The average newborn weighs in at a little over 7 pounds and is about 20 inches long.

There’s still no way to know for sure when a woman will go into labour. Even with reliable dating, some women still have prolonged pregnancies, and experts don’t really understand why.

If you don’t go into labour on your own, most doctors will induce labour when you’re between one and two weeks overdue.

You still have a couple of weeks before you’ll be considered “post-term.”

If your water does break (or you even suspect you might have a leak), call your doctor or midwife right away, but stay calm — it may be hours before your first contraction.

There are more common signs of labour than water breaking: you may notice your mucus plug — the small amount of thick mucus that blocks your cervical canal — in your underwear or in the toilet. It might be tinged with a small bit of brownish, pink, or red blood (which is why it’s called “bloody show”).  Labour usually starts a day or two afterwards.

Another sign of labour is contractions at regular, but shorter and shorter intervals.

Having sex won’t induce labour, but the prostaglandin in semen and having an orgasm may stimulate some contractions.

Stimulating your nipples releases oxytocin, which may start labour but can also result in long contractions that put stress on your baby — so don’t attempt this at home.

Castor oil is a strong laxative that can stimulate your bowels. There’s no proof that it helps induce labour though plenty of women can attest to its unpleasant effects! Talk about the pros and cons with your practitioner.

Herbal remedies for labor haven’t been proved safe and effective, and a few are known to be downright dangerous. Ask your doctor or midwife before doing or taking anything to stimulate labour contractions.

If anything, be sure to pay close attention to your baby’s movements and let your practitioner know right away if there’s a decrease in activity.


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