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Most pregnancies last 37 to 42 weeks. Your pregnancy is post-term (or post-date) when you are at 42 or more weeks. When you get to 40 weeks, your doctor will look at your health and the baby's health and decide whether to wait for natural labor.
You may have tests to make sure everything is okay. If you and the baby have no problems, you may be told to wait for natural labor. But if the doctor thinks it would be safer for you and your baby if you deliver sooner rather than later, then you may get medicine to start (induce) your labor. If the medicine doesn't start your labor or labor doesn't keep going, you may have a cesarean section (C-section). This is surgery to deliver the baby.
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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