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Help! I’m overdue

You have been waiting nine months for it – and now your due date has come and gone. Only around 5% of babies are born on their due date but knowing this is unlikely to make you feel much better.

Why wasn't my baby born on their due date?

There are various reasons why your due date may be incorrect. For example, if you have an irregular cycle or are unsure when conception occurred, your due date may be out by a few days or more. Even if you had a dating scan, it is still possible that your confirmed due date could be inaccurate.

Another thing to remember is that your due date is just an estimation, and is based on the average length of pregnancies. In fact, there is not a one-length-fits-all gestation period; some pregnancies are slightly longer or shorter than others.

Pregnancy is categorized as follows:


  • Babies born before 37 weeks are considered preterm.
  • Babies born between 37 and 42 weeks are considered term or full-term.
  • Babies born after 42 weeks are considered post-term, prolonged or overdue.

What should I do?

Being overdue can be frustrating. You may be desperate to meet your baby, in a hurry to stop being pregnant, or just ready to get labor out of the way. If you still have loose ends to tie up, now is the time to do that. Buying last-minute items, tidying the house or stockpiling frozen dinners for after the birth are all useful ways to use this extra time.

Filling the time

If you are wondering what to do with your very-pregnant self, take a look at these suggestions:


  • Sleep
    Make sure you get enough rest. You will need your strength for labor, so try to get as much sleep as you can. If you are struggling to sleep, at least be sure to rest.


  • Stay active
    Having said that, if you are feeling demoralized about being overdue it is easy to waste your days on the sofa. Try to stay active by going for a short walk or trying to continue with your pregnancy exercise routine.

  • Talk
    If you are feeling frustrated, tired or low, talk to your partner, friends, and family for support.

  • Ask a professional
    Talk to your healthcare provider if you are worried about being overdue. They will be able to reassure you and talk you through your options as the days go by.


Trust your body

Have faith that your baby will come when he or she is ready. While you may be fed up with being overdue, your baby might be going through the final stages of development so they are ready for life outside the womb.

Don’t worry, it won’t be long until you meet your baby.

Philips Pregnancy+ App


The app supports parents and baby in a healthy and safe pregnancy and provides a comprehensive guide through all stages of pregnancy.

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