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How To Cope When Baby Is Late

by Ivy B

4 things you need to know when your baby is late.  Plus, 5 ways to cope with the depression of an overdue pregnancy.

Here you are, past your due date.  Or maybe you’re approaching your due date without a single sign of labor.  Your doctor is beginning to discuss induction or you’re wondering “Can I ask to be induced?

Family and friends are all asking questions.  More than likely, you’ve reached that point in the pregnancy that we all get to.  At the end, you’re just done.  No matter how much you may (or may not) have enjoyed your pregnancy to this point, it just needs to be over.  The anticipation is beginning to get the best of everyone.  They’re all excited to meet your new baby.  The end is hard for all pregnant women.  But, what if your pregnancy is nearing the end?  Even worse, what if the baby is late?

Stay calm!  Learn how to cope when your baby is overdue!

As a mom whose second baby was 13 days past due, I can sympathize with you.  My experience with a late baby, while extremely trying, gives me the chance to tell you what you should actually be doing during this really frustrating time.

4 Things you need to know when baby is late. Plus, 5 ways to cope with your overdue pregnancy
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What to do when your baby is late

4 things to know if baby is late #pregnancy #baby #overdue Share on X

If your baby is late, there are four things you need to know first.  Then, I’ll share five tips for dealing with disappointment.  And, if you’re looking for more, I’ll offer you a free printable with 27 things to do to help take your mind off things when you’re overdue!

Familiarize yourself with what is actually late

How To Cope When Baby Is Late Share on X

Let’s start with the fact that whatever due date you were given was an estimate.  Your due date is not an exact date of expected delivery.  The human body doesn’t follow a schedule as set by your doctor.  According to this article, only about 5% of babies actually arrive on their due date.

At the time that I gave birth to my son, ACOG standards allowed for me to hold off on medical induction of labor until 42 weeks.  That’s when they consider your pregnancy to be overdue.  Of course, there isn’t much they can do to force you into induction if you’re still not ready, and confident everything is okay.

You may agree to extra monitoring

When this happened to me, I agreed to have an extra ultrasound.  I’d refused them in the last months after we did the anatomy scan.  But, once we became very late, I didn’t mind checking to make sure everything was going well.  The baby was still growing, his heartbeat was fine, and the fluids were all perfect.  

Be careful to not make rash decisions based on results without thinking them over and consulting with someone else if you’re feeling unsure about the results of the tests.

Facing induction?

Hoping for a natural birth? Know your Bishop Score before agreeing to an induction! #naturalbirth #childbirth #pregnancy Share on X

Before agreeing on an induction make sure you’re actually considered late- or post-term.  If there is any miscalculation in the due date, your baby may not truly be ready.  

Additionally, be sure to get your Bishop score to determine the chance of successful induction.  Your doctor will do an examination and discuss his/her findings to calculate the score.  Know that, if you’re hoping for a vaginal delivery, your Bishop score needs to be 8 or greater.  A score of 6 or less means you’re less likely to succeed at vaginal delivery if you are induced.

Can I asked to be induced? 7 Things to consider first! Plus free printable Bishop Score Calculator.

Get baby in position

If your baby hasn’t turned head down, assuming you have time, get him turned.  If the baby is already head down, be sure your posture allows the baby to get into position for labor.  According to Spinning Babies, head down is not enough.

Is baby in proper position for natural childbirth?

Image Source: SpinningBabies.com

But aside from the not-fun part of being overdue, let’s talk about how to cope with the depression you may experience if your baby is late.

How to maintain sanity when your pregnancy is overdue

Pregnant woman hiding face in pillow - tips for dealing with overdue pregnancy and cope when baby is late

How To Cope When Baby Is Late Share on X

So, how do you cope when you’re overdue?

As I said previously, my second baby was 13 days late.  I’d love for you to read about why he was late and how I escaped medical induction.  I PROMISE it’s worth the read!

Anyway, 13 days late is an awful lot of time when you’re tired of being pregnant.  It’s also overwhelming when people are constantly saying or doing things to make you think about how late he is.  Since I’m all about natural childbirth, dealing with the Doctor really pushing for induction was beyond stressful.  After being about a week late, everything was irritating me, making me more miserable, and I was really on edge.  I had to find sanity and a better mental place than I had been in.  These are my tips for when you need to beat the stress of your overdue pregnancy.

If you like my suggestions, don’t forget to join my newsletter to receive a free printable of 27 recommended ways to cope when you’re overdue and your baby is late.

How to Cope When You’re Overdue

27 recommended things to do when you're overdue and baby is late. | Free printable activity recommendations when your baby is overdue by signing up to the newsletter from www.sahmplus.com

Rest and relax

Oh my gosh, this one is hard.  But, when you can, just rest or take a nap.  Really soon, you’re going to be sleep-deprived, so take any chance you can get to work in some naps!

Finish prep

Clean clothes, put linens on the bed, organize the nursery … whatever you haven’t done yet, slowly try to finish.  If you’re preparing freezer meals, keep at it as much as possible.  When you’re done with a task, take another nap … hehe.


Pamper yourself

Get a prenatal massage (of course, with someone who specializes in such a thing).  Or get a manicure or haircut.
Spa and Wellness Gift Card

Spend quiet time with your family

This was so special to me!  I was at a breaking point and I needed to take my mind off everything to do with my pregnancy.  I demanded a movie night with my husband and daughter.  As soon as hubby got off work, we rushed out for a quick dinner at Five Guys.  Then, we had our first in-theater movie night with our 4-year-old.  It was one of the best nights I’d had in months and I didn’t once think about my really late baby.  Just do something you can all enjoy and try not to think about the pregnancy.

Stop responding to questions

If the constant barrage of texts, emails, or phone calls is really getting to you, stop answering them.  I put out an urgent message on Facebook for all my friends and family.  In it, I let them know that I was taking a leave of absence from social media and from my phone.  When my baby arrived, I promised to let everyone know, but until then, I needed peace and quiet.  Maintaining (or rebuilding) a positive attitude was more important than the temporary upset I was creating by not answering their calls.  I promise, they’ll forget all about how upset they were with you once they receive word that the baby has arrived!

Tell me: If you’ve ever been there, can you offer more advice for a woman whose baby is late?  What are more stress-relieving ideas when baby is overdue?

How to cope with the disappointment when your baby is late. Remember, a due date is an estimate. Baby will come when it's ready. And, handle the constant questions whatever way you need. Don't rush nature! via www.sahmplus.com

Baby is late? How to cope with the disappointment when your pregnancy due date has passed and baby is overdue

4 secrets about your overdue pregnancy and tips to cope when baby is late. + Free printable things to do to distract yourself from an overdue pregnancy | sahmplus.com
4 things you need to know if baby is late and 5 ways to cope with your overdue pregnancy

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Dilraz March 13, 2017 - 10:23 am

My boy was a full week late! Silly child :p
It was so boring. My dad n mom n mil had come over too and we wauted n waited n wsited. Watched movies n went fr walk and watched movies and went for walks and watched…u get it..
Till one day he decided he might wanna come put! And then it took only 22hrs of contractions for him to make his entry!
Sigh. 🙂

Lychelle Hollback March 13, 2017 - 10:35 am

I love this! Its very informative but still reads easily and flows really well. My boys were quite punctual, 1st one came on his due date and the 2nd came one day before. But, now that I’ve read this, I’ll know how to sympathize with friends & family that make be past-due.
Great read!

Maria March 13, 2017 - 12:11 pm

I didnt have any of kids be this late, but a couple of days max. At that point i still felt like i was over being pregnant..oh man, i could just imagine if it was 13 days or even longer than a week. Good on ya mama!

Candace March 13, 2017 - 11:04 pm

I can agree with unplugging. All three of mine were early, but even starting around 30 weeks, people tend to ask a lot. This is really helpful and I’d like to share this advice with any moms I speak to that are late. I’m really iffy about medical induction so I am going to read your recommended post next. I have always considered the due date as only an estimate because honestly, I never know when my last period was.

Joyce Brewer March 15, 2017 - 9:53 am

Our son wasn’t late. I had a scheduled c-section at exactly 40 weeks. But I must have looked like a blimp. Any time I walked into a store, people would back away or ask if they could help!
Great advice.

Ivy B March 15, 2017 - 10:33 am

I suppose people are afraid of you suddenly gushing water on them? LOL. It would be hilarious if it were that dramatic. Pregnant people scare people who don’t know. Or, you’ve got the sympathetic ones who have been there and remember the final days being exhausting and uncomfortable. 🙂

Alexandria Salahshour March 15, 2017 - 11:00 pm

I was always so worried that I was going to be late. I swore I would be late, I don’t know why but I did. I think I was just so excited to meet my boy, I would think of the worst of going completely over my due date to not get myself so excited (considering i barely dilated)! Funny enough, I had to be induced at 39 weeks for low fetal movement. Baby will come when baby wants to come. Great read mama!

Ivy B March 16, 2017 - 9:50 pm

It’s not uncommon for first time mother’s to go past their “due date”, so late wouldn’t have been an accurate term IMO. But, it was good you had yourself prepped for late … probably not so good that you probably weren’t prepped for early!

Mae March 16, 2017 - 12:17 am

Thankfully, my baby was on time so I didn’t have to go through such anxiety but I like this post as its very helpful!

Ivy B March 16, 2017 - 9:48 pm

Thanks Mae! My first was on time, so I was extremely surprised when my son decided to be so late LOL.

Jessi March 19, 2017 - 11:18 pm

My son was over a week late. He was my VBAC baby so I was going to have to have a C-section by 42 weeks if he did not come on his own because they couldn’t induce me. Thankfully he did come on his own, after all of the walking and the yoga ball, and all of the other old wive’s tales lol.

Ivy B March 21, 2017 - 8:27 am

Ugh, I feel your pain mama! Congrats on a successful VBAC. I’m sure you feel thankful your son decided to arrive on his own 🙂

Joyce Brewer June 30, 2017 - 10:49 am

It shouldn’t take telling people to “leave me alone” when you’re pregnant. Folks need to let you live and prepare for your baby’s arrival.
I was late too and my Mom was miserable. She tried to walk around our neighborhood and people kept pulling over asking her if she needed a ride.

Ivy B June 30, 2017 - 2:49 pm

It shouldn’t but it does LOL. There’s always a nice display of extra kindness when you’re pregnant, and I admit I enjoyed it. But, when you’re overdue, every bit of it becomes problematic (at least it did for me lol). HAHA, I’m surprised no one stopped to ask if I needed a ride when I was practically running with 12 days late pregnant belly.

Janine Huldie May 31, 2018 - 11:58 am

I happen to be lucky I suppose with both my pregnancies that I was not late with either. I actually had both during my 39th week believe it or not. But I have had friends and/or family that were indeed late. Actually right now, my husband’s friend’s wife is over a week late and sending him this link to share with them now. So thank you for the great advice!!

Ivy B May 31, 2018 - 12:09 pm

That’s fabulous. Oddly enough, my first born was born ON her due date. I know that’s rare for first time moms, so I was shocked with baby #2 being so late. Hopefully your husband’s friend’s wife can find some relief with this post 😀

Jasica March 27, 2019 - 7:07 am

Good work tough, My baby was on time and I know the anxiety you go through as the first time mom, I think this is quite useful for my sisters whose due date is passed, I should send her this article. She would feel relieve I am sure.

Ivy B March 27, 2019 - 9:09 am

It’s always my hope that I help someone else when I share my stories. 😀

Heather Harris March 29, 2019 - 4:23 pm

With my first, my due date passed and I had an appointment a couple days after my due date where the midwife (connected to a hospital, not a birthing center) was already bringing up induction. I knew in my gut it was too early (my grandma actually carried one of my uncles 3 WEEKS past the EDD), and lo and behold, my baby was born exactly a week after he was due – no interventions.
I switched insurance plans with our second and had to look for a new midwife. I was disappointed to find out that the hospital covered under our insurance is essentially “phasing midwives out of the delivery room”, so although I have a midwife, I also see an OB. I’m on my second OB and I absolutely love her. When I mentioned that my first son was late, she completely put my fears at ease and told me she’d seen both early and late deliveries, and as long as there was no medical emergency, I would be just fine.

Julia Mells June 26, 2019 - 9:51 am

The article is really very informative and helpful! My girlfriend is now just such a problem, I will definitely share this article with her! Thank you for your work!

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