What do all these questions have in common? The idea or belief that the body needs some form of help or assistance to get labor started, that the body will not or can't start labor without help.
Please stop!! Your body isn't broken! Your body doesn't need help! Your body knows what to do! You can trust your body!
Due dates are based on Naegel's rule. Franz Karl Naegel was an obstretrician born in Germany in 1778, who became the director of what we would consider a maternity hospital. Naegel's rule assumes every woman has a 28 day cycle, and that ovulation is on the 14th day of the cycle and that pregnancy lasts 280 days from the first day of the last period. We can use modern tools such as ultrasound to try to estimate a more precise date, but we are still using an estimated date.
The evidence shows that only 5% of women actually give birth on the due date. Even if the date of conception is known there is still a wide variation in how long gestation is. Up to 41% of pregnant women are induced for reasons including being close to or past the due date. We have very little data on women who carry past 42 weeks gestation in part due to inductions. It appears that 1% of women will go past 42 weeks. I personally know mothers who had in-vitro fertilization and went over a week past the due date even though the date of conception and implantation was known.
Just as we grow at different rates after birth, babies grow at different rates inside the uterus. Some babies are ready to be born before the estimated due date and some babies wait 2 or more weeks after the estimated due date. This is to be expected and perfectly normal. Having to wait for labor to start does not mean that your body won't go into labor, or that something is wrong. It simply means that you need to continue to wait.
Labor works best when it starts on its own without "outside" help. When it starts on its own, your body is primed for labor and your baby is primed for birth. Being primed means labor may be more effecient, and your baby will be ready for life outside the uterus. When introducing something external such as rupturing the amniotic sac to get labor started, there can be interference with the hormonal cascade of labor which may lead to a longer labor, or baby not tolerating labor well.
If I have a client who goes well past her estimated due date (more than a week), we will discuss what all the options are including continuing to wait. We will have a discussion about the risks and benefits of the options and I will trust her to make the choice that is best for her and her baby. I do not consider going past the due date an emergency or requiring the need for interventions. Babies come on thier own schedule and that is ok. Your body doesn't need help just because you are past your due date. You can trust your body to go into labor without help when the time is right.