Miscalculation of pregnancy dating

Less than 6 percent of all babies are born at 42 weeks or later.

Very large babies may have difficulty at delivery, and forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery may be needed.

Clinicians must proceed with caution to prevent any harm to the baby.

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can also occur because the baby has too little glucose-producing stores.

Correct pregnancy dating is important in accurately diagnosing and managing post-term pregnancy.

The size of the uterus at various points in early pregnancy, the date the fetal heartbeat was first heard, and when a mother first feels fetal movement all help confirm pregnancy dates.

Ultrasound (a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of blood vessels, tissues, and organs) is often used in early pregnancy to establish or confirm a due date.

In a post-term pregnancy, testing may be done to check fetal well-being and identify problems.

Tests often include ultrasound, nonstress testing (how the fetal heart rate responds to fetal activity), and estimation of the amniotic fluid volume.

During labor, continuous fetal heart rate monitoring is often used to help detect changes in the fetal heart rate.

Because a post-term fetus is more likely to pass meconium (the first stool) during labor, the risk of meconium aspiration is increased.

There are also risks for the fetus and newborn in a post-term pregnancy, including stillbirth and newborn death.

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