The due date countdown and friends who can’t help asking is the baby is here yet.
by Sophie Fletcher
“Have you had the baby yet?” is a question that you may here more and more as you approach your due date. As much as they love their friends and family this text or call can be one of the biggest irritants to mums-to-be as when they go past their due date. Ironically, the worst culprits are often other women who, without thinking, feel they are being attentive to their friends and bombard them with texts, saying “just checking that you’re ok”, “oh so you haven’t had the baby yet”. An acute example is my own mother, who phoned the hospital and was buzzed through by reception to the intercom in my room, during labour, at least twice to ask if I’d had my baby!
Most people automatically send a text round when baby is born; I’ve received numerous texts at 2, 3 or 4 am. So the rule of thumb is if you haven’t received a text then baby hasn’t arrived into the world yet and if baby is on their way, and mum knows, she’s unlikely to want to text you back or chat to you.
Friends and family should fight the urge to call the mum when she is reaching her due date, she may be at the receiving end of dozens of texts from well meaning people. At the same time mum-to-be may be under pressure for induction because she’s gone over her due date – the texts or phone calls may become a reminder that she’s over her due date and cause even more stress.
You may think, “I’ll switch my phone off” when I get close to my due date. But the sound of an answer message can just stir up the excitement even more, because if your phone is switched off everyone who calls assumes that you are in labour.
I know and you may know that you are not at term until you reach 42 weeks, and that the majority of women birth their babies before this date, but very often over their 40 week due date. Only around 3-4% of babies come on their due date.
We also know that any stress or apprehension can stop labour from starting, as it releases stress hormones that can slow labour down, so it’s incredibly important that mum doesn’t have these reminders everywhere around her due date, and that she is able to go, stress free, into labour when she and her baby are ready.
Tips to help you minimise this disturbance as you approach your due date:
- Don’t tell people your due date. Tell them an approximate time, eg. The end of August, middle of September.
- Tell your friends that you will message them straight away when baby is born.
- Ask them not to text you, to ask “how you are”, or “if baby has arrived” after your due date but maybe a “I’m nipping to the supermarket, do you want anything” text is fine.
- Get some lovely relaxation music to reduce stress after your due date when you may be getting anxious. Try the Mindful Mamma Mp3 on itunes.