or at my EDD and if so, why. My pregnancy is classed as high risk but I don't want that to be used as an excuse for them to intervene with no good reason. I'd really like as natural a birth as possible. We'll see what happens tomorrow, my mum is coming with me as she's good with all this medical bumph and she knows what I want so she'll stick up for me. I've heard a lot of horror stories about horrible doctors and consultants that are forced upon you when you have a high BMI but have yet to meet any of them; everyone I've come across so far has been really lovely so I hope my luck continues.

mrsravelstein Mon 29-Aug-11 19:47:23

in fairness though, the independent midwives i've dealt with would say that due dates are a bit irrelevant, and that a normal pregnancy could be 42-43 weeks long.

lolajane2009 Mon 29-Aug-11 19:49:53

due to the risk of still birth.

Supersunnyday Mon 29-Aug-11 20:01:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Supersunnyday Mon 29-Aug-11 20:03:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

naturalbaby Mon 29-Aug-11 20:09:09

i was told by my midwife i could refuse induction but would be offered scans to check baby and placenta are still healthy. i was convinced my scan date put my baby a week older than my dates so if i had gone over i still had an extra few days according to my calculations.

iskra Mon 29-Aug-11 20:14:27

I had to go see my consultant at 42 weeks last time, & he said that if monitoring showed no problems he thought there were no issues in reviewing again at 43 weeks. He was an anti-intervention ob though! As it was I went into labour after going home from our appointment, & DD's placenta was fine, no grit or anything.

crazyhead Mon 29-Aug-11 20:15:05

I have read that there is a slight increased risk of stillbirth in babies born after 42 weeks.

Nobody is quite sure if the risk is because staying in longer makes a baby a little more likely to die in utero as a result, or whether babies that haven't come out by 42 weeks are slightly more likely to have something wrong with them, but they err on the side of caution.

We're talking small percentage points here, btw

pruney1977 Mon 29-Aug-11 20:22:39

Thanks for the link supersunnyday. I'm pretty sure the main reason for my high risk status is my BMI as it is very high (57!). My thyroid is doing fine, I rang thyroid nurse after last blood test and she said TSH was 1.1 which was perfect.
I'd read that thyroid thread before and I didn't realise that it could cause a problem with conceiving, I knew it meant you were at higher risk of miscarriage and/or stillbirth. We'd been TTC for 3.5 years before we caught out and thankfully all is going swimmingly so far. My doctor seems quite shocked at how well I've been the whole time, I didn't even have any morning sickness, just bad acid.

lolajane2009 Mon 29-Aug-11 20:23:49

I'm hoping the woman above was 40 + 15 not 42 + 15. I'm 37 + 3 and that sounds owww.

Supersunnyday Mon 29-Aug-11 21:13:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lolajane2009 Mon 29-Aug-11 21:22:31

just checking...

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