Early Term: Between 37 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks 6 days
Full Term: Between 39 weeks 0 days and 40 weeks 6 days
Late Term: Between 41 weeks 0 days and 41 weeks 6 days
Postterm: Between 42 weeks 0 days and beyond
If you consider that postterm isn't for another two weeks, you're doing great! Not to mention, your due date is only an estimate. It's based on your last menstrual cycle, which we all know can be irregular. Pile on another estimate for when you ovulated, and you can see these dates shouldn't really be set in stone.
What can I do to speed things along?
Although there isn't any hard evidence that any of these things work, women often try:
Eggplant parmesan (seriously)
Castor oil (yuck)
Evening primrose oil
Talk to your doctor/midwife before trying any of the methods above. I really like the "hunker down" approach. Sometimes we get so caught up in our due date and expecting to have a baby by then, we just need to turn our brains off and relax. Have you ever had a dog who had puppies? Did you notice how she went off into a corner or a closet to birth her little pups? Mammals need to feel safe and secure in order to get the hormones flowing for birth. Why not order your favorite take-out, watch some crappy TV (I'm thinking a marathon of the Real Housewives), have some tea, put on some comfy clothes ... whatever puts you at ease and helps you shut off your brain.
My doctor scheduled my induction -- what do I do now?
If you're giving birth in a hospital, it's quite common for your induction to be scheduled as soon as you roll past your due date. Even though you could still have another 2 weeks until you are considered postterm, they make sure you have a bed for when the time comes. Hopefully they are not scheduling it before 42 weeks. If they are, ask why! Is there a medical reason? If there is any lingering concern, your doctor may prescribe daily non-stress tests to ensure baby is A-OK. This may seem like a pain, but it can buy you some time, which is sometimes all you need to get things moving.
If you reach your induction date, know that you don't have to go. I'm not advocating for that, but it is a decision some women make when they feel they just need a little more time.
If you were hoping for a natural, non-medicated birth, going in for an induction can be extremely upsetting. But know that you can still have the birth you want; your body may just need a little jumpstart to get things moving in the right direction. Talk to your doula about your concerns and what the game plan will be.
And finally, ask questions! Find out from your doctor how they manage the induction. Do they start with cervical thinners? Will they give you enough time to see if contractions begin on their own before starting pitocin? Will they rupture your membranes? Is there an option to avoid this? Etc. Etc.
When did your baby arrive? Did any of the natural induction methods work for you? Were you medically induced? How did it go?