Pregnant? You are probably counting down the days until your due date. What an exciting time! You get to finally meet this little baby that is growing inside you. Though it may be tempting to induce your labor and have your baby early, if your pregnancy is healthy, the best thing to do might be to wait.
Have you seen any ads in magazines or on billboards encouraging you to be patient until you go into spontaneous labor or to get as close to your due date as possible? Many organizations including the March of Dimes have begun campaigns asking Moms-to-be to not to rush their baby’s birthday. The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) has even started a “Go the Full 40” campaign giving women 40 healthy reasons to stay pregnant until labor starts on its own or you make it to your due date. www.gothefull40.com
Why wait when you are so uncomfortable? There are many reasons if you have a healthy pregnancy to wait until your due date. Your baby’s development takes almost that full 40 weeks.
But isn’t “term” 37 weeks? Yes and no – 37 weeks is considered early term and we now know babies born at this gestation aren’t fully developed. They don’t breastfeed as well or maintain their own blood sugars or temperatures as babies born at 39 weeks or greater. Not to mention breathing complications; babies born just two or more weeks early can have twice the number of complications with breathing, and then our altitude in Colorado Springs can make this an even bigger issue.
Let your baby pick their own birthday. If they decide to enter our world after 37 weeks we won’t try to stop your spontaneous labor. Spontaneous labor has a much higher rate of spontaneous vaginal delivery than does an induction. Meaning women who are induced are more likely to end up with a cesarean section. If you are a scheduled repeat cesarean section, your baby still deserves all the benefits of being born as close to their due date as possible. Make this the best possible birth experience and don’t rush it. You only get to have this baby once!
Clinical Nurse Manager – Labor & Delivery – St. Francis Medical Center