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(Postdate Pregnancy; Postdates; and Prolonged Pregnancy)
- Ultrasound —To measure amniotic fluid and see how much your baby is moving
- Fetal monitoring—To check the baby's heartbeat
- Medications can help the soften and open the cervix.
- A small tear is made in your amniotic sac to break your water. This is painless and can triggers contractions.
- Your doctor may do a membrane sweep. Your doctor uses a finger to sweep around the neck of your cervix to separate it from the membranes around your baby. This action releases hormones called prostaglandins, which may induce labor.
- Your doctor may give you a medication called oxytocin. Oxytocin starts contractions and helps them to remain strong and regular.
|Full Term Fetus with Intact Membranes|
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American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor http://familydoctor.org
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
The Canadian Women's Health Network http://www.cwhn.ca
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Briscoe D, Nguyen H, et al. Management of pregnancy beyond 40 weeks’ gestation. Am Fam Physician. 2005;71:1935-1941.
Labor induction. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/pregnancy-newborns/labor-childbirth/labor-induction.html. Updated August 2010. Accessed April 23, 2013.
Labor induction and cervical ripening. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 1, 2013. Accessed April 23, 2013.
Management of post-term pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Practice Bulletin No. 55, September 2004. (Reaffirmed 2011.)
Postdates pregnancy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 21, 2012. Accessed April 23, 2013.
Pregnancy: what to expect when your due date has passed. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/pregnancy-newborns/labor-childbirth/pregnancy-what-to-expect-when-youre-past-your-due-date.html. Updated August 2010. Accessed April 23, 2013.
Sanchez-Ramos L, Olivier F, et al. Labor induction versus expectant management for post-term pregnancies: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Obstet Gynecol. 2003;101(6):1312-1318.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014
- Update Date: 04/30/2014