An overdue pregnancy (also called post-term) has passed the 40th week of gestation. The average length of a normal pregnancy is 280 days (40 weeks), or 9 calendar months, but it is considered normal to deliver as late as 42 weeks. It can cause panic for the expectant mother; the best thing is to say prayers for the overdue pregnancy.
The definition of “overdue” varies by country and hospital, but the definition used by the World Health Organization includes babies born at 41 weeks and beyond. Babies born after 42 weeks are considered early term. What causes overdue pregnancy?
Read Also: 20 Powerful Bible Verses for Safe Delivery
Causes of an Overdue Pregnancy
The main causes of an overdue pregnancy are:
1. Excessive Weight Gain During Pregnancy
This can lead to a longer gestation period, which increases the risk of complications for both mother and child.
Excessive weight gain can also increase the likelihood of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and cesarean section delivery.
2. Poor Nutrition
Poor nutrition during pregnancy or poor diet before conception may lead to inadequate intake of micronutrients needed for normal fetal development, like vitamin B12, iron, and folic acid (folate). It can also lead to low birth weight babies or stillbirths.
3. Previous Miscarriages and Terminations
A woman who has had previous miscarriages or terminations may have difficulty conceiving again because her uterus is unable to expand properly after each miscarriage due to scarring in its lining (endometrium).
The scarring may mean that it takes longer for her body to get pregnant again after each miscarriage than it would otherwise have done had there been no scarring.
How to Handle Overdue Pregnancy
Overdue pregnancy is a common problem and can cause worry for the parents. It is normal to have anxiety about your overdue pregnancy, but there are many things that you can do to make yourself and your baby feel better.
Here are some things that you can do if you are worried about your overdue pregnancy:
- Relax and try not to stress out too much. Stress is known to increase cortisol levels in the body which can impact on the baby’s development. If you are stressed out, try relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation to help reduce stress.
- Eat healthy food and avoid junk food as much as possible. Avoid eating foods high in sugar, salt, and fat as these can affect blood pressure levels which could lead to pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy).
- Take prenatal vitamins and supplements that contain folic acid (400 micrograms per day) as this helps prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) such as spina bifida in babies born after 37 weeks of pregnancy (when most women will have given birth).
- Exercise regularly during your pregnancy so that it helps reduce stress levels in both you and your baby! Exercise also helps keep up your energy levels.
Prayers for Overdue Pregnancy
The best prayers are those that are specific and heartfelt. God loves you and wants to bless you with a child. He has given you the ability to have children in your womb, so why wouldn’t he want to give them to you? These are some of the most powerful prayers for those experiencing a long overdue pregnancy;
Almighty Father, I ask for your help in this time of need (Isaiah 41v10).
Dear Lord, my due date has passed, and I’m confused and in discomfort lately. Please help me come and take control of this situation, help me to be calm in this time of distress (James 5v8).
Father, please help me with this pregnancy and make everything go smoothly. Please let the baby be healthy and strong and let me have a safe delivery without any complications or problems (Psalms 127v3). Please heal my body to handle the stress of having a child inside my womb. Amen
I pray for strength in my body and mind to endure this pregnancy and birth (Jeremiah 1v8). Amen
I pray for wisdom in choosing what is best for my child and me. Amen
I pray that you will help me be courageous and trust in your plan for my life. Amen (1 Peter 5v7)
Lord, I pray you would open my eyes to see the purpose in this delay (James 1v2-6). Amen
Please give me wisdom as I make decisions regarding the future of my pregnancy and child. Amen
Lord, please relieve my stress and anxiety about this situation. Give me peace and joy as I wait on you. Amen
Lord, please give my child’s father wisdom so that he would understand the burden of waiting and continue to love me unconditionally. Amen
The Bottom Line
Overdue pregnancies result from several factors; Doctors usually advise expectant mothers to wait. This can cause panic and weariness. You can always seek the face of the Lord through prayers.
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