In about 1 out of 10 pregnancies, delivery does not occur before the end of the 42nd week. This is called a post-term pregnancy or a prolonged pregnancy. In many cases, this happens because the doctor may not be exactly sure when the pregnancy began.
If you have not delivered before the end of the 42nd week of your pregnancy, your doctor will try to find out how well developed your baby is. He or she may decide it is safe to continue waiting for labor to begin naturally. But if your doctor thinks it isn't safe to wait, he or she may induce labor.
There are several methods that can be used to induce labor. Your doctor will discuss these with you if necessary.