Causes and Risks of Overdue Pregnancy – Dr Neelima Mantri

Causes and Risks of Overdue Pregnancy – Dr Neelima Mantri
0 26 October 2023
Causes and Risks of Overdue Pregnancy – Dr Neelima Mantri

A sense of anticipation and concern naturally mounts as a woman approaches her due date. As the days pass beyond the expected due date, they convert into tension and anxiety. The worries about the baby’s health add on to the worries about complications and societal expectations, leading to nervousness and even grief. “Though the overdue pregnancy is quite common in women, waiting game can be harrowing for the expecting mother,” says the best gynaecologist in Mumbai, Dr. Neelima, also an expert in dealing overdue pregnancy cases.

While overdue pregnancy is not rare, it is also associated with risks and complications in a few cases, she adds. Given it is a cause of huge concern and worry in pregnant women, we wanted to give first-hand information regarding overdue pregnancy in this blog, to improve your awareness. So today, with insights from top gynaecologist and obstetrician in Mumbai, Dr. Neelima Mantri, we delve into overdue pregnancy, its medical meaning, its causes, and risks, and also provide ways to reduce the risk it poses to pregnant women. Read on.

What Is Overdue Pregnancy?

Post-term pregnancy, also called as overdue pregnancy, happens when pregnancy extends beyond the stipulated 40 weeks of the pregnancy period. “While the average gestation is 40 weeks, it may extend up to 42 weeks, and a pregnancy is termed as overdue if it extends beyond 42 weeks,” says gynaecologist in Mumbai, Dr. Neelima Mantri.

Overdue Pregnancy: Risks for the Baby

Because the baby tends to overstay the due date even after full growth, the size of the baby may cause discomfort to the mother, leading to back pain and difficulty in sleeping. Additionally, emotional distress due to indeterminate maternity adds to the anxiety. As for the baby, the overdue pregnancy may result in a loss of amniotic fluid for nourishment, increasing the risk of stillbirth. Some of the other risks of complications that tend to happen in overdue pregnancy cases include:

Macrosomia: Babies born in overdue pregnancy cases naturally tend to be larger than average. This increased size of babies potentially leads to birth injuries for both baby and mother during delivery.

Foetal distress: Foetal distress is a condition where the baby may not receive the required oxygen, leading to health problems for the baby. If prolonged, foetal distress may lead to abnormal heart rhythms, brain damage, and, in rare cases, stillbirth.

Meconium Aspiration: In overdue pregnancy cases, the baby may pass its first stool in the womb, which could be inhaled by the baby, leading to respiratory problems.

Stillbirth: The biggest risk of overdue pregnancy is still birth which tends to happen in rare cases. Due to various factors involved, overdue pregnancy can trigger a complex set of problems for both the baby and others, leading to stillbirth. In addition to the above, overdue pregnancy leads to a C-section, which comes with its own set of complications like long recovery timelines.

But why do a few women tend to suffer these complications? What exactly leads to these sets of complications? Let us find out.

Overdue Pregnancy – Causes:

“There is no one straightforward cause for overdue pregnancy. It is a multifactorial condition where different factors come together and increase the risk for overdue pregnancy. Genetics, low amniotic fluid in pregnancy, sub-optimal placental health, maternal health conditions like diabetes or obesity, hormonal imbalances, high stress, or anxiety are some of the common causes of overdue pregnancy cases we treat at our clinic in Mumbai,” says the one of top 10 gynaecologists in Mumbai, Dr. Neelima Mantri.

Overdue Pregnancy – How to Reduce the Risk of Overdue Pregnancy?

There are multiple factors that can lead to overdue pregnancy. So a comprehensive care must be taken by the women under the guidance of gynaecologists to reduce the risk of overdue pregnancy. “The care must start right in the planning stage of pregnancy by going through health monitoring to identify potential health conditions. During pregnancy, one must prioritize a balanced diet, stress-free and active life, regular monitoring, and while avoiding smoking, alcohol to tick all the right boxes of a healthy pregnancy,” says gynaecologist in Mumbai, Dr. Neelima Mantri.

However, in a few cases, genetics may also play a part even after following all the best practices in the medical book. In such cases, an expert gynaecologist can ensure continuous care to reduce the risk of complications caused by overdue pregnancy. If you doubt that overdue pregnancy runs in the family, it is important to seek comprehensive care tailored to this condition to nip this risk in the bud. If you are in Mumbai and would like to consult a gynaecologist in Mumbai to reduce the risk of overdue pregnancy, you can contact Dr. Neelima Mantri here.