The royal baby wait continues — but for how much longer? With pregnant Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton now eight days past her April 23 due date, royal baby watchers are getting anxious to meet the little prince or princess. Some have wondered whether the second-time mom-to-be will induce labor, so Us Weekly turned to Countess of Bradford Dr. Penelope Law, consultant obstetrician and gynecologist, for answers.
"In a fit and well mother in her 30s, with a well grown baby and adequate amniotic fluid, it would be common to wait until 10 to 12 days after the due date before inducing," Dr. Law tells Us, adding that "most doctors in England" would follow that criteria. (Dr. Law is a consultant at London's private Portland Hospital, where the Duchess' OB/GYN Guy Thorpe Beeston is also a consultant.)
Middleton, 33, will be 10 days past due on Sunday, May 3. Law says it's "not thought necessary" to induce sooner than that in lower-risk pregnancies, "as long as the baby is well grown, and the mother is fit and well."
Conversely, "in women over 40, or in IVF pregnancies, induction may be offered at 40 weeks," she explains.
As for whether inducing would affect Middleton's chances of having a natural birth, Law tells Us it's "not thought to change the likelihood of a caesarean section."
C-sections account for "between 25 and 30 percent of all deliveries in the USA and UK," she notes. "However, it is less likely for mothers who have already delivered vaginally." (Middleton had a natural birth with Prince George in July 2013.)
For now, Law says, the Duchess can try to speed up the process by "walking, swimming, or [doing] light exercise. Anything that encourages the work of gravity can help to bring on labor."
Stay with Us Weekly for all the latest updates on Royal Baby No. 2, including an exclusive livestream of the scene outside St. Mary's Hospital once the Duchess goes into labor, frequent updates from royal experts and Us staffers in London, the big baby reveal, and much more!