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17 Things to Do When It's Past Your Due Date (Besides Wait in Agony)

Photograph by Twenty20

I hate to break it to you, but if today is your due date, you're not going to have a baby.

In fact, after much Googling, I learned that only about 5 percent of women actually give birth on their due date (and that's a generous estimation). That means, you and I, friend, are most likely venturing into 40+ week territory.

I’ve only been a resident of the "overdue club" once before. My third baby was born at 40 weeks, 4 days. And let me tell you, those four days after his due date were not my most glamorous, especially because I was due December 28th and I had the whole tax write-off opportunity lingering over my head. (Note to all: Subconscious pressure to have a baby on or by a specific day will certainly eliminate said day from becoming baby’s birthday.)

To see me through the day I've been waiting for, but still without baby in my arms, I came up with a highly productive list of things to do. Ready to join me? You know you need the distraction! Here’s your list of things to accomplish to make that wait a little less agonizing.

1. Plan a "due date" date. It can be anything you want to do: a movie, dinner, walk, nap, or maybe invite your partner and enjoy one of the last times you'll be together solo.

2. Assess your nipples. If they’re leaking, go buy cabbage and more nursing pads. If they’re not, they will be soon, so stock up on lactation supplies just the same.

Don’t rush that little one. I know it's hard here at the end.

3. Go to Target. Buy yourself something pretty.

4. Schedule a pedicure and tell them to hit all the "go into labor" spots on your feet.

5. Then try acupuncture. (That is labor gold!)

6. Walk a mile. Take a nap. Walk another mile. Eat a cookie. Walk a little more and incorporate some lunges. Also, do your best to avoid your neighbors' stares and questions. No one deserves the wrath of a woman on her due date.

7. Order takeout. See above note about wrath. #savetheservers

8. Write a letter to your baby. It's OK to cry while you do. Be sweet and sentimental. Then mail it so it's postmarked on their due date.

9. Take a belly photo. It could be the last one!

10. Don’t answer anyone’s calls. Sometimes it's fun to play with people and make them think you’re in labor when you’re not.

11. Eat whatever the hell you want.

12. Put all your maternity clothes in the most accessible place of your closet. You’re going to be wearing those even after baby, I promise.

13. Make sure the car seat is installed properly. Really. Like, pull out the manual and double check, or drive to the fire department and ask for them to assess it.

14. Whip up a batch (or two) of lactation cookies. Eat some. Freeze some.

15. Make padsicles. Your lady bits will thank you.

16. Catch up on laundry. You don’t want to, but soon, there won’t be time for menial tasks like that.

17. Pick a new “due date.” By 42 weeks, you know that precious baby will be in your arms.

Now, before you get angsty about baby coming tomorrow, remember, normal babies are born anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks. That means that all of week 40 and 41 are completely NORMAL and HEALTHY. Don’t rush that little one. I know it's hard here at the end. I’m right there with you. Sure, we're crying one minute and eating through all the snacks we bought for our birth teams the next. But let’s believe together that our babies will be born at the perfect time. Because they will. Before we know it, they’ll be in our arms and all this overdue stress will be just the beginning of their birth story.

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