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5 tips to help with Due Date anxiety

Updated: Apr 30

pregnant woman standing in bathroom with hand on hip

So, you are nearing 40 weeks, you’ve had this special date in your head since your 12 week dating scan, your family are messaging you every day to ask “has baby arrived yet?”. You are probably tired, uncomfortable and frankly a bit over it (like me in this photo, even though I was only 36 weeks, blimey that was a large bump wasn't it?!)

What can you do to relieve that pressure and enjoy those last few days/weeks of pregnancy? Here are my top tips!

1 . Go back in time and don’t tell anyone your due date.

If they don’t know, they cant hassle you. I find a vague “baby is due in October” works pretty well. If you already have perhaps your partner could make a whatsapp group of your main loved ones and give them a blanket “don’t worry we will keep you updated with the latest” kind of message. You’ll already be coming under pressure from the maternity system to start thinking about moving things along, the last thing you need is constant messaged reminding you that you are STILL PREGNANT.

2. Remember that due dates are a load of old cobblers anyway.

Everyone is different, it obviously doesn’t take everyone exactly 40 weeks to cook a baby. Your gestation depends on loads of different factors including your menstrual cycle and your genetic history. Only 4% (ish) of babies are born on their due dates, think of it as a date when your baby is HIGHLY likely not to arrive. Dating scans are also inaccurate, and the whole 40 weeks thing comes from something called Nageles Rule. Nagele was a German obstetrician who decided in 1812 (yes you read that right) that it takes 40 weeks for a baby to be fully ready. Time for an update I think guys? Also did you know that due dates are calculated at different weeks depending on where you live in the world? In France your due date is at 41 weeks, meaning they have significantly less “overdue” babies.

pregnant woman with painted belly

3. Be prepared for the induction discussion

As you start nearing your due date, the induction start will start ramping up. Make sure you are educated about what all the different steps of induction are, including sweeps (yes a sweep is a form of induction.) Learn about the benefits and the risks of being induced, vs waiting for spontaneous labour. Remember it is totally your choice if you want to decline, and you should not come under any pressure, even if you are going against recommendations. Level up your induction knowledge and decision making skills by signing up with your friendly, evidence based antenatal or hypnobirthing practitioner (hi there!)

4. Plan something nice on the day

Do something nice on the day to distract yourself, a meal out with friends, a lovely pregnancy massage, a reflexology treatment, a pj day and a takeaway… basically anything that will relax and distract you. Don’t put pressure on yourself to love those last few weeks of pregnancy, for many people they are pretty naff and uncomfortable. Get yourself a little home project to pass the time as well, with my first I decided to make pom poms, so sat in front of the tv with my wool and my pom pom maker happily pom pomming away, distracting my hands and my mind. Cosy activities like baking, colouring, painting, knitting, or crocheting are all winners. Especially if you are an old lady at heart like me.

pregnant belly

5. Remember that babies are pretty good at choosing their own birthdays

Do you know it is the baby who kicks off the process of labour? Cool right! Once their lungs are mature enough to function in the outside world, a hormonal messenger is sent to kick labour off. They are pretty good at knowing when they are ready and when to make an exit. There is HUGE variation in gestation and me and my babies are a great example of this. Both were born at 37 weeks, both great weights and fully ready for the world. Our bodies are not machines and we are all very different. If everything is well, trust yourself, your gut and your baby. They will know when the time is right.

Being in a state of high stress and fear can also slow things down. SO as hard as it is, stay as calm and relaxed as you can. Taking a hypnobirthing course during pregnancy can really help with this. My course is full of amazing hypnobirthing techniques, relaxation, breathing, decision making, advocacy and much much more, you can find out more here.

The last thing I will say is GIVE YOURSELF GRACE. You are growing a brand-new human from scratch. Lower your expectations of yourself. You are creating new life and you are a Queen.

It is never too late to get prepared for birth, or to find support to help you through. Check out my comprehensive Hypnobirthing course and my Doula Support to see how we might be able to work together.

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