The end of pregnancy can be a challenging time, both physically and emotionally. You are most likely feeling uncomfortable, a bit anxious about when baby will come, and probably very ready to be done being pregnant. If you are anything like me, people’s comments, even when you know they come from a place of support and excitement, can easily irritate you. Here are a few of the most common end of pregnancy questions and some thoughts on how to handle them.
When are you due?
Some people easily share their exact due date with anyone who asks, but some would prefer that people don’t know the exact date. Since many people treat an estimated due date as an expiration date, approaching, or passing, the due date can start daily pestering by family and friends. Sometimes the idea of a due month or general timeframe can help keep people from focusing in on that exact due date. We’ve been telling people late July from the beginning of my pregnancy this time, and so no one knows when that elusive date is.
Be prepared if you give a due month or general time, however, because it can really unsettle people. I’ve had people keep asking the question in different ways, trying too hard to get a specific date. The vagueness of “late July” just doesn’t sit well with people, even if it’s a much more accurate response.
Have you had the baby yet?
People really want to know if the baby has come yet. I can totally understand that feeling, as I’m one to check for baby Facebook announcements when my friends are in their due time. Some people enjoy being checked in on, but too many questions about whether the baby has come can start to put a pregnant mama on edge, especially if you approach 41 or 42 weeks pregnant. Here’s a great response you can send back if the question comes over text, email or Facebook
You can also remind frequent pesterers that you will be sure to make an announcement when the baby comes so they won’t miss the news.
How much longer do you have?
I’ve been getting this one a lot, probably because I’ve been so vague on my due date this pregnancy. No one really knows when baby will come however, so even if you have happily been sharing your exact due date with friends and family, you still don’t know how much longer you have. Coming up with a few nice responses can be helpful.
“I keep asking baby that same question.”
“It’s in baby’s hands at this point.”
“Who knows? Tonight, tomorrow, or a few weeks from now.”
Again be prepared for mild confusion as people really expect you to say something with an exact amount of time.
And, if this is your second or more pregnancy, you will probably hear….
Was your first late?
While for some this might be a straight forward question that is easily answered, it always makes me shake my head a bit. Generally, people consider anything late as past your due date. The reality is that going to 41 weeks or longer is in the range of normal. Even the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists doesn’t consider a baby to be late term until 41 weeks and post term until 42 weeks. See here for more information
In fact, according to research cited in the Evidence-based Birth article on going past your due date, about half of first time moms will give birth by 40 weeks 5 days and about half of second time moms will give birth by 40 weeks 3 days, meaning the other half will give birth after these times. So, if you have passed your due date, know that you are in good company with the majority of other pregnant mamas.
So, for all the other mamas not so patiently awaiting the arrival of their babies, whether you are 39 weeks, 40 weeks, or 41weeks or more, try and have some fun avoiding the many questions about when the baby will come. Take some time to treat yourself each day, even if it’s something small. Get a massage, a pedicure, or your favorite coffee and dessert. Go for a walk. Relax as best you can. Laugh a lot and try to enjoy anticipating your new baby.