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What if My Baby Isn't Born by My Due Date?

What happens if my due date comes and goes, and my baby still shows no signs of appearing?
- Martha

Only 5% of women deliver on their estimated due dates, and many first-time mothers find themselves waiting up to 2 weeks after their due date for their baby to arrive.

If you do not go into labor within a week of your due date, your doctor may recommend you have a nonstress test, which monitors fetal heart rate and movement to see how the baby is doing. Talk to your doctor to find out more about this test.

Sometimes Mother Nature may need a little coaxing. If your labor is not progressing, or if your health or your baby's health requires it, your doctor may induce labor by artificially rupturing the membranes (amniotic sac) or by administering the hormone oxytocin or other medications.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: October 2012