March of Dimes: No Non-Medical Inductions Before 39 Weeks
January 18, 2011
by Sasha Emmons
I always joke that the last few weeks of pregnancy are so miserable they make you actually welcome the idea of childbirth. In fact, some women get so over being pregnant that they choose to be induced well before their due date. Now the March of Dimes has issued new guidelines urging against induction and scheduled c-section before 39 weeks of pregnancy, unless it’s medically necessary.
The conventional wisdom is that 37 weeks is considered full term. But experts are learning that those last few weeks of pregnancy are important for lung and brain development. Babies born after 39 weeks are also more likely to be born at a healthy weight and less likely to have vision and hearing problems after birth. Those last few weeks in the womb can also help babies master sucking and swallowing, a common challenge for preemies.
Of course, you can’t always control when your labor happens; you may go into labor early, or there may be a medical reason that the baby needs to come out before 39 weeks (and no, killer hemorrhoids are not a medical reason). But if you do get a choice, give your bun a little more time in the oven to cook.
When did you deliver? Were you induced or did you have a c-section before 39 weeks?