Why It's Not Surprising Meghan Markle's Baby Was Overdue

Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images.
Meghan Markle gave birth to a baby boy on Monday. And for royal fans and onlookers, who have been anticipating the baby’s arrival since the Duchess of Sussex announced she was pregnant in October, it’s felt like an eternity. It turns out, Markle’s baby was technically overdue.
In a press conference outside Frogmore Cottage, Prince Harry revealed that they haven’t decided on a name for the baby yet. "The baby’s a little bit overdue so we’ve had time to think about it," he added. A baby is typically considered "overdue" or "postterm" when a pregnancy goes on longer than 42 weeks (37 weeks is considered "full term"), although the exact definition varies from country to country. It's not entirely understood why some babies are born late, although there seems to be a genetic component.
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Interestingly, pregnant people are more likely to have a post term baby when it's their first baby, and they're carrying a male fetus, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). Markle just so happens to check both of those boxes. Doctors say the reason why first babies are late has to do with the fact that many first-time parents tend to miscalculate when they conceived, or when their last menstrual cycle was, which can throw off due date predictions.
Luckily, most people who give birth after their due dates don't encounter any health complications, according to the ACOG. That said, the risks of certain pregnancy-related conditions increase weeks after someone's due date. For example, the placenta can stop working properly, infections can develop inside the womb, and more issues during labor can arise. There's also an increased risk of stillbirth and macrosomia when a baby is overdue. Given these potential risks, many Ob/Gyn's will induce labor when a pregnant person reaches 41 weeks, according to the ACOG. There are a few ways that this is done: sweeping or rupturing the amniotic sac, taking oxytocin, or taking medications that help the cervix "ripen."
While we don't know the exact details of Markle's birth experience (including whether or not she had a home birth), Prince Harry said that she and the baby are doing well. As for the rest of us who are still waiting to officially "meet" this baby, we'll have to keep waiting a little longer, because photos and the name won't be revealed until Wednesday, he said.
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