Hello,

I've heard debate both ways on whether labor is hereditary. My mom was three weeks overdue with both my sis and me but went on to have labor progress naturally both times (this was about 30 years ago). Does my mom's history also make me prone to being late? Does anyone have any advice/experience/articles to share on this?

I'm now at 34 weeks pregnant with my first and am hoping to have a home birth. I'm from New York but live just outside of London. The NHS is very supportive of home birth but once you go overdue by a week they do start talking about inductions, which must be done in the hospital and which, at this point, I hope to avoid.

Tags: birth, home, labor, overdue

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I'm not sure if this is helpful, but "midwives' wisdom" says you are more likely to labor like your sister than your mother (I'm assuming because of the genetic components involved from the paternal side). All that being said, my mother delivered all four of us siblings right on or immediately before her due date, while my sister went 1 week past for both of her children. We'll see what the future has in store for me...LOL. :)
I wouldn't worry about going late, just be as positive as you can be and focus on the things you can control. I think each woman is different, and we shouldn't compare ourselves to others, even family. If you do happen to go past your due date, this blog post may be helpful in giving you an argument against induction: Why Estimated Due Dates Are Inaccurate
My mom was different with each of us. With me she was overdue by 10 days and had a 36 hour labor and then with the sister right after my she was 10 days early and had only a 6 hour labor. My sister has had 36, 18, and 5 hour labors with her 3 children. I have 2 children and my first was 8 hours and my second was only 4 hours long. So I do not have any thing to really say that mine was hereditary. My mom said my labors were more like my Grandma's on my dads side.
I don't know about lateness, but my labors are exactly like my mom's. I have also heard that labors are usually more alike with sisters, but since I don't have any sisters, I can only compare to my mom. Also, maybe your mom wasn't actually late, maybe she had long menstrual cycles that would account for it seeming like she was late. Weird thing to ask your mother maybe, but I would tend to compare menstrual history as a key to pregnancy history.
I'm not sure about pregnancy length but I do think there can be patterns in families. My maternal grandma, mother and sister all had breech births for their first born.
I think dating is a little more acurate than it was when most of our mothers were having babies.

My mom had four babies - 6, 16, 10, and 9 days late. I've had three - one on his due date, one the day after and one induced 10 days early. So in my case, heredity didn't play a role. I do know that my mom never pays very good attention to her LMP date though and she didn't have the benefit of early u/s.
I thought labor had to do more with mindset and overall health than anything else. When my mom was pregnant with my sister and Isherwood was young and did not know to eat right or take care of her body. It was even acceptable to smoke while pregnant then. So her labors were nothing like mine. I think heredity only comes into play when you live the same way your parents did. If you do similar things, you'll have similar outcomes.
Thanks for all the advice ladies and for your post on estimated due dates Cherylyn! I agree I should probably just relax and let nature take its course. The mix of experiences you have all shared furthers my impression that there is no clear rhyme or reason to the hereditary labor theory.

**Check out my blog, Random Musings From a Pregnant American in London**
One more link for you, if you're interested: Let the Baby Decide: The Case Against Inducing Labor

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