Past your due date, try writing!

Your due date is 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. Since most women’s cycles are irregular or more than 28 days, this date is just an estimate. While the date is a good indicator for around when you will go into labor, it is rare that women actually go into labor on their due date. 

As a doula, I’m on call two weeks before your due date until two weeks after your due date because really you could go into labor any time during that period. 

Ah… but what about the due date and talks of getting induced? Sometimes medical inductions are necessary for various reasons and sometimes they aren’t. How do we deal with the pressure and anxiety around this date and the threat of inductions?

Beyond physical readiness, what about your mind? Is there something you have been holding back? A fear? secret? concern? Sometimes those inhibit a mom from going to labor too!

Try writing.

You can do this alone, with your partner or in a small group. You will need several sheets of paper and a fast-writing pen. For ten minutes write as fast as you can about anything and everything you assume to be true about pregnancy, labor, birth and being a mother. Write your birth legacy: family/religious/cultural beliefs, images, fears, traditions, unforgettable birth stories, and old wives’ tales. Go! Go! Go!

Read aloud what you wrote. Consider having someone else read it aloud so you can listen with your whole body-mind to the words and imagery you wrote.

What is the overall feeling in what you wrote? What beliefs and assumptions are contained in it?

Where did these assumptions come from in the first place? a family tradition? your own experience or fears? a movie? or friend?

How does keeping this idea, fear or belief work for you? If this idea evaporated, who would you be? What would you do differently? Interestingly, you don’t have to find an answer. Continually asking your questions brings deeper understanding and opens the mind to greater possibilities.

Exercise taken from Birthing from Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz, pg. 5.