Bright pink flowers with pale purple and bright yellow centers, photo taken in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)
Pink flowers in Victoria, British Columbia (Miranda Hernandez)

8 Factors to Consider Before You Go Overdue in Pregnancy

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The choice to be induced at the end of pregnancy or to use expectant management and wait for labor to start on its own is a complicated one. These are eight factors that should be considered in order to make an informed decision.

8 Factors to Consider Before you go Overdue in Pregnancy:

  • Risk factors prior to pregnancy – Did you go into pregnancy OR develop during pregnancy any specific risk factors such as diabetes, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or issues with your heart or liver?
  • Current symptoms – Are you presently experiencing any potentially concerning symptoms such as excessive swelling, high blood pressure, bad headache, vision problems, reduced OR increased patterns of fetal movement, or pain or pressure in your upper right quadrant under your ribs?
  • Understanding of risk – Do you understand the specific numerical risk of all possible outcomes, both for being induced and also for continuing pregnancy?
  • Confidence in provider and their ability to identify problems – Are you confident in your current provider(s) and their ability to identify potential problems with your pregnancy?
  • Additional monitoring – Are you open to additional monitoring? Do you understand that even with the best monitoring, there may be problems that cannot be identified?
  • Make a decision about what point you would be induced – Are you open to induction following warning signs of potential problems?
  • Values – Are you more scared of and/or hoping to avoid the potential complications you risk with an induction than you are scared of and/or hoping to avoid the death of your child?
  • Impact – Considering all of the above, if you choose to continue your pregnancy and your child dies, will you be confident that you made the right decision?
8 Factors to Consider Before you go Overdue in Pregnancy: Risk factors prior to pregnancy - Did you go into pregnancy OR develop during pregnancy any specific risk factors such as diabetes, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or issues with your heart or liver?  Current symptoms - Are you presently experiencing any potentially concerning symptoms such as excessive swelling, high blood pressure, bad headache, vision problems, reduced OR increased patterns of fetal movement, or pain or pressure in your upper right quadrant under your ribs? Understanding of risk - Do you understand the specific numerical risk of all possible outcomes, both for being induced and also for continuing pregnancy? Confidence in provider and their ability to identify problems - Are you confident in your current provider(s) and their ability to identify potential problems with your pregnancy? Additional monitoring - Are you open to additional monitoring? Do you understand that even with the best monitoring, there may be problems that cannot be identified? Make a decision about what point you would be induced - Are you open to induction following warning signs of potential problems? Values - Are you more scared of and/or hoping to avoid the potential complications you risk with an induction than you are scared of and/or hoping to avoid the death of your child? Impact - Considering all of the above, if you choose to continue your pregnancy and your child dies, will you be confident that you made the right decision?
Visual image of 8 Factors to Consider in Pregnancy Before you go Overdue (Miranda Hernandez)


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Evidence-based information in support of safe and informed pregnancy. NOT medical advice—please discuss questions with your medical provider.
Return to Resources for Expecting Parents

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