A classic pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. The calculation of this period is done from the first day of the last menstrual cycle. This term is also called obstetric. Sometimes a woman knows the specific day when the conception occurred. You can count from him – then you should focus on 38 weeks. Taking into account the individual characteristics of each organism, the appearance of the child is possible either earlier or later than the obstetric period by 2 weeks (within 38-42 weeks). This will not constitute a deviation from the norm.
A few examples. If the menstrual cycle is too long, then the likelihood of prolonging the period of pregnancy increases. This can happen if there were any complications in the early stages – the body “compensates” for the lost time. A hereditary factor can play a role, that is, biological rhythms of intrauterine development of children in the childbirth. There are psychological aspects that affect this process (for example, a woman’s strong desire to give birth to a specific day). Thus, the gestation period does not have a strict framework.
However, there are situations when pregnancy lasted about 44 weeks or more. Medicine considers such a pregnancy to be postponed.
Migrating can be so-called “extended” or false when it does not pose any threat to the child: he is born quite functionally mature and healthy. It is precisely true overtaking when all the signs of “overriding” are present. The signs of such a pathology will be discussed below.
Reasons for overloading
Among the reasons underlying the postponed pregnancy, the following can be distinguished:
- impaired functioning of the nervous system of the child and mother, abnormal placenta. This leads to a slowdown in the preparation of the body for childbirth;
- immunity of the fetus is immature, there is a lack of vitamins of groups B, C, P and E;
- hormonal disruptions occurring in the body of a woman;
- thyroid disease, diabetes, obesity of the expectant mother;
- the presence of a pregnant woman in the past abortion, miscarriage or diseases of the genital organs. All this reduces the sensitivity of the uterus and its ability to clearly perform its functions;
- the presence of mental injuries or disorders in a woman;
- stress, fatigue, or nervous tension;
- hereditary factor: if there were cases of child overriding in the family, the risk of such a pathology is great;
- parturient age more than 35 years;
- reduced motor activity of the pregnant.
Some psychological aspects can also hinder the onset of labor. For example, a woman’s unconscious fears: fear of childbirth, pain at the same time, fear of not coping with the responsibilities of the mother. It happens that a woman who has already survived a miscarriage is afraid of a recurrence of that situation. She begins to overwhelm her activity, which can also slow down the onset of labor.
Signs and degrees of fetal overload during pregnancy
Only a doctor can recognize a true postponed pregnancy. To do this, he must conduct the necessary examination and identify the main signs of overexposure. This is an “aged” placenta, a reduced amount of amniotic fluid, wrinkling and drying of the baby’s skin, the absence of primordial lubrication, hardening of the bones of the head, the size of the fetus, baby’s grown nails and others.
Postponed pregnancy has several degrees. Each of them has its own specific signs.
Pregnancy for a period of 41 weeks is referred to the 1st degree of overriding. At the same time, the fetus is in a satisfactory condition, but it moves more actively than usual and its heartbeat sometimes quickens. Ultrasound can show the presence of limb movements separate from the body (normally they move with the body). The water level is slightly reduced, and when leaving, they turn out to be whitish, opaque.
At 2 degrees (about 42-43 weeks), overtension is more pronounced. It manifests itself in a decrease in the circumference of the abdomen by 1-3 cm daily, an increase in the height of the uterine fundus (since the lower part of the uterus is subject to a strong tone). And the present part of the fetus is pressed against the entrance to the small pelvis loosely.
It is believed that grade 3 overriding is extreme, the most dangerous and threatening with serious consequences. The blood flow in the placenta is already sharply reduced. In it and in the muscle mass of the uterus, blockage of blood vessels develops. Because of this, the child’s body begins to suffer not only from a lack of oxygen, but also is able to lose its mass.
What is the danger of overloading for a child?
The main danger of overexposure lies precisely in a sharp lack of oxygen. Because of this, the baby can take a breath while still in the uterus. There is a high risk of inhalation of amniotic fluid along with the original feces (meconium) contained in them. As a result, the newborn immediately after birth receives a serious complication, which requires serious antibacterial treatment and long-term ventilation of the lungs.
In addition, the transferred child acquires signs of overriding – his weight increases, the bones of the skull become denser. These changes can prevent him from freely passing through the birth canal. The likelihood of serious complications or birth injury increases.
The amount of amniotic fluid also decreases – there is a risk of entwining the baby with an umbilical cord. The liquid becomes cloudy, and the lubricant disappears on the skin of the fetus, which can cause infection.
Changes can affect the mother herself: her weight can decrease, her abdominal circumference can be reduced to 10 cm, and real milk begins to stand out not from colostrum, but already real milk.
What to do to avoid the consequences associated with repotting? Its timely identification is necessary. The most important and most indicative way to diagnose a postponed pregnancy is an ultrasound scan.
During this procedure, evaluate such parameters as:
- how old and thinned the placenta;
- the amount of amniotic fluid, its transparency and color, whether meconium is present there;
- the degree of density of the bones of the skull of the child, how much the fontanelles are reduced;
- blood flow from the uterus to the placenta and from the placenta to the fetus.
In addition to ultrasound, a woman is sent for special tests for hormones. They will show levels of hCG, placental lactogen and estriol (they should not be lowered), as well as progesterone and corticosteroids, which should not exceed the norm.
Before making a diagnosis of a postponed pregnancy, the doctor also takes into account other factors. This is the first day of the last menstruation, the approximate date of the first stirring of the child, the indicators of previously planned ultrasound. The woman’s diagnosis of “low water” is taken into account, the size of the abdomen, as well as the height of the uterine fundus, are estimated, the volume of the abdomen is compared with earlier ones. The doctor examines the nature of fetal movements, their frequency, changes in time of these indicators, as well as the degree of compaction of the bone tissue of the child’s skull.
The final diagnosis is made after childbirth. A visual examination of the newborn is performed – bone density and fontanel size, the presence of generic lubricant, the condition of the skin, and the main development indicators are evaluated. If the leaky amniotic fluid is green, then meconium is present in it. This is direct evidence of oxygen starvation of the child. Read more about the dangers of hypoxia for the health of an unborn child →
Perennial delivery options
A postponed pregnancy is not a usual diagnosis, but a pathological condition that can lead to serious consequences. When making such a diagnosis, a woman should be referred for in-patient monitoring to the pathology department of pregnant women. It may happen that the birth begins on their own. In this case, the outcome will be the best. Doctors themselves can expect a natural start of the birth process, provided that the baby is normal and the woman has all the indicators in order. If the birth does not begin, the uterus will be prepared – special gels are introduced to soften and open the cervix. When the preparation is carried out, the birth is stimulated with medication.
All this time, the fetus, its heartbeat and motor activity has been monitored. If there are any problems or acute situations – an emergency surgery is performed. It should be noted here that the issue of childbirth with the help of a caesarean section can be posed initially with a number of complications combined with overriding.
After childbirth, the transferred baby and mother require special care, supervision and rehabilitation.
95% of pregnancies lasting 42-44 weeks end with the birth of absolutely healthy children, so you should not be upset if there are no signs of the onset of childbirth at a seemingly appropriate time. In nature, everything is thought out, in most cases, all processes occur naturally and in a timely manner. If a woman is under the constant supervision of doctors, does everything that is recommended, monitors her health and listens to the state of her body and the baby’s behavior inside, then she can be calm. If something goes wrong, the problem will be revealed on time and solved in the best way, without consequences for the woman in labor and the baby.