Pregnancy
39 weeks and 1 day pregnant

If you are to have a planned Caesarean delivery, this is usually offered now – in order to balance the chance of labour starting unexpectedly with that of delivering your baby too soon. It is best for babies to be delivered as close to the due date as possible.

It’s worth revisiting your birth plan at this late stage as you may feel differently now about some of the requests you made.

A birth plan is usually filled in earlier in pregnancy, and you may not have given it much more thought since. Now that the birth is imminent, look over it with your partner to work out whether you’ve changed your mind about anything. For example you may be veering towards a more natural birth or, conversely, you may now be certain you want an epidural. Adapt it as you wish and discuss it with your midwife, if necessary.

As your partner will be your advocate in labour, putting your requests forward to your midwives and doctors if you’re unable to express them, it’s important that he understands your wishes and that they’re fresh in his mind.

Remember, though, that you won’t really know how you’ll feel or what you want until you’re in labour, so keep an open mind and be prepared to adapt your plans on the day if it’s in the best interests of your baby’s wellbeing. Get your partner’s view. Remember that this is a big event for him, too: the moment when he’ll meet his baby for the first time. He may have anxieties and concerns and want reassurance about what his role will be on the day: tell him how you think he can best help you, whether it be a massage or just holding your hand throughout. Discuss how you both are feeling in the preparation for the birth – your concerns, hopes, and expectations.

Can I refuse an induction of labour?

You have a right to say no to any intervention and when induction is considered, your carers should discuss all your options before a decision is reached.

If you wish to delay induction beyond 42 weeks, then it may be suggested you attend the maternity unit for monitoring, which may include a Doppler ultrasound to check the blood flow in the placenta. You will also be offered an ultrasound scan to check on the amount of fluid surrounding your baby, as this can be a good indicator of how efficiently the placenta is working and your baby’s wellbeing.

It can be difficult to think of anything but the birth and meeting your baby when you are this close to the end of pregnancy. Try to focus on other things, too:

  • Spend time with your partner: Enjoy quality time together while it is still just the two of you, before the baby makes demands on your time, and exhaustion sets in. Share your hopes and fears about how your lives are going to change.

  • Make love: you might feel you are too big, or too tired, but it is good to remind yourselves of your sexual relationship. And, you never know, making love could just get your labour started.

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